Throughout the pandemic, the media industry shut down across the globe — and that impact was felt especially in New York.
"As we emerge from the pandemic, we wanted to do something for this great city, right?" said Maureen Reidy, president and CEO of non-profit The Paley Center for Media. "A tribute to New York City — the media capital of the world — to celebrate the industry that gives billions in economic impact to the city and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs."
According to the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the film and TV sector created about 185,000 jobs, $18.1 billion in wages, and $81.6 billion in total economic output in 2019. After halting due to COVID-19, it's bouncing back and hit pre-pandemic levels of activity in August 2021. Since then, it's only continued to grow.
And to celebrate the media, entertainment, and sports comeback, The Paley Center for Media threw a block party in midtown Manhattan.
It invited the public to visit its headquarters to play video games and see special exhibits including the "crown jewels" of American sports: top trophies from the MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL. The celebration spilled out into the streets, from Nickelodeon bringing out a slime station to NASCAR and Formula E inviting the public to check out its cars. Xbox, Nintendo, and Meta's Oculus invited people to play with its latest tech, and the classic gameshow The Price is Right brought a mobile version of the game to the masses. The weekend event also hosted the premiere for AMC's Interview with the Vampire as well as East New York from CBS.
"Never before has our mission been more vital as now," Reidy said. "Media has been the undisputed connector to not only a nation but a world in these unprecedented times."
The programming was a sampling of the events that Paley throws throughout the year, as a way to represent the media, gaming, entertainment and sports industries. While it was all fun and games, Reidy hopes PaleyWKND can remind people of the power these business have in bringing people together.
"We find ourselves in these unique times where the media can really shine a light on important social issues and sort of start important conversations — and so that's our main mission," she said.
Disclosure: Dexter Goei, the executive chairman of the board of directors for the parent company of Cheddar News, Altice USA, is a Paley Center trustee.