Big media companies reopen after Sandy


Comcast and NBCUAs much of NYC area residents feel a bit like it’s 9/11 all over again after Sandy’s destruction and flooding, large media companies on 10/31 and 11/1 started reopening their New York offices, even though most staffers had the option of working from home amid power outages and commuter transportation severely impacted.

Bottom line: Midtown is OK, lower Manhattan and downtown is still a real mess and without power. Every local media channel in the city is pretty much wall-to-wall damage coverage.

“We are open today,” said a spokesman for Time Warner, whose headquarters is at midtown Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, told The Hollywood Reporter. “There was never a disruption in our operations.”

Meanwhile NBCU parent Comcast is providing free WiFi to any and everyone to help in areas affected by the storm.

“Our office is safe for employees and open, however we’re expecting many of our employees to still work remotely today do to commuting issues,” an NBCUniversal spokeswoman told THR.

Asked about damage, such as reports of shattered windows at the company’s 30 Rockefeller Square headquarters, she said there were only minor issues. “[The] buildings all got through [Sandy] in good shape.”

News Corp. did not reopen its corporate office on Avenue of the Americas. “We are still not open today, and corporate employees have been asked to work remotely, if possible,” a spokesman told THR. “There may be variations on that for our New York City-based operating divisions.”

Murdoch himself had late Tuesday apologized to Wall Street Journal readers about the fallout from Sandy. “Apologies to all WSJ readers who missed deliveries today,” he said via Twitter. “All tried hard, but Sandy too strong.”

Many of the Big Apple’s on-air TV personalities have figured out a way to get into the office, including Katie Couric who tweeted she had made it to ABC’s studios on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “How is everyone today!” she wrote. “We’re back in the @KatieShow studios – I’m giving a #Sandy update & sharing your stories!!”

See the THR story here

RBR-TVBR observation: We had heard that some companies had systems and data storage in the Financial District. After the power went out, things would have been better if the diesel generators were not located in the basements of some of these buildings. They were rendered useless underwater.