Variety Fetes Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Katherine Oliver

Duo honored for their role in revitalizing the city’s entertainment sector

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Variety honored New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Katherine Oliver, the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, at an afternoon cocktail event in Gotham April 24.

The duo was feted for their role in revitalizing the city’s entertainment sector, as were the rest of the 50 luminaries profiled in the April 23 issue of Weekly Variety. Guests celebrated at the Chelsea loft space of post-production firm Company 3, and ranged from the mayor to Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker to Tribeca Film Festival’s Jane Rosenthal to Broadway landlord James L. Nederlander to NBCU’s cable entertainment group’s Bonnie Hammer. Even the weather was up for a party, turning sunny and warm after a chilly, gray, drizzly stretch the prior day.

City leaders had a lot to celebrate, what with 160 feature films shot in Gotham in 2012 and some 25 TV shows shooting there in 2013. The New York entertainment industry provides employment for some 130,000 workers.

They could also toast the ongoing Tribeca Film Festival, the 12th edition of which is running through April 28. Many credit the annual event with helping downtown Manhattan get back on its feet in the wake of 9/11. “I can’t believe it’s the 12th year,” Rosenthal said. “I’m still tired from last year.”

Gerry Byrne, vice-chair of Variety owner PMC, presented Bloomberg and Oliver with framed plaques of a dummy front page of Variety, a riff on the actual cover story for which the duo were cover models. “Being on the cover of Variety is one more thing I share with George Clooney,” the mayor quipped at the podium.

He also tossed around Variety slanguage like a pro. “If I had to use one word to describe our success, it would be ‘boffo,’” he said, before throwing in a “whammo” and an “ankling” for good measure.

He then added, as an aside: “I said, ‘What does ankling mean?’ They said, ‘Use it; it’ll get laughs.’”  It did.