New York Mayor Addresses AMC's Opening Reception

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Last night's opening reception for the Magazine Publishers of America and America Society of Magazine Edtors' American Magazine Conference was a mix of politics, lively chatter and glum
Photo: Hoag Levins
Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the conference last night.
Listen to the Mayor (RealAudio)
predictions rooted in fact and spirit to the crater in downtown New York.

As if on cue outside the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, the wind was just right to carry a vague burnt plastic odor from the World Trade Center remains as publishers and editors arrived to hobnob over cocktails inside.

Both of the city's mayoral candidates, Democrat Mark Green and nouveau Republican Michael Bloomberg, made appearances and mingled with attendees. As has happened for the past six weeks, both were overshadowed by the man they're vying to replace.

'Spend a lot of money'
Squeezing in a brief, off-the-cuff speech to the conference before heading to the Bronx to see his beloved New York Yankees defeat the Seattle Mariners 3-1 in the American League Championship Series,

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani opened his remarks with light banter about the conference's change in venue and offered one bit of advice for out-of-towners: "Spend a lot of money." And Mr. Giuliani offered obligatory remarks to how a potential Yankees-Arizona Diamondbacks World Series might interfere with his friendships with Arizona Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain.

Mr. Giuliani's shoes were thick with grayish dust that was readily noticeable to the audience. He displayed the tone and oratory that has made him widely beloved in the wake of Sept. 11 while an audience representing a medium that had strained relations with him throughout his two terms listened enthusiastically.

'Life possesses risks'
"We have to have courage," he said. "Life possesses

Photo: Hoag Levins
AMC opening reception in the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel & Towers.
Giuliani compares Sept. 11 and London's Blitz in 1940-41. (RealAudio)
risks. We are realizing that now. ... All of us have no guarantee of everything."

He compared New York City's anxiety-ridden times -- evoking the specter of the World Trade Center horror and recent anthrax scares -- with those of Great Britain during the Blitz of 1940-41.

"They were bombed every day," he said, but continued to "go to school, go to plays, do the things" they were supposed to do. Compared to them, Mr. Giuliani added, New Yorkers "have nothing to complain about."

'We will prevail'
"We will emerge much more mature ... much more aware of why we exist in the first place," Mr. Giuliani said. "There's no question we will prevail."

Mr. Giuliani concluded his brief remarks with anecdotes about New York's theater world, recalling his own appearances on Broadway. This prompted a quick rejoinder from Conference Chair and editor-in-chief of Time Out New York Cyndi Stivers, onstage alongside the Mayor during his speech, about the Mayor's forays into cross-dressing.

In response, Mr. Giuliani paused dramatically, shifted his gaze to Ms. Stivers and retorted "I put my dress in the closet." And then he was gone.

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Other news from the floor:

Rodale layoffs
Last week, Emmaus, Pa.-based Rodale Press laid off about 150 people, or around 13% of its total workforce, said executives familiar with the situation.

This move follows layoffs at Playboy Enterprises earlier this month, in which the Chicago-based publisher cut 92 positions, or about 13%, from its workforce.

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Registered attendees at this year's MPA total around 550, down from last year's 600-plus figure. Last year's convention was held at the Fairmont Princess resort in Bermuda.

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