In May, the family apparently decided that was a lost cause, and Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts—son of Joe—endorsed Trump. Shortly after Trump was elected, he picked Todd Ricketts to serve as deputy secretary of commerce.


About a half hour before news of the acquisition broke, Joe Ricketts sent his employees the following memo:

Today, DNAinfo acquired Gothamist’s popular network of city news sites in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. By joining forces with Gothamist, DNAinfo will be able to do an even better job of bringing people the most relevant and interesting news and information about their neighborhoods.

The initial plan is for Gothamist to become the official blog of DNAinfo New York, handling city-wide events, viral stories, and lighter fare like food and arts coverage, while DNAinfo’s reporting staff continues to focus on neighborhood news. In similar fashion, Gothamist’s sister site, Chicagoist, will become the official blog of DNAinfo Chicago. At the same time, all the Gothamist sites—including LAist in Los Angeles, SFist in San Francisco, and DCist in Washington, DC— will maintain their existing URLs, integrating relevant content from DNAinfo. Gothamist’s current executive editor and co-founder Jen Chung will become vice president of New York editorial for DNAinfo, overseeing content for both DNAinfo New York and Gothamist, while Gothamist publisher and co-founder Jake Dobkin will be named DNAinfo’s vice president for strategy and expansion. Both will report to Dan Swartz, who has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of DNAinfo.

Please join me in welcoming Jake, Jen, and the rest of the Gothamist team, and in congratulating Dan Swartz on his promotion.


Ricketts doesn’t grant interviews, and he did not respond to a request for comment from Jezebel. He did, however, provide a statement to Politico, saying of Gothamist: “Their experience in developing multiple city blogs fits right in with our vision for future expansion. We think the result will be the most potent online source of neighborhood news and information available anywhere.”

If you have any information about the situation at Gothamist and DNAinfo or about the Ricketts family, please get in touch.


Update, 3:45 pm – Dobkin responded to a follow-up question from Jezebel about when they deleted the Ricketts posts: “Jen and I made the decision when our discussions with Mr. Ricketts were starting to get more serious; about a month ago.”