DNAinfo Is Buying Gothamist

Local news site buys local news site

DNAinfo is expanding its local news footprint after striking a deal with Gothamist LLC to purchase the city-based-news network’s quintet of sites, which cover local news and culture in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

DNAinfo will designate the flagship site, Gothamist, and the Chi-Town based Chicagoist as the official blogs of its New York and Chicago sites, the two cities where DNAinfo currently maintains a presence. They will keep their own URL as they take on events, arts and food coverage. LAist, SFist, and DCist will remain for the moment as standalone sites covering Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, respectively, and are likely to serve as an entry point for future expansion in those cities.

“Not only are Gothamist’s reach and sensibility a perfect complement to DNAinfo’s depth and focus, but their experience in developing multiple city blogs fits right in with our vision for future expansion,” said DNAinfo founder and CEO Joe Ricketts in a statement. “We think the result will be the most potent online source of neighborhood news and information available anywhere.”

Gothamist’s co-founders, Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin, who started the flagship in 2003, will take on new roles within DNAinfo. Chung, who has been Gothamist’s executive editor, will be vice president of New York editorial, and Dobkin, Gothamist’s publisher, will be vice president for strategy and expansion. They will both report to DNAinfo’s just-promoted Dan Swartz, who was bumped to vice president and chief operating officer from chief marketing officer.

“While our politics and backgrounds may differ a bit from those of DNAinfo founder Joe Ricketts (he, for example, is a Cubs fan, while Mr. Met is our favorite baseball figure),” write Chung and Dobkin in a note to readers, “we are all committed to building a news organization that offers quality journalism to our readers. We all believe that unbiased reporting is important for our democracy, especially in these times. And we all think that the best way to cover contentious issues is to offer opinions from both sides.”

Ricketts, who is the founder of TD Ameritrade, backed Donald Trump in the 2016 election after initially opposing him with an anti-Trump PAC in the primaries.

He started DNAinfo in 2009 in New York.