This, the first of our regional blogs, is authored by the technology and financial journalist Dominic Basulto. Dominic is a New York native, has been a senior editor at Corante since day one and has written for a number of online and offline media companies. Send tips or story ideas to: email@example.com.
About this weblog
Here we'll report daily on the latest tech and business developments in New York City. Impossible we concede: comprehensive coverage of the city's every story. What we hope you'll find: tips, tidbits and perspectives you won't find elsewhere. As well as unique insights, original interviews and more that should be of interest to New York's vibrant community of technologists and those who track, invest in and report on them.
According to the New York Daily News, the owners of the Ace Bar in the East Village have put the place up for sale on eBay. The minimum bid: $670,000. So far, there have been no bidders - but one of the co-owners is still holding out hope that a deal is imminent: "I'm a Web kind of guy. I've never heard of this being done before, especially not a bar at its height of popularity. We figured we'd roll the dice and see what happens."...
So what do you get for a cool $670,000? "In addition to a 10-year lease, the new owners will inherit the bar's accoutrements, including its antique lunchbox collection, authentic circus sideshow banners, giant 3-D werewolf, pinball machines and a couple of Skee-Ball games. Less kitschy is the 30-foot bar itself - a beautiful ornate mahogany piece believed to be from the late 19th century. And, of course, the buyer would get a full stock of beer, liquor, juice and soda."
The New York Post reports that Eliot Spitzer is fighting to make New York movie theaters more accessible for the visually and hearing impaired. In an agreement reached with eight national theater chains - including AMC, Loews and Clearview - 140 theaters across the state will now offer extras such as "rear-window captioning" and headsets that offer descriptive narration of films. Currently, only a handful of theaters in New York City offer captioned or narrated films. Eliot Spitzer explains the rationale for the move: "Movies are an important part of popular culture. Every adult and child should be able to enjoy a film with family and friends, especially during the holiday season."
After Governor Pataki lifted a ban on Internet wine sales to New Yorkers in July, 166 out-of-state wineries have acquired a license to ship wines directly to New York state residents - including one California winery (Foxen Vineyards) that was featured in last year's movie hit "Sideways." Kendall-Jackson, which sells 3.5 million cases annually, was also mentioned as an out-of-state winery that is now able to sell directly to New Yorkers.
MSNBC has the details of the legal wrangling over selling wine via the Internet to New Yorkers, as well as local reaction from New York wine merchants. From the article, it appears that California winemakers are attempting to downplay the impact of the move, saying that the wines now available will only appeal to the "real connoisseur" and other lovers of specialty wines that aren't available anywhere else in New York state.
Donny Deutsch will announce the winner of the Media Person of the Year on CNBC's "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch" on Monday. According to Deutsch, the frontrunner in the contest sponsored by I Want Media is shock jock Howard Stern, but there are a number of darkhorse candidates in the running, including Craig Newmark of Craig's List and Nick Denton of Gawker Media:
"Blog pal Arianna Huffington calls Nick Denton "the Rupert Murdoch of the blogosphere." Actually, his Gawker Media stable of popular blogs seems more like Conde Nast of blog world, attracting desirable demos and big-name advertisers. While Jason Calacanis sold his Weblogs outfit to AOL and Andrew Sullivan hooked up his blog to Time.com, Denton licensed Gawker content to Yahoo, insisting that "the whole point about blogs is that they're not part of big media." Denton and his crew of scrappy, buzz-making bloggers have probably done more than about anyone to establish blogs as a legit alternative medium."
Let's just hope that Martha Stewart doesn't win. (yes, she's one of the 10 candidates)
According to the New York Post, Cablevision is mulling over the idea of "a la carte" cable TV pricing. Interestingly, Chuck Dolan of Cablevision is the only senior executive from a major cable TV network that has gone on the record as supporting a la carte pricing. The FCC supports the idea, but the National Cable & Telecommunications Association feels that a la carte pricing could hurt the industry and result in fewer cable TV channels. Dolan seems to hit the nail right on the head, though, with his support of a new pricing option:
"Like Chairman Martin of the FCC, we do not believe in the long term that selling programming a la carte will be detrimental to either programmers or cable operators... Consumers should not be obliged, directly or indirectly, to buy services they do not want."
There you have it - why pay anywhere from $30 to $50 a month for cable, if you only watch a handful of the stations with any real regularity?