City Paper is not for tourists
The always irascible local media reporter Betsy Rothstein is out at FishbowlDC.
Rothstein tweeted Thursday morning that after three years at the site, she’s leaving:
Whether raging waters or smooth sailing, my 3 years at FishbowlDC have been the perfect storm. Onto new adventures. Stay tuned…
— Betsy Rothstein (@betsyscribeindc) October 31, 2013
During her tenure at the media gossip blog, Rothstein had many favorite characters to target, which Washington City Paper explored in some detail in a 2010 profile. One in particular was local publicist Wendy Gordon, who for some reason Rothstein portrayed as an attention seeking, slutty cougar in a series called “Wendy Wednesday.” Gordon sued Rothstein and the site’s parent company, MediaBistro, and the lawsuit has played out like a dramatic who’s who in the local media scene.
The two parties settled the case in early October, and the next status hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.
It’s unclear at this point if Rothstein is leaving on her own terms. Rothstein and MediaBistro did not respond to request for comment. Gordon’s lawyer, David Wachen, would not comment on whether her departure was part of the settlement.
Update, 3 p.m.: My colleague Will Sommer spoke to Rothstein this afternoon, but, aside from saying that she considers her reputation as the bête noire of D.C. media “hilarious,” she didn’t reveal much.
“Wow, that is a deep question,” Rothstein told Sommer. “It’s so deep…wow.”
Rothstein similarly declined to say whether she’ll be staying in D.C.
Rothstein told Politico that she’d have to take a trip to the desert in order to figure out her next move. Speaking to City Desk, however, she took a more supernatural angle.
“First I have to consult my tarot card reader and really, really think deep about what she has to say and what the cards mean,” Rothstein said. “Really hoping I don’t get the death card.”
Update, 11:30 a.m. Rothstein says it was her decision to leave Fishbowl.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery