Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 29, 2021

Back in April, when the New York Times announced the opening of a Kansas City bureau, I thought it was a curious move. In an age of tanking revenues, it’s encouraging that the nation’s highest-profile newspaper would expand, versus contract, on-the-ground reportage. But — in Kansas City? Not internationally, not even in boomtown-areas like Florida or Texas — but in the sleepy Midwest? (Along with a sister-opening bureau in Phoenix, which at least makes a bit more sense as ground-zero of the illegal immigration debate.)

This week, the reason for a KC outpost becomes a bit clearer, with the appointment of A.G. Sulzberger as the new bureau’s chief.

Simply put, NYT opened a bureau in the middle of nowhere to serve as on-the-job training for Sulzberger. He’s the scion of the Times’ family ownership, and he needs experience in actually running a news operation (versus just beat reporting, which is what he’s been doing to this point). So the company’s set up, essentially, a franchise operation for the next generation of ownership to hone the family-business skills.

A curious justification for ramping up a satellite office. I’m sure KC’s pay scales and infrastructure are modest enough to make this a low-risk venture. Still, I can’t see a hotbed of news experience coming out of this setup.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/29/2010 07:11pm
Category: New Yorkin', Publishing
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Gary Coleman is now dead, but his “Avenue Q” character lives on:

“Avenue Q,” which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2004, as well as Tonys for [writer Jeff] Whitty and the composers, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, has included a character called Gary Coleman since its debut.

Introduced in the show’s opening number, “It Sucks to Be Me,” the character (who is played by a woman) identifies himself as the former child star who “made a lot of money that got stolen by my folks.”

Now he works as the superintendent in the tenement where the show’s puppet and human characters live, and he often reminds them that, as bad as their lives may seem, his is much worse. (“Try having people stopping you to ask you, ‘What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’ ” he sings. “It gets old.”)

After some debate and a little tweaking, this character will remain on the stage. In pop-cultural terms, maybe that’s more of a sign of respect for the deceased. It’s certainly a case of diff’rent strokes for different folks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/29/2010 04:56pm
Category: Celebrity, New Yorkin', Pop Culture, TV
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