Greeks in Media
Since Greeks need to be heard on any subject (just sit across the table from them) and since they’ve done well in business and many other fields, you’d think they would get into the media big-time so they could be heard big-time and we’d be talking about Katsopoulos News instead of Bloomberg News and any self-respecting Greek in business would see the bargain in buying NEWSWEEK for one dollar–with tens of millions in liabilities, granted—but still a bargain to buy an iconic American brand and be heard as the publisher of NEWSWEEK.
Greeks have worked behind the scenes in media (and we have distinguished players now) and there are more Greek media companies than fish in the sea, but mere guppies instead of leviathans, though some Greeks have tried to break the surface and take the plunge. Ted Venetoulis has been trying for years to buy THE BALTIMORE SUN and keep it a local institution and he might succeed. And John Georges in one fell swoop recently brought Greeks to the media forefront in the south by buying THE ADVOCATE, the largest daily newspaper in Louisiana.
“The Advocate is a strong brand with dedicated employees and a supportive community,” he said at his press conference. “In addition to one of the newest and most state-of-the-art print production facilities in the industry, The Advocate has impressive digital capabilities. Together, these components ensure The Advocate will thrive for a long time to come.”
The old newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs in the digital age, but they still have enough properties to make them a worthwhile investment, and Arianna Huffington, forever blazing new social and media trails, has shown how an online property alone can have an undisputed and growing influence.
What never made sense, however, is how little the Greek American community itself is targeted by Greeks in media. Greek Americans pride themselves on being among the most successful ethnic communities in the diaspora, with a high level of income and education and influence, yet they are a silent minority for the most part, with a few television and movie stars as showpieces, and very little media to speak for them or connect them (NEO has been trying).
A few years ago I interviewed a group of young professionals in New York who wanted to stay in touch with each other for personal and professional reasons. I don’t know if that organization still exists. I tried to get them in touch with established members of their professions. Through their own efforts they spoke to these established members and got them to attend their meetings. It was a hopeful start. But it may have faded and the hopeful lines of communication that were started may have withered, again.
NEO was started to open the lines of communication between generations and for all Greek Americans to know about each other, their lives, their careers, and the wonderful work they are doing. That is still our hope and that is still our effort and we need your support to keep this going.