If you go to Gothamist, DNAinfo, or any of their associated websites right now, you’ll see this message from the CEO Joe Ricketts:
As the New York Times has reported, this closure comes just one week after the writers of these websites voted to join the Writers Guild of America East union. In a statement from DNAinfo, the vote was “simply another competitive obstacle making it harder for the business to be financially successful.” They also report that Ricketts, a Trump-supporter whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, has been vocal in the past about his anti-union stance.
It’s no secret that journalism has taken many hits lately, with outlets like Teen Vogue, The Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal and others cutting staff and streamlining their reportage. And the sort of localized coverage that Gothamist and DNAinfo specialized in hasn’t always been a profitable model. This decision to close puts 115 writers out of work, not only in the New York base (which voted to unionize), but also in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington (where the writers did not unionize). And based on that landing page, we’re not even sure those writers can access their previous work to use as clips moving forward (unlike Gawker, which shut down just over a year ago but kept its past work accessible).
On a personal note, I’ll miss the subway coverage on Gothamist — both the service delays, and their attention to subway assaults. As a woman who lived in NYC for 15 years, their coverage was a part of my daily life. Thank you for all of your hard work for so many years.