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Local news sites DNAInfo and Gothamist provided readers with local news that has slowly disappeared from the media landscape due to the advent of social media and citizens often breaking stories before journalists. CEO Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade, posted a note to readers on Thursday announcing that the sites will be shuttered.

From Ricketts as posted on DNAInfo:

I started DNAinfo in 2009 at a time when few people were investing in media companies. But I believed an opportunity existed to build a successful company that would report unbiased neighborhood news and information. These were stories that weren’t getting told, and because I believe people care deeply about the things that happen where they live and work, I thought we could build a large and loyal audience that advertisers would want to reach.

A lot of what I believed would happen did, but not all of it. Today, DNAinfo and Gothamist deliver news and information each day to over half a million people’s email inboxes; we have over 2 million fans across our social channels; and each month, we have over 15 million visits to our sites by over 9 million people. But more important than large numbers of visits and fans, we’ve reported tens of thousands of stories that have informed, impacted, and inspired millions of people. And in the process, I believe we’ve left the world a better place.

But DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure. 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. I want to thank our readers for their support and loyalty through the years. And I want to thank our employees for their tireless effort and dedication.

According to a New York Times report, 115 people are now out of work across DNAInfo and Gothamist’s New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offices.

Best of luck to the staff of those excellent organizations and thank you for your good work.

Photo: DNAInfo/Gothamist

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