Dealflow | July 20, 2018

Chance the Rapper buys local news pub the Chicagoist

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

The Chicagoist is part of the Gothamist news group, along with LAist and DCist. The group was bought (read: saved) by public radio stations WNYC in New York, WAMU in D.C. and KPCC in Pasadena, Calif. in February.

“As we’ve seen a decline in local journalism in even the largest metropolitan areas across the country, even at a time when it’s so vital, we remain committed to strong, independent reporting that fills the void,” New York Public Radio’s CEO Laura Walker said of the deal at the time. The sites had been abruptly shut down in November by owner Joe Ricketts after reporters’ decision to unionize.

Chance has now acquired the Chicagoist from WNYC. In true-to-his-trade fashion, Chance, a Chicago native, announced the deal in a new song. (Check it out.) In a more formal statement, he said: “I look forward to re-launching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content.”

Chance has invested and advocated for Chicago institutions—first public schools, now media—as a way of elevating the city’s underserved, and particularly its black community.