Gotham will take a page out of History

Funds will go to ads, programming, polishing Big Apple

NEW YORK — New York City and the History Channel have partnered in a marketing deal to boost tourism worth $19.5 million to Gotham.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined by History Channel prexy Dan Davids, told a crowd gathered in the Governor’s Room at City Hall, “We need to market New York City more aggressively, and the History Channel partnership will help us do that.”

Money will be divvied up into three allotments.

The largest, $15 million, will go to advertising. Beginning in May, the first of 1,100 to 5,000 30-second spots will air on the History Channel Network (which includes History Intl., History Channel en Espanol and the Biography Channel). Bloomberg praised this aspect of the deal, noting, “We can spend money on advertising without raising taxes.”

The money also will fund NYC’s Official History Center, an information kiosk to be set up at the southwest tip of City Hall Park.

Second allotment, $3.5 million, will go to preservation of monuments and historic homes throughout the boroughs.

The last $1 million will go toward the development of programming for NYC TV. In addition, the History Channel will create educational videos and donate DVDs to public school libraries.

In return for the funding, the History Channel will receive outdoor advertising on bus stops, phone booths and street banners. Channel will also develop bus and trolley tours to city sites.

While answering questions, the mayor compared the partnership to the Olympics and a proposed stadium on the Far West side, suggesting the latter two would be a similar boon to the city.

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