Economy

Gothamist, DNAinfo suddenly shut down operations after staff votes to unionize

Gothamist, DNAinfo suddenly shut down operations after staff votes to unionizeā€

DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City's most notable local news blogs, both abruptly shut down on Thursday afternoon. Around the same time, Mr. Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, wrote bluntly, "As long as it's my money that's paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business".

DNAinfo, which opened in 2009, has a site in Chicago and Gothamist has sites in four other cities.

"While we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn't been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded", Ricketts said. As of press time, attempting to access any story via social media redirects to Ricketts' letter.

The announcement, made in the form of a letter written by CEO Joe Ricketts, cited profitability concerns as the primary reason for the closure, but sounded optimistic tones about what the company had tried to do.

Reporters and editors at DNAinfo and Gothamist voted to unionize last week. "But I believed an opportunity existed to build a successful company that would report unbiased neighborhood news and information", Ricketts wrote. Gothamist -which was acquired by DNAinfo from founders Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin in March - also had sister sites in Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

They were not told what was happening before Ricketts posted the goodbye.

A lot of what I believed would happen did, but not all of it. The efforts to organize began in the spring after DNAinfo bought Gothamist. "It was just an absolutely normal day at the office and then someone said "oh my god the email" and then everyone checked their work email".



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