The media of New York City are internationally influential and include some of the most important newspapers, largest publishing houses, biggest record companies, and most prolific television studios in the world. It is a major global center for the book and magazine publishing, music, newspaper, and television industries.
New York is also the largest media market in North America (followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto). Some of the city's media conglomerates include the Hearst Corporation, NBCUniversal, The New York Times Company, the News Corporation, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, Time Warner, and Viacom. Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks are headquartered in New York. Three of the "Big Four" record labels are also headquartered or co-headquartered in the city. One-third of all American independent films are produced in New York. More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city and the book-publishing industry employs about 25,000 people.
Two of the three national daily newspapers in the United States are The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Major tabloid newspapers in the city include the Daily News and the New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. The city also has a major ethnic press, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages. El Diario La Prensa is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation. The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a prominent African-American newspaper. The Village Voice is the largest alternative newspaper.
The television industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city's economy. The four major American broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, are all headquartered in New York. Many cable channels are based in the city as well, including MTV, Fox News, HBO and Comedy Central. In 2005 there were more than 100 television shows taped in New York City.
New York is also a major center for non-commercial media. The oldest public-access cable television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971. WNET is the city's major public television station and a primary provider of national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) programming. WNYC, a public radio station owned by the city until 1997, has the largest public radio audience in the United States. The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, nyctv, that produces several original New York Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods, as well as city Government-access television (GATV).
New York City is home to a number of major online media companies, including AOL and some of its major holdings, including the Huffington Post and Weblogs, Inc.; as well as BuzzFeed and Gawker Media.
The book publishing industry in the United States is based in New York. Publishing houses in the city range from industry giants such as Penguin Group (USA), HarperCollins, Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster to small niche houses like Melville House and Lee & Low Books. New York has also been the setting for countless works of literature, many of them produced by the city’s large population of writers (which have included Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Lethem, John O'Hara, Dorothy Parker, Thomas Pynchon, Susan Sontag and many others). The New York City metro area, home to the largest number of Jews outside Israel, has also been a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.
New York is also home to PEN American Center, the largest of the 141 centers of International PEN, the world’s oldest human rights organization and the oldest international literary organization. PEN American Center plays an important role in New York's literary community and is active in defending free speech, the promotion of literature, and the fostering of international literary fellowship. Author Salman Rushdie is its current president.
Some of the most important literary journals in the United States are in New York. These include The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, n+1, and New York Quarterly. Other New York literary publications include Circumference, Open City, The Manhattan Review, The Coffin Factory, Fence, and Telos. New York is also home to the US offices of Granta.
New York's film industry is much smaller than that of Hollywood, but its billions of dollars in revenue makes it an important part of the city's economy and places it as the second largest center for the film industry in the United States. It is also a growth sector; according to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting New York City attracted over 250 independent and studio films in 2005, an increase from 202 in 2004 and 180 in 2003. More than a third of professional actors in the United States are based in New York. The city's movie industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers, according to the Office, and about $5 billion is brought by the industry to the city's economy every year. International film makers work in the city, as well. The Bollywood film Kal Ho Naa Ho was shot in New York City in 2003, and has proceeded to become the fourth-highest grossing Indian film of all time.
In the earliest days of the American film industry, New York was the epicenter of filmmaking. However, the better year-round weather of Hollywood made it a better choice for shooting. The Kaufman-Astoria film studio in Queens, built during the silent film era, was used by the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields. It has also been used for The Cosby Show, Sesame Street and the films of Woody Allen. The recently constructed Steiner Studios is a 15 acre (61,000 m²) modern movie studio complex in a former shipyard where The Producers and The Inside Man, a Spike Lee movie, were filmed.
New York was (and to a certain extent still is) also important within the animation industry: until 1938, it served as the home of Fleischer Studios (who produced the Popeye, Betty Boop, and Color Classics shorts for Paramount Pictures) as well as the Van Beuren Studios (who produced animated shorts for RKO Radio Pictures) until 1937. It would later be the home for Famous Studios (who replaced Fleischer Studios and continued the production of Popeye shorts for Paramount) from 1943 to the 1960s. Its current position in the animation world is as an alternative to Los Angeles (where most U.S. animation is produced), and the city now houses several schools and school programs concerning animation, and stands as a source of work for animators working for any medium, from advertising to film.
Silvercup Studios revealed plans in February 2006 for a new $1 billion complex with eight soundstages, production and studio support space, offices for media and entertainment companies, stores, 1,000 apartments in high-rise towers, a catering hall and a cultural institution. The project is envisioned as a "veritical Hollywood" designed by Lord Richard Rogers, the architect of the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London. It is to be built at the edge of the East River in Queens and will be the largest production house on the East Coast. Steiner Studios in Brooklyn would still have the largest single soundstage, however. Kaufman Studios plans its own expansion in 2007.
