This year, NY1 celebrates an important anniversary: we’ve been the preeminent source for hyper-local news and political analysis in New York City for 25 years. As with any major milestone, we have taken stock of where we’ve been and where we want to go.
New Yorkers are creatures of habit. We wake up every morning and get coffee from the same corner stand and order our favorite deli sandwich by number for lunch. And we know where we like to get our news, traffic, and weather.
While NY1 is undergoing some important changes, our commitment to providing New Yorkers with breaking news, unique features, and unmatched local beat reporting remains the heart and soul of our operation. Reporter Errol Lewis will continue delivering his hard-hitting interviews on Inside City Hall. More than any other program in New York City, Inside City Hall drives conversations about local politics that New Yorkers want and need to know about. Popular lifestyle show Whipple’s World will still be covering the celebrities that call New York home and On Stage has been reinvigorated to rave reviews from some of Broadway’s boldest names. And our viewers will continue to drink their morning coffee with Pat Kiernan and “In the Papers.”
However, a lot has changed in 25 years. Brooklyn became the hippest place in the nation and the subway is finally running under Second Avenue. In the age of the Internet, New Yorkers are inundated with instantaneous information courtesy of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
Simply put, NY1’s audience has grown and changed like the city itself and we must find ways to keep up with our viewers and remain an essential part of their daily lives.
Recent changes at NY1 are driven by a desire to serve our audience better, not by a need to save money. All our resources are being devoted back into the channel’s news operation and we will be maintaining, or even increasing, the number of employees.
What we believe NY1 can and should be doing is investing more in producing programming that gives our audience a deeper understanding of the issues and events impacting their lives.
Last month we launched a new 30-minute weekly public affairs program, In Focus, hosted by award-winning anchor Cheryl Wills. Each week, Cheryl leads a roundtable discussion with newsmakers, opinion leaders and elected officials on issues impacting the lives of New Yorkers. One recent episode examined the future of affordable housing in New York City with Delsenia Glover, the Director of Education at the Alliance for Tenant Power, and Queens City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.
We’re excited about our future plans. In addition to adding more live news coverage, we will create new long form and original programming that will allow our journalists to pursue work that matters. This includes a hyperlocal newsmagazine show that will feature in-depth investigations by dedicated medical, consumer and crime units as well as lifestyle features such as a search for the most exotic foods and interviews between influential New Yorkers. NY1 will also produce high-impact documentaries focusing on timely issues like immigration and widespread problems in the $1 billion fund for Hurricane Sandy victims. These thought-provoking pieces will be paired with Town Hall style events and panel discussions with public officials and community leaders to explore the impact of these meaningful issues in New York City.
In the City that Never Sleeps, neither does NY1. Some of these changes will take time to implement, but we are committed to making them happen as quickly as possible so we can serve our viewers better. We are proud to have served New Yorkers for our first 25 years and are confident in our ability to serve them with the same unwavering commitment and quality news programming over the next 25 years.