As the Bloomberg administration heads into its final lap, judgements, accolades and a few brickbats have become airborne. Though it might come across as more of a hagiography, in the accolade department is New York Observer’s Page One tribute to MOME’s Katherine Oliver. Oliver is a non-stop exec who once did duty as an on-air personality for Bloomberg Television and Radio. She’s made the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment into a relevant part of the City’s film and video production scene, and taken it to new heights of influence. As per Drew Grant’s article, she’s become Bloomberg’s $70 Billion Woman.
This isn’t just The Observer’s opinion, of course, as Variety is among the other journals to acknowledge her Bloomberg-like focus on using technology to deliver the basics of what a good media office should be able to do, such as making shooting permit applications simple and quick to do. That wasn’t always the case pre-Oliver. As she notes in The Observer’s article, the Mayor’s Office didn’t even have a computerized approach to this most basic operation. Pre-Oliver, this sleepy department still processed each permit by hand, with staff clacking away on electric typewriters.
So let’s celebrate Katherine Oliver. Who knows how the next commissioner will handle this important office…
Here’s a taste of The Observer’s article. Click this link for the full version.
New York is the New Hollywood, Thanks to Bloomberg’s $70 Billion Woman
On a stormy June evening, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood inside a tent on the edge of Gracie Mansion. Despite the thunder and lightning, the mayor was all smiles as he shared the stage with such luminaries as Barbara Walters, Spike Lee and the Weinstein brothers. It was the eighth annual Made in NY Awards, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, or MOME (rhymes with “home”), and the event was ostensibly a time to celebrate those in the entertainment industry.
Apparently, that included Mayor Bloomberg.
“About four years ago, we had a little bump in the road, and I called our mayor,” Harvey Weinstein said, stepping up to the mic. “I said, ‘Things are a little topsy-turvy right now. People need jobs in California, but we don’t want to leave New York City.’ And the mayor, extremely busy as he was … got it done for us.”
As if a government official pulling strings for a high-powered movie executive somehow constituted a win for the little guy, Mr. Weinstein continued his anecdote, thundering: “The mayor’s there in a big way, and the mayor’s there in a visual way!”
Mr. Bloomberg gave his best aw-shucks grin. Standing right next to him was Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of MOME. Wearing a see-through black mesh dress with a neon pink slip, she beamed with even brighter wattage—and rightly so. During her tenure as commissioner, NYC has ascended to unprecedented heights as an entertainment-industry destination, resulting in the funneling of $70 billion in direct funds to the city…