Miramax Films, a Big Ten film studio, was the largest motion picture distribution and production company headquartered in the city until it moved to Burbank, California in January 2010. Many smaller independent producers and distributors are still in New York.
The city has a long history in American magazine publishing. The 19th Century was rife with popular titles: Harper's Weekly launched in 1857, claiming to be "A Journal of Civilization" to readers; St. Nicholas Magazine, founded by Scribner's in 1873, was a pioneering children's publication; and Collier's Weekly, founded in 1888 by Peter Fenelon Collier, counted Upton Sinclair and Ernest Hemingway as contributors. New York Magazine, founded in 1968 by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker, was one of the first "lifestyle" magazines. The New Yorker, founded in 1925 by Harold Ross, is a weekly magazine of arts, literature, and journalism.
In the 1930s New York-based RCA was the nation's largest manufacturer of phonographs. In the late 19th and early 20th century, most sheet music in the United States — especially the popular songs of the day, many now standards — was printed at Tin Pan Alley, so called because the constant sound of new songs being tried out on pianos in the publishing houses was said to sound like a tin pan. By the early 1960s the radio and musical stars of the Golden Age of Broadway gave way to the Brill Building's "Brill Sound."
Salsa music, which got its start in New York City in the mid-1960s, was popularized by the New York record label Fania Records, which developed a highly polished "Fania sound" that came to be synonymous with salsa.
In the 1980s and 1990s, hip hop labels including Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella and Bad Boy Records were founded in New York, creating what is known as East Coast hip hop. These labels continue to be among the largest hip-hop labels in the world. Other influential New York-based hip hop labels, past and present, include Cold Chillin' Records, Jive Records, Loud Records, Rawkus Records and Tommy Boy Records.
New York City is home to 4 of the 10 largest papers in the United States. These include The New York Times (circulation 1.1 million), the Daily News (circulation 795,000), and New York Post (circulation 650,000). The Wall Street Journal (circulation 2.1 million), published in New York City, is a national-scope business newspaper and the first or second most-read newspaper in the nation, depending on measurement method.
El Diario La Prensa (circulation 265,000) is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation. There are also several borough-specific newspapers, such as The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and The Staten Island Advance. Free daily newspapers mainly distributed to commuters include amNewYork, Hoy and Metro New York.
The city's ethnic press is large and diverse. Major ethnic publications include the Roman Catholic diocesan paper for Brooklyn-Queens, The Tablet and Jewish-American newspapers The Forward (פֿאָרװערטס; Forverts, published in Yiddish and English) and Hamodia, and the long-time African-American newspaper The New York Amsterdam News. The Epoch Times, an international newspaper published by the Falun Gong, has English and Chinese editions in New York. There are seven dailies published in the Chinese and four in Spanish. Multiple daily papers are published in Greek, Polish, and Korean, and other weekly newspapers serve dozens of different ethnic communities, with ten separate newspapers focusing on the African-American community alone. Many nationally distributed ethnic newspapers are based in Astoria, Chinatown or Brooklyn. Over 60 ethnic groups, writing in 42 languages, publish some 300 non-English language magazines and newspapers in New York City.
Ethnic variation is not the only measure of the diversity of New York City's newspapers, with editorial opinions running from left-leaning at alternative papers like the Village Voice, to conservative at the New York Post. New York Observer covers politics and the city's rich and powerful with unusual depth. The tradition of a free press owes much to John Peter Zenger, a New York publisher who was acquitted in his 1735 landmark court case, setting the precedent that truth was a legitimate defense against accusations of libel.
Major newspapers emphasizing coverage of the New York metropolitan region outside the city include Newsday, which covers primarily Long Island but also New York City, (especially Brooklyn and Queens, The Journal News, which covers Westchester County, to the north along the Hudson River and The Bergen Record and The Star-Ledger, of Newark which cover northern New Jersey across the New York Bay and Hudson River to the west.
New York City's digital companies, sometimes described as "Silicon Alley", include both software companies and companies known primarily as content producers. Among the former are Tumblr (now owned by Yahoo!), FourSquare and AOL. Among the latter are Gawker Media, BuzzFeed, and some of AOL's holdings, including the Huffington Post and Weblogs, Inc. The satirical newspaper The Onion (online-only since 2013) was based in New York from 2000 to 2012.
New York City has a tradition as an important place in radio broadcasting. Edward R. Murrow defined American broadcast journalism with his World War II reporting from Europe relayed back to CBS in New York and onward to the rest of the nation.
WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station, is the most-listened to commercial or non-commercial radio station in Manhattan and has the largest audience of any public radio station in the United States. It produces several news and cultural programs for national syndication.
