On this edition of MetroFocus, The New York Times’ columnist and former executive editor Bill Keller joins reporter and anchor Jack Ford to talk about the thriving media industry in New York City. From daily newspapers and network television, to web startups and late-night comedy, it’s all here. “New York is a great constellation of stories. You’ve got finance, you’ve got culture, you’ve got high and low and everything in between,” Keller says. But he cautions, “Anyone who speaks with a sense of certainty about what’s going on in the media business should be regarded as either dubious or insane.”
Local and state governments across the country are facing tough choices when it comes to public workers’ pensions. In New York City, where five different pension funds are now valued at nearly $150 billion, newly-elected Comptroller Scott Stringer is making reform a top priority. In connection with the reporting project The Pension Peril, MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman interviews Stringer about the pension funds and his proposed reforms. “People would assume I’m a big liberal Democrat. But I’m also a conservative when it comes to making sure that we provide for the retirement security of the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on their pension system. You know, it’s not my money.”
When Penn Station opened in 1910, it was a monumental marvel, the brainchild of Pennsylvania Railroad President, Alexander Cassatt, and architect Charles McKim of McKim, Mead & White. But New York City’s original transportation hub was demolished after only 53 years. Today, it’s 600,000 daily commuters have few clues to its history. The station’s history and its destruction are the subject of “The Rise and Fall of Penn Station,” a documentary premiering on PBS’ American Experience on February 18. New York University Professor of Urban Studies and Architecture, Hilary Ballon, joins MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman to talk about the past, present, and future of Penn Station and to argue for a massive redesign. “We need to equip the station in a way that will serve the population that’s using it. So we would miss a great civic opportunity, a great opportunity for New York to advance itself if we don’t build a new station.”
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