NY Mayor Bill de Blasio names PBS docu specialist to head the city’s burgeoning film and TV production operation
Cynthia Lopez, an executive vice-president and co-executive producer of the PBS documentary series “POV,” is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice as the city’s new TV and film czar.
Lopez will step in as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, replacing Katherine Oliver who stepped down in January along with outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg. A formal announcement with the mayor is expected Friday, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.
The appointment comes more than three months after de Blasio took over as mayor, and the delay in naming a replacement had sparked some concern that film and TV production wasn’t the priority it was during the previous administration.
New York has been among the most aggressive states in terms of seeking out new projects, and since 2004 its TV and film production industry has grown from $5 billion to $7.1 billion. Last year, legislation extended the state’s tax incentive program through 2019. It’s funded with $420 million annually; by comparison, California’s is capped at $100 million each year.