Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg's plan to run for New York Mayor for another term; the guy is proactive, and knows when to take the bull by the horns. Realizing the impact on his city that all these media layoffs are having, Bloomberg is launching a multi-level plan designed to help the media industry. This will include hiring a consultant to put together a "state of..." report, along with a year-long study conducted by NYC's Economic Development Corporation. The study will include CEO roundtables and workshops designed to generate action steps.
It is interesting that the Bloomberg plan isn't a bailout, but an initiative to help traditional media companies get healthy and adapt to the changing digital universe. The Huffington Post has been identified as a positive sign that the media industry can thrive, and its location in Manhattan is a real plus. As founder Arianna Huffington notes, “What happens is a convergence: It’s not that new media is going to replace old media, but it’s really old media that really moves online.”
We hope the RAB has a seat at this table, and is an active participant in this initiative, because if NYC can get a better handle on how to help "old media" find its digital bearings, this process can impact all of radio. This Bloomberg plan should also be a clarion call to the entire radio industry to consider an initiative of its own; do the research, investigate the landscape, bring in the very best people, put together a plan, fund it properly, and stick to it.