WQXR-FM, New York City's only classical radio station, is now a public radio station as of November 1, 2009. It was formerly owned by The New York Times and located at 96.3 on the FM dial; it is now located at 105.9 on the FM dial.
The first New York City radio station to feature a phone-in talk format was WNBC in the late 1960s, (with Long John Nebel in the early morning hours) but the format began in earnest in New York in 1970, when WMCA radio dropped its "Good Guys" top-40 radio format in favor of the "Dial-Log Radio" slate of call-in shows. In addition to mainstay Barry Gray, the format featured such prominent talkers as Nebel, Alex Bennett and Bob Grant.
Right-wing talk radio came to New York when WABC switched from an all music format to talk in 1982. Though it began with a moribund "Talkradio" format delivered via satellite from KABC Los Angeles, the station eventually became the home of nationally syndicated conservative powerhouse Rush Limbaugh, who in the Reagan years railed against liberal figures like civil-rights advocate Jesse Jackson and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Other high-profile conservative talk radio hosts with national profiles include Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity at WABC.
Liberals responded, first with the short-lived (only five years) WEVD format with Bill Mazer's Mazer in the morning and Sam Greenfield in the afternoon followed by Alan Colmes from 11 PM to 2AM. In March 2004 the Air America Radio network started, based in New York City, with actor-comedians Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo as their front line stars. A personality who goes by one name, "Lionel", who was a host on WABC also joined the Air America's New York local lineup. Air American's flagship station was originally WLIB, then WWRL at the time of its January 2010 demise. WWRL and listener supported WBAI continue broadcasting progressive talk.
New York is also home to several famous "shock jock" morning drive shows. They include the new current flavor Opie and Anthony as well as old timer Don Imus, (famous for his controversial statements, interviews of politicos and morning satire) and Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on Z100. The nation's first female shock jock, Wendy Williams, had a popular syndicated afternoon show on Urban AC WBLS from 2002-2009. WXRK, formerly known as 92.3 "K-Rock", used to be the home of Howard Stern until his move from terrestrial radio to Sirius Satellite Radio, though Stern still broadcasts from New York City.
WQHT, also known as "Hot 97", is an influential high-profile commercial radio station that is arguably the nation's premier hip-hop station. Doctor Dre and Ed Lover were morning hosts at the station in the 1990s. The highest-rated Spanish-language radio show in the United States is the morning radio program El Vacilón de la Mañana, broadcast on WSKQ and formerly hosted by Luis Jimenez.
Roughly 1,000,000 New Yorkers are employed in the film and television industry, which contributes about $5 billion to the city's economy annually. New York City is the home of the three traditional major American television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as Spanish-language network Univision. They each have local broadcast owned and operated stations which serve as the flagship stations of their networks.
It is also the headquarters of several large cable television channels, including MTV, Fox News, HBO, and Comedy Central. Silvercup Studios, located in Queens was the production facility for the popular television shows Sex and the City and The Sopranos. MTV broadcasts programming from its sound stage overlooking Times Square, several blocks away from The Ed Sullivan Theater, the theater housing the Late Show with David Letterman. Saturday Night Live is broadcast from NBC's studios at 30 Rockefeller Center, where The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, NBC Nightly News and The Today Show is also taped. BET is headquartered on 57th Street. The Colbert Report is produced by Comedy Central on 54th Street, and The Daily Show, also produced by Comedy Central, is produced just a few blocks over on 11th avenue and West 53rd street. Glenn Beck's The Blaze TV has a studio in Manhattan. Over a thousand people are involved with producing the various Law & Order television series. In 2005 there were more than 100 new and returning television shows taped in New York City, according to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting.
WNET, New York's largest public television station, is a primary national provider of PBS programming. The oldest Public-access television cable TV in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, well known for its eclectic local origination programming that ranges from a jazz hour to discussion of labor issues to foreign language and religious programming. There are eight other Public-access television channels in New York, including Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT). As part of use of local rights-of-way, the cable operators in New York have granted Public, educational, and government access (PEG) organizations channels for programming. They also carry the New York State legislative channel available on cable packages with sufficient bandwidth.
Another notable channel in the city is NY1, Time Warner Cable's first local news channel, known for its beat coverage of city neighborhoods. Its coverage of City Hall and state politics is closely watched by political insiders.
For years, several soap operas were filmed in the New York City area, including Another World, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, All My Children and One Life to Live. As of 2012, there are no New York soap operas left on the air.
