Local news sites Gothamist, LAist and DCist are coming back from the dead. Their assets (including story archives) have been acquired by three public radio companies — WNYC in New York, KPCC in Southern California and WAMU in Washington, D.C.
According to the acquisition announcement, the deal comes after a competitive sale process, and it was funded by “generous philanthropic donations from two anonymous donors.”
Gothamist and its sister sites were acquired by DNAinfo last year. Both Gothamist and DNAinfo were shut down in November, shortly after the editorial teams unionized. (At the time, a DNAinfo spokesperson said the unionization was “simply another competitive obstacle making it harder for the business to be financially successful.”)
Executives at all three stations describe the acquisitions as a commitment to local journalism, as well as a way to increase their presence online. The announcement also includes some praise for DNAinfo owner Joe Ricketts, who was widely criticized after the shutdown.
“For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news,” said New York Public Radio President and CEO Laura Walker in a statement. “That resonates with us at WNYC, where we are committed to telling stories rooted in New York and that matter to New Yorkers. As we’ve seen a decline in local journalism in even the largest metropolitan areas across the country, even at a time when it’s so vital, we remain committed to strong, independent reporting that fills the void.”