Update: Why Catalyst & The Notebook Aren't Joining ENN
Basically it boils down to new vs. old, it being complicated to pull off a four-way merger, and differences among the sites in terms of how they operate including particularly the longstanding commitment of the older publications (Catalyst and The Notebook) to print publication vs. online-only.
Read below for what EdNews, Catalyst, and The Notebook have to say. No response from GothamSchools. Also, I should have noted in the original post that I've talked with many of these same outlets over the years about collaborating and joining forces in various ways, and was at one point sponsored by Catalyst for my Chicago schools blog.
"As Elizabeth and I put this together we concluded that it was so complicated to merge two organizations (let alone four) that it made more sense to do just that -- take the two websites that were most similar and merge them into ENN," says EdNewsColorado's Alan Gottlieb (via email). "Catalyst and Notebook are both originally print publications that are transitioning to the web. We hope, once we're established, to partner with them and others. But for now, two is complicated enough."
Over at The Notebook, head Paul Socolar says there have been lots of discussions with other outlets over the years but never "anything remotely resembling merger discussions." He adds, "our publications each have their own local character, approach, and business models, and it would be quite complicated to pull off a 4-way merger."
"I've always thought that a network of city-focused education publications made sense, and we've taken a stab at some joint activity from time to time," says Catalyst founder and publisher Linda Lenz. "Catalyst is not a part of this particular effort because (1) we have some other priorities that are keeping us busy right now and (2) starting with two is a lot easier than starting with four, particularly when we're at different stages of development."