Three public radio stations have made investments in the digital arm of local news. Gothamist and its companion network of city-focused news websites were recently shut down by owner Joe Ricketts; the billionaire closed down and deleted the entire network a week after their reporters and editors voted to join a union. Now, three of those sites are getting revived by their local public radio counterparts.
As a result of this deal, WNYC is acquiring the archives, domain name, and social media assets for Gothamist. Pasadena, California, station KPCC is acquiring the same for LAist and WAMU in Washington, D.C., is acquiring DCist. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but a news story from WNYC states that it was “largely funded by two anonymous donors.”
“For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news,” New York Public Radio President and CEO Laura Walker said. “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 public media groups say they plan to expand the digital footprints of these online properties and continue their goals of serving local audiences.