Apparently the congratulations we sent Gothamist’s way back in March for getting purchased by Jimmy Dolan’s Cablevision was premature. According to the Village Voice, the deal fell through — and Gothamist founder Jake Dobkin can blame himself for the lost cash:
Dolan’s Rainbow Media owns the IFC and Sundance Channels, which, despite their well-known names, could use a better digital presence, particularly on the local level. We’re told by sources close to the deal that the honchos at Rainbow figured snapping up Gothamist’s ten local sites would fit that bill nicely. What soured things, we’re told, was Dobkin himself – or, at least, what Dobkin was posting on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Dobkin repeatedly and publicly slammed the New York Times, incredibly arrogantly on his Facebook page and vulgarly on his Twitter feed. (“I don’t think the Times has had an original idea in years,” he wrote, adding that their City Room blog, which Gothamist itself regularly plunders, “is a fairly lazy and sleep-inducing ripoff of Gothamist.”) “Dobkin’s complaints struck some of us as completely bizarre. After all, Gothamist had only got where it was by summarizing in bite-sized chunks the hard-won reporting by Times writers. Did this guy not realize who was buttering his bread?” asks Tony Ortega, the Voice editor. “Looking back over Dobkin’s various utterances, his potential new employers, we’re told, wondered if they wanted to get into bed with someone so likely to turn on his benefactors.” The deal fell through in short order, though Dobkin and his colleague Jen Chung refused to respond to repeated inquiries about it from us and other sources over the past few months.
During a time when it seems like blogs are inexorably winning the war against legacy media organizations that do original reporting, this is a rare slap back. The consequences of Dobkin’s hubris not only highlighted the limitations of blogs in reporting, but also in financing.
Deal Between Gothamist and Rainbow Media is Officially Dead [Runnin’ Scared/VV]