New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Julie Menin as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Menin, a highly regarded lawyer, activist and consumer advocate, campaigned for Manhattan Borough President in the last election and has served since then as Commissioner of Consumer Affairs. She takes over as the agency “expands its work to encompass the full scope of the industry, including advertising, digital distribution channels, and music,” according to the announcement released Tuesday morning. News of the appointment was first reported Monday night by Variety.
Menin replaces Cynthia Lopez, who has headed the office since April 2014, but resigned abruptly in August. She was replaced on an interim bases by First Deputy Commissioner Luis Castro, a former HBO programming executive.
“Julie Menin is an outstanding choice to lead the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corp said in the announcement. “She appreciates our industry’s needs and communities’ priorities and will be a strong partner with the entire industry to produce more projects and create more jobs in New York.”
“The Mayor’s appointment of an experienced and effective Commissioner and the agency’s broader focus reflects the media industry’s growing importance as a key component of New York City’s economy,” the announcement continued, “which creates tens thousands of good-paying jobs, utilizes a skilled and diverse workforce, brings economic development to neighborhoods across all five boroughs and promotes New York’s distinct culture to people across the world.
“Julie has shown time and again that she is a highly effective leader who has the skills and passion to get the job done for New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “As DCA Commissioner, Julie saved everyday New Yorkers thousands of dollars, reduced fines on small businesses and spearheaded campaigns to uplift NYC’s residents in all five boroughs. I have the utmost confidence she will bring that same spark and commitment to MOME as it grows its reach in the media and entertainment community.”
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to drive economic growth with this new and expanded portfolio – from film to music, TV to advertising – and as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, I look forward to supporting the 130,000 New Yorkers who are employed through this industry and to strengthening the City’s engagement with the media and entertainment sector, which generates almost $9 billion of economic activity in the city each year,” said Menin.
With Menin’s appointment, the agency will amplify its efforts to support and strengthen the city’s media and entertainment economy. In addition to film and television, she will lead the Administration’s outreach to digital content and distribution companies, the advertising industry, and will broaden the office’s engagement with the Broadway and off-Broadway theater communities. Menin will work to leverage private and public sector real estate assets to drive continued growth across all sectors of the media and entertainment economy. NYC Media will also report to her.
New York City’s filmed entertainment industry now contributes $8.7 billion to the local economy, according to the announcement, an increase of more than 1.5 billion, or 21%, since 2011. Full-time equivalent jobs in the city’s industry have grown 10%, from 94,000 to 104,000 over the last four years, according to an independent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group that details the growth and economic impact of New York City’s media and entertainment industries. According to BCG’s report, New York City is one of only three cities in the world with a filming community large enough to enable a production to be made without needing any roles to be brought in from other locations, including cast, crew members, and the creative team.
“I have had the great pleasure of working with Julie Menin for over fourteen years on Tribeca, during her time as a dedicated public servant and leading catalyst in redeveloping Lower Manhattan. Julie has consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of the entertainment industry and citywide community needs, while also focusing on economic development priorities. Julie is creative and solution driven and I am confident that under her leadership our industry will continue to innovate, grow and flourish,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival; Producer and Tribeca Enterprises co-chair.
George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, said, “Julie Menin has been a responsive and innovative commissioner at the Department of Consumer Affairs. She is a great fit for this new position and we look forward to working with her to support New York’s film and television industry and the thousands of middle-class jobs it provides.”