Mayor Bloomberg, How About An Ad About Broadway?
First, let me say this . . . I love me some Bloomberg. There’s not much that he’s done in his reign over this city that I’ve disagreed with. Shoot, I’m a Coca-Cola-a-holic, and even I was ok with the proposed ban on the super-size sizes.
In fact, I’m convinced that he’s planning a Presidential run in the next two cycles (switching his political affiliation from Republican to Independent several years ago was the first clue).
And I know we just gave him a Tony Award for his support of the Broadway theater (even though I can’t recall him coming to any opening night or, well, any performances in general as of late, and even though he was a “no-show” at the Tony-Eve Cocktail Party), and I know he’s driven NYC tourism up, and I know he’s helped us with a couple of union negotiations, but I gotta call him and his admin out on a little something.
See the photo in this blog?
It’s an ad from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. It reads . . .
Each year the film and tv production industry generates over $400 million in tax revenue to NYC . . . Filming is good for NYC. Thank you for hosting production in your neighborhood.
It’s true. It’s a good ad. And I get it. With NYC being a bit expensive . . . and with TV/Film shoots heading to Vancouver, Louisiana, and anywhere cheaper (and with tax credits), we’ve got to get a bit aggressive with keeping that revenue and that biz here in the city.
But where’s the Broadway love?
Last I checked, Broadway’s economic impact to this city was 11.2 BILLION BUCKS. B-b-b-billion. As in Warren Buffet like billions.
Broadway is the economic engine of Times Square. We put 30,000 people a day in this 10 block radius. And those are people with cash. Imagine, Mayor Bloomberg, and Commissioner Katherine Oliver, if that dried up. What if there was another dark period? What if Producers stopped producing because it got . . . oh, too risky, too expensive, too difficult to recoup?
Maybe the Broadway industry is the one that should be getting the award. I know we’d show up at the cocktail party.
But the truth is . . . we don’t want a trophy. We don’t even want a thank you ad.
What we want is . . . tax incentives for our investors, tax rebates for production expenses, city-marketing money spent in-other-cities, and yeah, maybe our elected officials coming to our openings every once in awhile.
So you can chase the Film & TV industry all you want. She’s a sexy one, I get it. And she’s got other suitors.
But don’t forget to dance with the one that brung ya.
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So much has changed in our industry . . ….
I get it. No one likes to select a seat…
In late August, I posted something casually on my Instagram…
Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.