- Last Updated: 3:14 AM, May 9, 2012
- Posted: 12:14 AM, May 9, 2012
Finally, Mayor Bloomberg got top billing on the set of “Saturday Night Live.”
The mayor, who has never been asked to host “SNL” in his decade at City Hall, yesterday stood alongside one of the show’s stars, Seth Meyers, for an announcement on the city’s booming media industry.
“I don’t think offended is the right word,” the mayor quipped to the reporters, who peppered him with questions about never hosting the show.
“Here, we’ll give you a headline: deeply hurt.”
By the sixth time the same question had been raised, an exasperated Bloomberg turned to Meyers and pleaded, “Seth, you want to have the last word on this topic?”
“I feel like today has just been a sting operation to trick me to ask the mayor to host the show,” Meyers responded.
In between the jokes, the mayor and his film chief, Katherine Oliver, got serious about the growth of an industry that now employs 275,000 people and generates $80 billion in economic activity.
The city has added 40,000 media jobs over the past decade — about what the rest of the nation has lost.
“Without a doubt, our booming media and entertainment industry is one of the main reasons we have weathered the national recession better than most of the rest of the country,” said Bloomberg.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group showed that just about every sector of the industry in New York has gained jobs since 2002. On average, those jobs in 2010 paid $111,000, compared to the city average of $78,000.
TV and film production was especially strong, generating $7.1 billion in direct spending, or $2 billion more than in 2002.
Providing another bright spot, NBC-Universal announced yesterday it would invest about $190 million to upgrade its New York operations at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and elsewhere in the city.
Kathy Wylde, president of the New York City Partnership, the city’s leading business organization, said the administration and the industry alike deserve credit for the boom.
“The industry has been very pro-active,” she said. “They’re much better than other industries in understanding public policy can be developed in ways to support the industry.”
The press conference took on an odd aura when a tour group passed by and watched the proceedings on the Grand Central Terminal set of “SNL.”
By the end, Bloomberg had gotten into the spirit of the occasion.
He mentioned how his stint on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show had boosted its ratings.
“I’ll just let Seth listen to this, and he can make his own decision [about an invite to host “SNL”],” the mayor said.