Be Loyal To Local News

Submitted by ub on Mon, 03/29/2021 - 08:03

The Northeast News in Kansas City sent a powerful message by running a blank front page and asking readers to consider a future without a local news source. 

The message was loud and clearly sent that Democracy not only dies in darkness but also if local news is allowed to diminish.

It was twenty years ago that I left my family in the west to return to NYC and build a 24-hour hyper-local cable news channel in America’s poorest Congressional district and predominantly Latino community. News12 The Bronx was the brainchild of America’s richest Irishman, my new boss man, billionaire, and USA visionary Chuck Dolan.

Until then, The Bronx was best known for Yankee Stadium, the home field of The Bronx bombers, The Bronx Zoo, The New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill wooded paths, and a cultural center.

Once we built, recruited, trained, and launched this multimillion-dollar gem, the format was all things local about and for the only NYC borough attached to the mainland of the USA.

From the moment we announced, in 1997, The Bronx was designated an All America City by the National Civic League, acknowledging its comeback from the decline of the mid-century. In 2006, The New York Times reported that "construction cranes have become the borough's new visual metaphor, replacing the window decals of the 1980s in which pictures of potted plants and drawn curtains were placed in the windows of abandoned buildings." The borough has experienced substantial new building construction since 2002. Between 2002 and June 2007, 33,687 new units of housing were built or were underway and $4.8 billion has been invested in new housing. In the first six months of 2007 alone total investment in new residential development was $965 million and 5,187 residential units were scheduled to be completed. Much of the new development is springing up in formerly vacant lots across the South Bronx.

Then along came a revitalization of the existing housing market in areas such as Hunts Point, the Lower Concourse, and the neighborhoods surrounding the Third Avenue Bridge as people buy apartments and renovate them. Also, boutique and chain hotels opened in the 2010s in the South Bronx.

The Bronx includes several small islands along the East River and Long Island Sound, such as City Island where I live and the global headquarters of #CityImages and Hart IslandRikers Island in the East River, home to the large jail complex for the entire city, is also part of The Boogie Down Bronx. The birthplace of Hip-Hop.

A 24-hour cable news channel focusing on local news helped this happen and no one can ever dispute these hard development facts.