Study shows production coined N.Y. $5 bil

Gotham's got gelt

NEW YORK — TV, film and commercial production contributed $5 billion to the Gotham economy in 1999, according to a surprising study released Tuesday by the New York City Investment Fund and the Gotham comptroller’s office.

The figure is twice the $2.5 billion estimate from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting — traditionally the yardstick for measuring the scope and volume of New York production. The report, “Building New York’s Visual Media Industry for the Digital Age,” was released at a morning news conference at NBC studios.

Henry Kravis, a founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and chair of the New York City Investment Fund, was joined by a delegation of representatives of both the private and public sector, including comptroller Alan G. Hevesi and Mayor’s Office commissioner Patricia Scott.

Fastest-growing sectors

“The visual media, both traditional and digital, are one of the most vibrant and fastest-growing sectors in New York City’s economy,” Hevesi said. “The city must carefully review the solid proposals in this study that will help us maintain and expand on our current leadership position.”

Unlike the Mayor’s Office statistics, based solely on permitted production activity, the new study, prepared by the Boston Consulting Group, encompasses stage work and interior locations, and unpermitted pre- and post-production activity, and therefore may prove a more reliable gauge of industry spending.

The Boston Consulting Group report also revealed that the visual media accounts for more than 70,000 jobs in Gotham, and, relying on statistics previously compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the New York New Media Assn., noted that digital media contributes an additional $5 billion and 100,000 jobs to the city economy.

In an effort to further boost Gotham production, participants in the study have formed a new organization: the New York Visual Media Alliance, a group of film, TV, Internet and financial companies.

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