Gothamist Saved by Anonymous Donors, Returns With Public Radio Partnership



DNAInfo

Four months after going offline, Gothamist is back from the dead.
The New York-based local news site, along with its network of affiliates around the country, including LAist, will start publishing new stories this spring thanks to funding from two anonymous donors, Wired reported on Friday. Gothamist, LAist, and DCist — along with DNAInfo — will operate with the support of public radio stations in their respective hometowns: WNYC in New York, KPCC in Los Angeles, and WAMU in Washington, D.C.
“We want to tell stories that inform, inspire, and connect Angelenos to one another. That’s what KPCC is dedicated to providing, and that’s what LAist was doing when it shut down in November,” said KPCC Chief Content Officer Kristen Muller in a statement.
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The amazing news is true—Gothamist is returning! https://t.co/rU1yg8I51m
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) February 23, 2018

WE’RE COMING BACK! @KPCC is buying us after 4 long months. Here are the details of what’s happening: https://t.co/ZkIqr4vstq
— LAist (@LAist) February 23, 2018
The deal was spearheaded by Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung, who will return to lead the site, according to Wired. The Gothamist network was quickly shuttered in November, after employees voted to unionize. About 115 people lost their jobs, and the sites’ archives were pulled down. At the time, CEO Joe Ricketts said “businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure.”
“I think you can imagine how we felt,” Dobkin told Wired about Gothamist’s sudden exile. “It was unexpected. We tried to do our best to improve the situation and bring something positive out of it, and we did.”
The money needed to get the Gothamist operation back online was undisclosed. The sites’ archives will return to the web under their new public radio caretakers.

While all eyes were on AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, announced in late 2016 but facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department, there were plenty of other megadeals in media, tech and entertainment that kept investment bankers busy in 2017.
Here are some of the biggest deals of the year:
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Disney to acquire most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion 
In a massive deal that could change the entertainment industry even more than AT&T-Time Warner, Disney announced plans to acquire Fox’s film and TV studios and much of its non-broadcast television business, including regional sports networks and cable networks such as FX, FXX and Nat Geo. Disney would also pick up Fox’s stake in the European pay-TV giant Sky — and be better positioned to win regulatory approval to complete the acquisition of the 61 percent of the company it does not already own.

Discovery Communications agrees to buy Scripps Networks Interactive for $11.9 billion 
The merger of two cable powerhouses brings together channels including Discovery, Science, Food Network and HGTV – and could give the combined company a stronger position as pay-TV continues to migrate to the internet.
Discovery/Scripps

Sinclair Broadcast Group agrees to buy Tribune Media for $3.8 billion 
This deal, if approved, would give conservative-leaning Sinclair control of 223 stations in 108 markets, including 39 of the top 50, covering 72 percent of households in the country. And it’s only possible under rule changes implemented by new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Sinclair/Tribune

Cineworld offers to buy Regal Cinemas for more than $3 billion 
After a string of movie theater mergers last year, the sector has quieted down — along with the box office. And while this isn’t yet a done deal — or even an accepted offer —  British chain Cineworld made a late November bid of $23 a share for the U.S.’s No. 2 cinema chain.
Cineworld/Regal

Meredith Corp. acquires Time Inc. for $2.8 billion 
The magazine megadeal is a sign of changing times in the publishing industry, with the owner of esteemed brands like Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated selling to the parent of Better Homes and Gardens and Country Life – backed by $650 million from big-time conservative donors the Koch brothers.
Meredith/Time

Verizon acquires Straight Path Communications for $2.3 billion 
Straight Path may not be a household name, but it was the subject of a bidding war between AT&T and Verizon. The company is one of the largest owners of millimeter wave spectrum, seen as key to the buildout of 5G networks, which should power much faster mobile internet — better for video — in the near future.
Verizon/Straight Path

Disney buys the rest of BAMTech for $1.6 billion 
The Mouse House jumped into internet TV in a major way in 2017, announcing upcoming Disney and ESPN-branded streaming services and acquiring the rest of streaming tech company BAMTech to power those products.
Disney/BAMTech

Entercom buys CBS Radio for $1.5 billion   
CBS Radio was intended to be spun off from its broadcast parent in an IPO, but instead it was scooped up by a competitor. The combined company, now the second largest radio business in the country, owns and operates 244 stations in 47 markets.
Entercom/CBS Radio

MGM buys the rest of Epix for $1 billion 
The independent studio went all in on the pay-TV business, buying the rest of the premium cable network from Viacom and Lionsgate. And that’s paid immediate dividends, as MGM’s media networks division propelled it to a strong third quarter.
MGM/Epix

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Rewind 2017: Media and content consolidation continued this year

While all eyes were on AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, announced in late 2016 but facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department, there were plenty of other megadeals in media, tech and entertainment that kept investment bankers busy in 2017.
Here are some of the biggest deals of the year:

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