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June 25th, 2003, 05:47 PM
“NYC TV is a cornerstone of my administration’s efforts to provide the public with up to the minute information and an up-close look at their government as it makes decisions that affect their lives,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “NYC TV’s contribution to the City doesn’t stop there; the network also provides the City with revenue through leased time programming and sponsorships. And with their new original programming and expanded lineup, NYC TV is a fun and educational resource for all New Yorkers.”

“NYC TV is dedicated to New York City, its people and personalities, its history and traditions, its neighborhoods and communities, and it rich arts and culture,” said Gino Menchini, Commissioner of DoITT. “With the 311 Citizen Service Center, NYC.gov and now NYC TV, we are making government more accessible to every New Yorker.”
Official Site (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nyctv/home.html)

July 14th, 2003, 05:50 AM
July 14, 2003

New From City Hall, TV Worth Watching


It is safe to assume that the person who sat in bed last Monday night plowing through a pint of Ben & Jerry's while watching "For Love or Money" on NBC would not have been easily lured by the City Council proclamation ceremony broadcast at the same time on NYC TV.

But NYC TV, which has replaced Crosswalks Television as New York City's cable station, is trying hard to bring professionalism and a soupçon of hipness to the world of low-cost government television.

It is not simple — the staple fare of municipal television is dominated by Council hearings on waste management, mayoral news conferences, traffic reports and the like. But creative new programming, slick graphics and cutaway shots of celebrities like Hugh Grant peppered in between views of the Van Wyck Expressway at rush hour are part of the attempt to transform a once earnest but arid station into a more relevant and cooler draw for people interested in the inner workings of the city.

"In its former form, Crosswalks was virtually unwatchable," said Gino P. Menchini, the city's information technology commissioner, who oversees the city's television stations. "It was poorly produced and had the opposite effect in bringing people in. Now, while we still give appropriate attention to gavel-to-gavel City Council hearings, there is a mix of programming that is interesting and supports the broader mission of the city."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's distaste for television is so profound that his aides have to tell him about his own coverage. He has yet to see an episode of "The Sopranos."

But he has thrown his support behind the scrappy new station, which embodies some of his favorite themes: doing more with less, improving agencies through technology and letting New Yorkers peek under the hood of the customer-service side of government.

Crosswalks' face-lift comes after the introduction of 311, the city's new central hot line, and a new look for New York's Web site.

"All of these initiatives follow Mayor Bloomberg's mandate to open up government and make it easily accessible to all New Yorkers," said Vincent La Padula, the senior adviser to the mayor.

Random programming that once was shown on Crosswalks in no apparent order has been replaced with a schedule of rotating programs. New programs, like "$9.99," which explores inexpensive ways to pass the day in the city, and a show from the TriBeCa Film Festival spice up the mix. News conferences and hearings are now live.

"I think they have done an incredible job of revamping what was a very old sort of irrelevant television station," said Shelly Palmer, a trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "Now it actually calls attention to itself. Yeah, it does have a `made with loving hands at home' aesthetic value, but they have taken it to a street look, which is more relevant to contemporary culture. It is young and fresher."

Last year, Mr. Menchini turned his attention to the city's five cable stations, which are available to the 1.8 million cable subscribers in the five boroughs. The portfolio includes NYC TV 71, which broadcasts Off-Track Betting programming, and NYC TV 73, which features more OTB programming and "leased" content, like Chinese soap operas and other ethnic programming. The leased shows help pay for the other stations, which under the public television laws cannot accept advertising.

CUNY TV 75 broadcasts City University of New York programming, and NYC TV 93 features "Digital Magazine," an electronic bulletin board of local events and government information.

But the flagship station, Channel 74, is where the city puts its creative resources to work. Still, the station will not be mistaken for MTV. Even the coolest of packaging, like the modern orange logo, surrounds what is essentially highly nerdy fare on a public-service station: for instance, hours of live scenes from streets around the city, in a program called "City Drive Live," which is meant to keep drivers up to speed on traffic conditions.

But for people who want to learn more about how New York City works, or about its history, the channel offers much. There is "City Classics," which features vintage documentaries, news conferences, speeches and other historical clips culled from New York's extensive archives. The clips can be interesting, like that of Muhammad Ali sparring on the steps of City Hall, and of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's fiery 1972 speech at City College.

"City Classics" also reveals how little some things change in New York City, even as its physical landscape has been transformed. Mayor John V. Lindsay, his polls in the tank, held cranky news conferences in the Blue Room at City Hall — it seems the only real difference between those conferences and today's is the height of the man in power.

And there is video of a 1976 news conference held in front of a mobile home that was parked at City Hall to protest a property tax hike. It could have been filmed this year, except for the fetching if inexplicable hat worn by one of the female protesters, the sort rarely seen outside church these days.

Other programming includes "Executive Breakfast," a replay of talks given by government officials and business leaders in New York; "Cultural Corners," which gives the lowdown on arts and entertainment supported by the city; and "$9.99," about inexpensive activities in areas ranging from Lower Manhattan to Long Island City. (It is not impossible that Julie Laipply, the host of "$9.99," can do for Steinway Street what Maria Bartiromo did for convertible bonds.)

