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New York City to Get A ‘Nighttime Mayor’ This Month

HOST INTRO: New York City – the city that never sleeps – is about to get a nighttime mayor. The position’s officially called Director of Nightlife. And, as Patricia Yacob [YAY-cub] reports, part of the goal is to bring more of the city’s clubs and music venues back to life. :12

YACOB 1: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new Director of Nightlife position in September. (:04)

SOUND: DE BLASIO “The office will be led by someone who will undoubtedly be more popular than me and will wield tremendous power, the nightlife mayor.” (:07)

YACOB 2: The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment found that  20% of the city’s music venues have been closed in the last 15 years. ( :07)

SULLIVAN 1: Oh my god how many venues have we lost just since I’ve moved to New York City? There’s all the classic ones, CBGBs and Glasslands, but then the underground ones, Shay Stadium. It’s almost harder now to find something fun to do in New York even though there’s more going on then there ever has been. (:15)

YACOB 3: Brendan Sullivan is one of the candidates interviewing for the new nighttime mayor position. (:04)

SULLIVAN 2: No one was out there to protect them, no one was saying, ‘you know what, you’re a very important function of our New York City economy,’ (:05 )

YACOB 4: The city estimates that these nighttime businesses bring about about $21 billion annually. The nighttime and music economy supports 300,000 jobs across the five boroughs and the sale of 5 million tickets per year.  The city says the nighttime mayor will help streamline the process of  opening a nightclub and finding ways to cut back on some of the costs. Brendan Sullivan understands what’s hard about operating one of these clubs. (:16)

SULLIVAN 3: If your landlord is not raising the rent and you do have a comfortable space, maybe you’re just getting so many business fines for things you think might be more manageable. The health department, sanitation, things like that. It’s just really, really hard to run a small business in New York City these days. (:15)

YACOB 5: Other major cities like London, Paris, and Amsterdam already have night time mayors. They work to resolve problems venues have related to crime, noise complaints, and making sure that venues keep everything up to code. (:11)

PETROV 1: It’s culture right? People will travel for this so it’ll draw more tourists. (:04)

YACOB 6: Dmitry Petrov is a communications manager at Lifestyle — a company that helps match artists and talent with venues. He says a lot of the resistance is noise complaints from neighbors, especially in areas that were not accustomed to the nighttime scene. Some of the warehouse venues Petrov uses are in quieter neighborhood like Sunset Park in Brooklyn. He understands the neighbor’s wariness. (:15)

PETROV 2: You know, all of a sudden, these are sleepy communities warehouses are in and then thousands of party goers show up and like start being rowdy in the street, so it’s understandable why people don’t want it. That’s the biggest challenge I would say. (:12)

YACOB 7: Brendan Sullivan is grateful to New York’s late-night scene for providing a space for him and less well-known artists to test things out. He used to DJ with Lady Gaga on Rivington Street in the Lower East Side more than a decade ago. He knows what it means to have a space to do your thing. (:14)

SULLIVAN 3: That’s where we really felt like we had a place that was our own. We could be misfits, we could do something that wasn’t mainstream and we could still find ways to practice and get better at what we were doing. (0:15)

YACOB 8: Sullivan doesn’t know how many other people are up for the job of Director of Nightlife and he won’t know until later this month when the city makes the announcement.  

They’re also expected to appoint a 12-person nightlife advisory board this month. Patricia Yacob, Columbia Radio News. (:16)


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