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The billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the DNAinfo and Gothamist news sites, has shut the outlets down just a week after the New York newsroom voted to join a union.


DNAinfo evolved into a nationwide new media experiment after Ricketts founded it in New York in 2010 and chose Chicago as a second market in 2012.

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Just weeks after local employee cutbacks, the neighborhood-focused news organization spread to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington in March when it acquired the news network Gothamist.

Ricketts refused to recognize the union back in April in a New York newsroom – so the National Labor Relations Board conducted a formal vote last week. That vote may have created a tipping point for a company that had been hard-pressed to deliver profits to an owner who demanded them from the beginning.

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“DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure,” Ricketts said in a memo posted on DNAinfo Chicago and as well as the other Ricketts-owned sites.

“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.”

DNAinfo Chicago shuts down after writers (not in Chicago) look to unionize DNAinfo.com
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