Rainbow Media buys DCist Parent Company?

Photo courtesy of
‘$10,000 in cash’
courtesy of ‘NickStarr’

In a deal said to be worth approximately $5-6M, it is rumored that Rainbow Media, a wholly-owned subisidiary of New York’s Cablevision system, has purchased Gothamist LLC which owns the DCist blog here in DC. When asked for comment, DCist Editor Sommer Mathis said she had seen the story, but hadn’t received any information from Gothamist concerning the disposition of any deal.

The story remains unconfirmed, and could be incorrect, but the idea of large media outlet systems like Cablevision purchasing up medium- and large-sized blogs has all kinds of far-reaching consequences. The parallels between websites and radio stations is one that we would do well to remember in this particular situation.

More as the details unfold.

Business Insider says talks are still going on, and Jake Dobkin, despite repeated attempts to get anything else, just said, “No Comment.”

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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5 thoughts on “Rainbow Media buys DCist Parent Company?

  1. From my perspective, I’m more concerned about local blogs getting bought up like radio stations did after deregulation, stifling individuality and voice.

  2. Big difference in blogs getting bought up compared to radio stations — no spectrum scarcity on the Web. Also, provided they don’t have non-compete clauses in contracts, the bloggers can always leave and start up elsewhere which may ring a bell.

  3. True, but radio stations basically got bought for their spectrum, while blogs get bought for their community/brand. The monetary value of a blog is dependent on the people that run it in a way that radio stations are not. If someone buys a blog without making arrangements to secure the continued maintenance of that community/value of that brand (whether that means by hiring the writers or by other means), they clearly have no idea what they’re buying. Which means that moves to secure the personalities behind the blogs are more common than you might think. Besides, in the calculus of “stay and blog right here, and we’ll pay you” vs “go somewhere else and start all over again on your own dime,” I know starting all over again wouldn’t seem that attractive.

    Our departure from our previous site wasn’t the same calculation at all. It was “stay here and blog for free under our rules” or “go elsewhere and blog for free under your own rules.” ;)