Ricketts, Emanuel, Obama and Chicago's newest news organization


Geoff Dougherty

May 17, 2012 @ 5:02 PM

Amid the firestorm over Joe Ricketts and his reported interest in launching a racially divisive, multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Barack Obama to controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright, much has been made about the awkard spot the Ricketts family now occupies.

Ricketts' children bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and are in the midst of a dicey negotiation with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over city contributions to the renovations of Wrigley Field. You may recall that Emanuel served as Obama's first White House chief of staff; the mayor is unsurprisingly livid about the Ricketts advertising proposal.

Awkward, yes. Even more awkward: Ricketts is the founder and owner of DNAInfo, an online news organization that covers New York City and is scheduled to launch shortly in Chicago

By way of disclosure, I had lunch with the DNAInfo editorial team and talked over doing some consulting work for them. It didn't go anywhere, although they seem like nice and talented folks, Now they're in the unenviable position of launching a Chicago news website bankrolled by a guy who appears to be the No. 1 enemy of the mayor the site's going to cover. 

How are they going to do that objectively? How are they going to convince Rahm to return their calls? God only knows. 


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