January 30, 2005
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the merger of WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM with NYC TV, the City's Emmy award winning TV network. NYC TV is run by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), which oversees the City's communications infrastructure and resources. Previously, WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM were part of the Department of Education (DOE).
"Over the past three years, the management of NYC TV has changed people's expectations on what they can find on municipal television," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Merging WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM with NYC TV will expand the reach of their New York-themed programming, hopefully bringing more people into the City to take advantage of everything that makes New York City the World's Second Home."
"We are thrilled with the Mayor's decision to integrate WNYE with the City's other media assets, and impressed with the professional nature of the new management. It's good for preserving the voice of the station's community of ethnic programmers and good for New Yorkers," said Elena Maroulleti of Aktina Productions, a local Greek programmer on WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM and President of the Ethnic Broadcasters Action Committee, a group representing the different community voices on WNYE TV and FM.
Traditionally, WNYE-TV has paid for much of the programming on the station. Moving forward, WNYE-TV will instead broadcast NYC TV's Emmy award winning New York City-themed content at no additional cost. Additionally, DoITT has the technical infrastructure to better support WNYE's operation. Transferring WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM from the DOE to DoITT allows the Department of Education to focus on their core mission without spending time and financial resources managing a TV and radio station.
NYC TV started producing its NYC-themed original programming in 2002. The content was designed to inform, entertain and showcase all that's great about New York City - neighborhoods, arts, culture, history and diverse communities. Prior to NYC TV, the City's TV station would show government hearings and meetings, often months after they actually occurred, with no programming schedule for viewers. The creation of NYC TV and the production of its original content has not only earned the network praise from the television community with nine Emmy nominations and two Emmy statues, but has also been extremely helpful for the subjects of its original content. For example, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island credits NYC TV with bringing visitors from outside Staten Island to the Center and many of the local up-and-coming music artists featured on New York Noise credit the show with generating record sales.
Over the past two years, NYC TV has seen its awareness level increase 34.5% and its viewership increase by 46.4%, as measured by a Nielsen Media Research study. WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM reach over 7 million homes in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. NYC TV's five cable channels currently reach 1.8 million cable subscribers in New York City. This new arrangement will allow NYC TV's content to reach over three times as many viewers in the tri-state area.
NYC TV will now oversee one broadcast TV station (WNYE-TV, channel 25), one broadcast radio station (WNYE 91.5 FM) and five cable channels (71, 73, 74, 75, and 93). NYC TV's original programming that promotes New York City will be moved from channel 74 to WNYE-TV channel 25. All of the current community programmers on WNYE-TV will remain on the station. In addition, NYC TV channel 74 will increase the amount of hours dedicated to government themed programming, such as City Council hearings and meetings, announcements made by the Mayor, City Council Speaker and other City officials, and other government programming.
"With NYC TV, we've taken municipal television to new heights," said DoITT Commissioner Gino Menchini. "Similar to the 311 Citizen Service Center and NYC.gov, NYC TV illustrates how the City is using technology to provide New Yorkers with an easy-to-use source of government services and information."
"Merging WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM with NYC TV marks a new direction for the City's TV and radio assets," said NYC TV General Manager Arick Wierson, who will now head both organizations. "With all the assets under one roof, we can better manage our resources and deliver better New York-themed programming to all New York City residents, not just those with a cable connection. We are excited to add programs that are heavily focused on New York City's history, neighborhoods, businesses, people, and diverse cultures."
On February 2, 2005, a new programming lineup will be announced for WNYE-TV and NYC TV 74. The new lineup will debut on Sunday, February 6th. In October of 2004, NYC TV began previewing the latest New York City-related content on WNYE-TV, including Blueprint: New York City, $9.99, What's Cooking At Gracie, Fashion in Focus, Inside the Archives, New York Noise and City Classics.
Edward Skyler / Jonathan Werbell