DNAinfo Chicago website shut down

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

DNAinfo, a website that covered neighborhood news, is shutting down according to a public announcement made by the organization’s Chief Executive Officer Joe Ricketts on Thursday, Nov. 2. Hyde Park was one of many neighborhoods covered by local reporters for DNAinfo Chicago’s website.

In a letter addressed to readers regarding the shut down of all of DNAinfo’s news sites, Ricketts said: “Today, I’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and Gothamist. Reaching this decision wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t one I made lightly.”

Adding that: “But DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure. And 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 launched DNAinfo in 2009 in New York; the organization had over the course of a few years expanded to other cities in the U.S. including, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Gothamist is based in New York and published websites from cities across the country. Some of the sites include LAist, DCist, Chicagoist, and SFist. Ricketts acquired Gothamist and its related blogs in March.

“DNAinfo and Gothamist deliver news and information each day to over half a million people’s email inboxes; we have over 2 million fans across our social channels; and each month, we have over 15 million visits to our sites by over 9 million people,” Ricketts said in a written statement.

Nearly a week ago, 27 employees in New York voted to join the Writers Guild of America East on Oct. 27. According to reports, 115 journalists are now without work and articles that were posted on the site today and beyond appear to be no longer accessible.

Click here to see the full letter from Ricketts about the DNAinfo shutdown https://www.dnainfo.com/.

t.hill@hpherald.com