Thanks to the generosity of two anonymous donors and three public radio stations, the local news websites Gothamist, DCist, LAist and DNAinfo will have their archives restored and, in the case of Gothamist, will resume publishing stories sometime this spring.
As part of the deal, New York public radio station WNYC will acquire Gothamist’s archives, domain name and social media assets. KPCC in Pasadena, California, will oversee LAist, and WAMU in Washington will handle DCist.
Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung will oversee the site’s revival this spring, Wired reports.
“For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news,” New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker said in a statement confirming the revival. “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.”
The websites were unceremoniously dumped last fall by owner Joe Ricketts ― the conservative billionaire who founded TD Ameritrade and whose family owns the Chicago Cubs ― after staffers voted to unionize.
Ricketts’ sudden closure caught the sites’ 115 staffers completely off guard. Gothamist editor Christopher Robbins tweeted it happened while he was in the bathroom:
Ricketts also immediately shut down the outlets’ websites, preventing access to previously published articles.