Most of the programs offer a hefty dose of city boosterism. Anyone for "Parade Town USA," a Sunday morning program that replays the many ethnic parades around the city?

And sometimes, the shoestring budget is evident in poor sound quality during events taped outdoors. Much of the programming is done on location, because the only studio in the Municipal Building consists of a blue piece of fabric and a stool where stand-up shots are done, and a closet (literally) where commissioners and others record their public-service announcements, which run frequently on NYC TV.

This production office, as well as the studio on the CUNY campus in the Bronx where the shows are actually broadcast from, will be moved into 11 Metrotech in Brooklyn by early next year.

But Arick Wierson and Seth Unger, who run the station on an annual budget of $1.5 million, have found many ways to make the most of their resources. For "$9.99," for instance, the station draws heavily on city agencies to provide the preproduction work and content about things like parks, museums and other attractions. "City Drive Live" uses traffic cameras already being used by the Department of Transportation.

Volunteers do things like the stand-up shots during "City Drive Live," praising the virtues of the MetroCard or giving other traffic tips.

NYC TV staff members have been known to corner celebrities at events to get them to do promotions, which are shown frequently and provide a Hollywood twist. And the station is connected with local universities and a professional group of computer and video artists who provide technical training for the staff in exchange for broadcast time for their short, often quirky pieces on life in New York, like a clip about a man who paints windows for stores and restaurants.

Mr. Wierson, taking cues from Mayor Bloomberg, is also seeking corporate sponsorship much the way other public television stations do, and he has tried to use new technology to save time and money. For example, a camera operator used to spend half a day driving film to the studio in the Bronx, but Mr. Wierson found a way to transmit the material electronically.

NYC TV is clearly aiming for an audience outside of those obsessed with government. In one promotion, a woman is seen moving from her bathroom and its upscale grooming products into an expensive suit and off into a cab, apparently to be a guest on "Executive Breakfast."

"It was a crazy notion that New York City's television station should be boring," said Mr. Unger. "NYC TV's mission is to inform while being entertaining and interesting."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 8th, 2003, 01:27 AM
October 8, 2003

City TV, for the Aging, the Hip and the Frugal


Even as the networks roll out their big-budget fall lineups, a local cable station is trying to compete with the new shows on everything from fashion trends and hip musicians to issues facing older New Yorkers.

And it is all happening courtesy of your city government.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday announced the fall schedule for NYC TV, the official television network of New York City. It will include the debut of five original programs, and the return of shows like "$9.99," which features city activities costing no more than $9.99.

The expanded programming is part of the city's continuing efforts to transform the previously dull world of government television with shows even the mayor can stand to watch. (Mr. Bloomberg has made no secret of his distaste for television.)

Mr. Bloomberg has put his support behind reinventing the city's cable station, a venture that embodies some of his favorite themes, like accomplishing more with less, improving services through technology and giving New Yorkers a glimpse of the inner workings of government.

In a press release, the mayor said the new programming was "a continuation of my commitment to using NYC TV as an innovative window into city government, and giving New Yorkers information they can really use."

NYC TV, which replaced Crosswalks NYC this summer, consists of five channels that are available to 1.8 million cable subscribers in the five boroughs. Besides the new shows, it also broadcasts conventional government fare, like mayoral press conferences and City Council meetings.

Arick Wierson, the station's general manager, said the central theme of the programs was city government and its services. "By showcasing all aspects of local government, viewers will not only be able to follow the events at City Hall, but the services that the city provides," he said. "Our mission is to educate New Yorkers about their city and encourage them to take full advantage of it."

Jonathan Werbell, a spokesman for the mayor, said that most of the new shows cost relatively little to produce because they take advantage of city resources or city-based events, in some cases in partnership with city agencies.

For instance, one new show called "Inside the Archives" will display photographs culled from the city's Department of Records and Information Services. Many of the photos will be available to the public for the first time, and the show will provide information on how to buy them.

"Fashion in Focus" will show interviews and other material previously shot backstage during the city's annual Fashion Week, and will include discussion of issues facing the fashion industry, while "New York Noise" will showcase music from upcoming New York-based artists. In "Coming of Age," Edwin Méndez-Santiago, the commissioner of the Department for the Aging, will be the host of discussions about aging issues.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 12th, 2003, 09:51 PM
October 13, 2003


Civics With Celebrities and a Techno Beat


The new fall season on television bristles with radical change. The best-paid stars of the ABC series "The Practice" were all fired. Aaron Sorkin left "The West Wing" on NBC, leaving his White House in the hands of new writers determined to ramp up the sex and violence.

And "Crosswalks," New York City's cable television station, is now called NYC TV and has gone Hollywood.

Suddenly, the numbingly prosaic municipal channel looks and sounds like a civic-minded MTV. There are dizzying graphics, celebrity cameos, rock concerts, fashion shows and jauntily abbreviated news-you-can-use updates. "City Drive Live," a look at the rush hours through the lenses of Department of Transportation traffic surveillance cameras, has pulsing music and a blurred, artsy appearance. (It is not always entirely clear whether the graphic "Gowanus at Hamilton" refers to an expressway or the title of an Abstract Expressionist painting.)

