bye bye SNL… and I have no idea who that guy is…
For the past four years, we have had our offices at 1619 Broadway, where we sublet space from Broadway Video and SNL. It was an interesting place to work.
Then, on Tuesday, BV called and said that they had sold part of the building and they were consolidating and we had to vacate…. by the end of the month.
Well, with Thanksgiving coming, this did not look like a particularly pleasant prospect. I like to keep the office close to home and midtown office space is notoriously difficult to find, particularly on short notice.
I was wrong.
The economic downturn has hit harder and faster than I thought.
Within a few hours, we had found a space. And it was not the kind of space I had thought we would end up in.
Our new address is on 54th and Park. It is the office of a former hedge fund. Former, in that it was all there, all but the people.
It has a fireplace. And a bathroom with a tub. And wired rooms with desks with Bloomberg terminals and leather furniture. Just no people. You might call it a fire sale. “Just take it” said the last person there, who then turned out the lights.
This morning I opened The Guardian to read the headline:
Woolworths, Founded in 1909, 820 Stores, once worth £830m, for sale yesterday for £1
It’s all pretty sobering stuff.
Like 1929 all over again.. maybe.
If there is a silver lining (and it’s pretty well hidden so far), it is that, as The New York Times pondered yesterday, this depression will be different. Instead of the family hanging together on Walton Mountain, it is more likely that people will sit at home in front of their TV sets… or laptops.
That is what you do when you are unemployed.
And that means that the demand for content for TV will at least remain.. to some extent. Some cable operations will no doubt go dark, as advertising dollars evaporate. But those that stay in business will still have to put product on the air.
But… but… they are going to have far less money to pay for that product. So cost cutting will become paramount. More content for less dollars…
The handwriting, so to speak, is on the wall.
And the inquiries we have gotten so far seem to reflect this quite clearly.
The best course you can take for the coming storm? Prepare yourself for deep cost cuts. Those who survive? Those who can deliver content for the lowest possible cost.
And as for the new office?
Well, I will certainly miss some aspects of the old one.
There was nothing like walking a client past lifesize photos of John Belushi or Eddie Murphy on the way to the conference room to instill a sense of confidence.
But now, we can do the roaring fire thing instead.
Goes well with the British accent, I think.