UPDATE 2: It would seem the SFist site is back online, we assume to be an online archive of the sites past stories?
UPDATE 1: While researching more into this story, we found an excerpt from CNN Money we needed to add to this piece:
“The New York offices of DNAinfo and Gothamist recently voted to unionize and it is no secret that threats were made to these workers during the organizing drive,” the organization said in a statement. “The Guild will be looking at all of our potential areas of recourse and we will aggressively pursue our new members rights. We will meet with management in the near future to address all of these issues.”
In the email to employees, which was provided to CNNMoney by a staffer, Ricketts said they will be placed on paid administrative leave beginning Friday and ending on February 2. They’ll receive their full salary and benefits until then, unless they start working full-time elsewhere.
It’s a sad day for local journalism.
As we were scrolling through our competitors list to see what has been talked about today, we noticed this letter from the CEO of Gothamist and DNAinfo, Joe Ricketts, plastered on all the ‘ist sites from Gothamist to SFist and beyond. A week ago, reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of two of New York City’s leading digital purveyors of local news, celebrated victory in their vote to join a union. And today, they lost their jobs, as the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the sites, shut them down. (In fact, Ricketts published a blog post in September entitled: “Why I’m Against Unions At Businesses I Create.” It explained the benefits he found in the free enterprise system.)
The news took the newsroom by surprise. David Colon, a reporter for Gothamist, said that a lawyer for DNAinfo was present when the staff was told, but that he “didn’t really” take questions.
“Very classy,” Mr. Colon said. “I yelled a lot and somebody told me to stop. Now we’re all trying to figure out what to do.”