CEO Joe Ricketts of local news websites DNAinfo and Gothamist announced shut down plans of both digital publications following editorial staff members’ decision to unionize. Launched in 2009, DNAinfo was an online publication that focused on news coverage in New York City and Chicago while Gothamist provided readers with news covering food, culture, and other local events. The publications together brought over 15 million visits to the sites by over 9 million people.
Ricketts said he started DNAInfo in 2009, “when few people were investing in media companies.” He stated, “I believed an opportunity existed to build a successful company that would report unbiased neighborhood news and information.”
On October 26th, the DNAinfo and Gothamist editorial staff members voted to unionize after a fight with management waged an anti union campaign that included threats to workers’ jobs. 25 out of 27 employees voted in favor of the union leading to 115 jobs lost. Ricketts stated that employees would be paid through February 2, 2018 and management would reach out to the Writers Guild of America, East to engage in good faith negotiation about the effects of the planned shutdown.