It was big news a few months ago, but it looks like the Rainbow Media acquisition of the Gothamist blog network, will not develop any further. Reports came flying in on Friday that Rainbow Media (which controls IFC, Sundance Channel, AMC, and more) is walking away from its $6 million purchase and it’s not entirely clear why this happened. Village Voice editor Tony Ortega ponders a few theories over on his site, including:
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 [Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin] himself — or, at least, what Dobkin was posting on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
On February 2, for example, Dobkin produced a screed about the New York Times that still has some folks scratching their heads.
Responding to a seemingly innocent question from Times columnist David Carr about how newspapers were doing transitioning to the web, Dobkin let loose about how the Times was being shown up by websites like his own…
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?