Even a stately display of black-and-white photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge under construction on the new series "From the Archives" is punctuated by bracing techno-groove music. NYC TV publicists proudly describe the funky slide show as "audio-visual wallpaper."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who says he never watches television but gave his blessing to the makeover, certainly has no reason to feel ashamed. The city channel was always a mayoral boosterism machine, but NYC TV's new shows are well packaged and imaginatively produced.

NYC TV Channel 74 is the flagship of the city's five cable channels. (NYC TV 71, for example, provides Off-Track Betting information.) It has not gotten rid of its core material — gavel-to-gavel coverage of City Council hearings and mayoral news conferences.

Instead, it has sifted through its vast archives and impenetrable city agency files. For instance, an advertisement for the new feature "City Classics," which consists of reruns of vintage news conferences and awards ceremonies, is a shot of an aging Johnny Weissmuller performing his trademark Tarzan yell at City Hall in the 1970's. The graphic reads: "It's a jungle in here."

"$9.99" is a perky advice show on how to enjoy the city's offerings for less than $10 a day. A look at free fun in Midtown, presented by Maryam Basir, stretched a little — she recommended a free tour of Grand Central Terminal, which seemed mainly to consist of a zany guide standing at a track and impersonating a commuter. The real draw in the show might have been Grande Harvest Wine, a shop opposite Track 17 that holds frequent free wine tastings.

Viewers of "$9.99" may know that the Whitney Museum of American Art offers free admission to its gallery of contemporary art at 120 Park Avenue, at 42nd Street, but many New Yorkers may not know about the Jan Krugier Gallery at 41 East 57th Street, which does not charge visitors who want to see its collection of 19th- and 20th-century masters, including Chagall and Picasso.

The oddest series in the new fall lineup on NYC TV is "City Classics." Some old film clips have obvious appeal — City Hall appearances by Muhammad Ali and Alfred Hitchcock. But the material is presented as is, without commentary or updates.

On Friday, for example, "City Classics" will present a 1966 documentary made by Mayor John V. Lindsay's office: an account of the All Sports Youth Festival, a competition that brought hundreds of public school children, most of them black, to New York City in August of that year. The context is glaringly obvious, yet unmentioned: the event came only two long, hot summers after race riots in Harlem, and one summer after the 1965 Watts riot in Los Angeles, in which more than 30 people died and more than 1,000 were injured. Mayor Lindsay, in khakis and a short-sleeved plaid shirt, is showcased saluting the benefits of physical exercise in a black-and-white documentary that was narrated like an old-fashioned newsreel. There were track meets, a trip to Yankee Stadium and a banquet provided by Old London Foods.

In some ways, the film cries out for commentary and updates — even for the recollections of those who were once young athletes from the poor areas of Boston, Washington and Brooklyn. But regular television, from PBS to the History Channel, is crammed with knowing looks at American social history.

NYC TV provides a different service — a chance to look at old material as it was seen then, without the benefit of hindsight or interpretive editing.

It is not a bad use of the city's cable station.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 8th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Couldn't find a thread about this.
NYC TV, the city-funded TV channel that showcases and highlights everything about New York, is tremendous. I was wondering if anyone else on the forum enjoys it as much as I.
I love the show "Cool In Your Code", they go to neighborhoods all over the five boroughs and show all sorts of unsung attractions and businesses. "Secrets of New York" is another great one, where they go to places we usually don't or can't see.
I heard some of the shows have actually become popular in other places.
The production is slick and fast paced, the on-air personalities are charismatic and diverse. What a class act.

December 8th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Post some channels it comes on for the cable companies/dish networks in the area.

I don't think I have seen it, but I am on Cablevision (NJ) so I don't know if it is available....

December 8th, 2006, 03:22 PM
Yer in luck...

WNYE TV, New York
Comcast NJ: 25
Cablevision: 22
Over the Air Rabbit Ears: 25
Over the Air DTV: 25.1
Time Warner Cable: 25
RCN: 25
Dish TV: 25
Direct TV: 888

WVVH, Hamptons TV
Cablevision: 78
Over the Air Rabbit Ears: 50

December 9th, 2006, 02:20 PM
I love NYC TV! I love "Cool in Your Code" "Secrets of New York" and the Music show "The Bridge" Though you gotta stay up late to see that. :p Most of all, I love Kelly Choi.


Man, she is HOT!

December 9th, 2006, 02:46 PM
Yeah, she's a hot tamale, that one! I actually saw her a few months ago in Soho, she was crossing Broadway as I was crossing in the other direction.
Eat Out New York is great. Tell me she doesn't have an awesome job, going all around the city tasting scrumptious things!

March 28th, 2007, 09:39 AM
Yes Kelly and her cohorts on the channel certainly spicen things up, but check out all the Emmy awards the network is up for. Here is a recent interview with Network execs Amy Palmer, Trevor Scotland, and Arick Wierson.