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Licensee: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
|4.1||WNBC||NBC (O&O)||NBC 4 New York or NBC 4 NY||4.2||Cozi TV||NBCUniversal
Licensee: NBC Telemundo License LLC
|5.1||WNYW||Fox (O&O)||FOX 5||5.2||Movies!||21st Century Fox (Fox Television Stations)
Licensee: Fox Television Stations, Inc.
|7.1||WABC||ABC (O&O)||ABC 7 or Channel 7||7.2
|Live Well Network (HD)
Live Well Network (SD)
|The Walt Disney Company (American Broadcasting Companies/ ABC, Inc)
Licensee: American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
|9.1||WWOR||MyNetworkTV (O&O)||My 9||9.2
|Simulcast and Mobile DTV feed of WNYW
|21st Century Fox (Fox Television Stations)
Licensee: Fox Television Stations, Inc.
|11.1||WPIX||CW (Affiliate)||Pix 11||11.2
Licensee: WPIX, Inc.
|NYCTV Gov (government programming)
|31.1||WPXN||ION TV (O&O)||ION Television||31.2
Home Shopping Network
|ION Media Networks
Licensee: Ion Media License Company, LLC
|41.1||WXTV||Univision (O&O)||Univision 41 Nueva York||41.2||Duplicate of WFUT||Univision Communications
Licensee: WXTV License Partnership, GP
|47.1||WNJU||Telemundo (O&O)||Telemundo Nueva York or Telemundo NY||47.2
Licensee: NBC Telemundo License LLC
|WRNN License Company, LLC|
|49.1||WEDW||PBS||CPTV||Connecticut Public Broadcasting|
|50.1||WNJN||PBS||NJTV||New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority|
|55.1||WLNY||Independent||WLNY TV-10/55||CBS Corporation (CBS Television Stations)
Licensee: CBS LITV LLC
|54.1||WTBY||Trinity Broadcasting Network (O&O)||TBN||54.2
|The Church Channel
Smile of a Child TV
|Trinity Broadcasting Network
Licensee:Trinity Broadcasting of New York, Inc.
CGNTV (Christian Global Network Television)
|Mountain Broadcasting Corporation|
audio simulcast of WFME-FM
Licensee: Family Stations of New Jersey, Inc
|68.1||WFUT||UniMás||UniMás Nueva York||68.2||duplicate of WXTV||Univision Communications
Licensee: Univision New York, LLC
The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, NYCTV,(on WNYE Channel 25) that produces several original Emmy Award-winning shows including Blue Print New York and Cool in Your Code, as well as coverage of city government. Other popular programs on NYCTV include music shows; New York Noise showcases music videos of local, underground, and indie rock musicians as well as coverage of major music-related events in the city like the WFMU Record Fair, interviews of New York icons (like The Ramones and Klaus Nomi), and comedian hosts (like Eugene Mirman, Rob Huebel, and Aziz Ansari). The Bridge, similarly, chronicles old school hip hop. The channel has won 14 New York Emmys and 14 National Telly awards.
Finally, the City University of New York's cable channel provides on air telecourses in psychology, physics, geography, history as well as vast array of cultural programing on CUNY TV, while New York University (NYU) has its NYUTV.
Because of its sheer size and cultural influence, New York City has been the subject of many different, and often contradictory, portrayals in mass media. From the sophisticated and worldly metropolis seen in many Woody Allen films, to the hellish and chaotic urban jungle depicted in such movies as Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), New York has served as the unwitting backdrop for virtually every conceivable viewpoint on big city life.
In the early years of film New York City was characterized as urbane and sophisticated. By the city's crisis period in the 1970s, however, films like Midnight Cowboy (1969), The French Connection (1971), and Death Wish (1974) showed New York as full of chaos and violence. With the city's renaissance in the 1990s came new portrayals on television; Seinfeld, Friends, and Sex and the City showed life in the city to be glamorous and interesting. Nonetheless a disproportionate number of crime dramas, such as Law & Order and the Spider-Man film series, continue to use the city as their setting despite New York's status as the safest large city in the United States after plummeting crime rates over many years.
An essay appearing in the Arts section of the New York Times in April 2006 quoted several filmmakers, including Sidney Lumet and Paul Mazursky, describing how modern cinema shows the city as far more "teeming, terrifying, exhilarating, unforgiving" than contemporary New York actually is, and the consequential challenge this poses for filmmakers. The article quotes Robert Greenhut, Woody Allen's producer, as saying that despite the increased sanitization of modern New York, "New Yorkers' personalities are different to Chicago. There's a certain kind of vibrancy and tone that you can't get elsewhere. The labor pool is more interesting than elsewhere — the salesgirl with one line, or the cop. That's who directors are looking for."
James Sanders, editor of Scenes From the City: Filmmaking in New York, 1966–2006, is quoted in the article as predicting that future films in New York City will move away from the well-worn setting of upper-middle class Manhattan neighborhoods to the outer boroughs, where they will begin examining the crosscurrents emanating from ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.