According to a tweet posted last night by Josh Metnick, Chicago.com was sold again. As you may recall, Josh Metnick is the former owner of the Chicago.com domain name. Based on the registrant email address, the owner of the domain name is The The Chicago Community Trust. The current registrant of the domain name is listed as Chicago.com LLC.
https://t.co/tAlqjse1mp just f*cked 1,000’s of users. This is an ethical & legal abomination. @gapersblock @Chicagoist @DNAinfoCHI #chicago pic.twitter.com/oTuLRffa3J
— Josh Metnick (@JoshMetnick) January 6, 2017
Chicago.com was sold by Josh to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2013, and the deal was confirmed at that time by Crain’s Chicago. I do not believe the sale price was ever disclosed.
I reached out to Daniel Ash, Chief Marketing Officer of The Chicago Community Trust, and he commented on the acquisition:
“As part of our vision to make metropolitan Chicago the most philanthropic region in the nation, The Chicago Community Trust hopes to use the domain Chicago.com as a platform to promote and inspire philanthropy. The website will serve as a digital public square and a resource for visitors to connect, stay informed, and to learn how they can get more involved in philanthropy.
Our overall goal is to create a site that is a resource and public asset to the city of Chicago, encourages residents to engage in more philanthropy, and reflects the philanthropic spirit of Chicago.
Much work needs to be done. Additionally, we intend to collaborate with community stakeholders who have expertise in building websites, etc. While we will keep the email portion of chicago.com operational, we will take our time to develop and launch a reimagined www.chicago.com.”
Daniel also addressed the vanity email addresses referenced in the email Josh shared on Twitter:
“The Trust plans to continue to maintain the Chicago.com email addresses. These accounts are not terminated – just moving. Therefore, current holders will have the opportunity to keep their address. Our long term plan is to make the Chicago.com email address available to donors as a special recognition of their commitment to Chicago.”
I asked about the price of the domain name, and Daniel said all of the acquisition details will remain private.
It will be interesting to see how this domain name will be used going forward.
Update (December 2, 2018) – According to a tweet from George Kirikos, it appears that Chicago.com was acquired for $1 million. A link to the source of his information is in the tweet:
💵💵 I believe that the https://t.co/od6CZmyGsw domain name changed hands for USD $1 million. According to the IRS Form 990 for the Chicago Community Trust (buyer), there's an entry "WEBSITE – https://t.co/73rwE0MBgN" for $1,000,000 https://t.co/KE7OU2rzlQ (24th page of PDF) 💵💵
— George Kirikos (@GeorgeKirikos) December 2, 2018
The Chicago Community Trust still needs to file a Form 990 with the IRS, I believe. e.g. see:
Thus the price might become public in a year or two. Put a reminder in your calendar, and check back in a couple of years!
How much did it sell for this time? Anyone know?