New York Magazine Considers Going Biweekly

He says he was part of the motorcycle ride that ended with an attack on the driver of an SUV. Undercover police officer Matt Rodriguez, 28, has worked in plainclothes fighting crime in New York City’s subways and was recently assigned to an elite undercover unit in Internal Affairs, the New York Police Department unit that fights police corruption. But when CBS News met Rodriguez at the district attorney’s office Tuesday, he was the one on the hot seat, CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reported on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday. NYC motorcycle road rage incident may have ruined a large investigation Rodriguez and his lawyer, Pat Bonanno, emerged from a meeting with prosecutors after more than an hour of discussions over the case of the motorcycle assault against SUV driver Alexian Lien in front of his wife and child. Rodriguez said he had nothing to do with the assault. Miller asked Rodriguez, “How hard has this been going through this, especially with all the attention?” Rodriguez said, “It has been difficult, but I can only take it one day at a time from now on.” Rodriguez is now the second New York City undercover officer to come forward to say he was riding with the group that was involved in the assault. Just last week, the first undercover New York City detective who came forward was charged with assault, riot and criminal mischief after investigators said he lied about his role in the attack on the SUV. The lawyer for Rodriguez says his client’s story checks out. Miller asked, “What you told him was you weren’t there for any assault, you weren’t part of any assault, you didn’t even witness any assault?” Bonanno interrupted, saying, “John, with all due respect, I’m gonna stop you right there.” Bonanno says his client had fallen to the rear of the pack of motorcycles and that he didn’t see the confrontation where the SUV was surrounded by motorcycles and drove over two of them to escape. Rodriguez reportedly told investigators he took a different exit off the highway to visit his grandfather in a nursing home, so he was never even on the street where the final assault took place. Bonanno said, “Police Officer Matt Rodriguez voluntarily presented himself to the Manhattan district attorney’s office to answer any and all questions and concerns the had regarding his alleged involvement of the incidents of September 29th. It appears hat the district attorney’s office will discover, as we have known from day one, that there are no acts of criminality on behalf of Matthew Rodriguez.” Asked how it felt to sit down with investigators and get his story out, Rodriguez said, “I was just glad to be given the opportunity to actually say my piece.” Miller asked Bonanno, “Is it appropriate for police officers to be part of some motorcycle gang?” “Number one, this is not a motorcycle gang,” Bonanno said. “Frontline Soldiers was a small group of law enforcement individuals and former veterans. NYPD itself has a motorcycle club, so he was part of an organization of other law enforcement individuals that he thought was involved in charitable organizations and charitable things.” Miller added on “CBS This Morning” that Rodriguez has not been suspended or put on modified assignment, which is assigned to desk duty without a badge or a gun, but prosecutors do have other questions for him, including what contact he did or didn’t have with other officers before, during and after the assault.

The rent-out-your-home service has thrown its weight behind a petition authored by a New York City host named Mishelle. In the petition, she asks the state’s senate to fix what she calls a “poorly written law,” which could curb Airbnb’s reach in the region. “The reason this is happening is because of a poorly written law originally designed to stop slumlords from running illegal hotels with dozens of rental apartments,” Mishelle writes. “As a New Yorker just trying to pay my bills, I don’t understand why they think I’m a slumlord.” “I figure that if we get 20,000 people to sign the petition, we’ll get the state Senate’s attention,” she continues. “If we hit that goal by October 20th, I pledge to deliver the signatures to every senator myself.” As of this writing the petition has surpassed 20,000 signatures, the majority of which were gathered within the last 24 hours. Airbnb also got behind the petition on Monday by sending out an e-mail to its thousands of New York members. “The New York attorney general has subpoenaed the records of almost all of our New York hosts,” Airbnb’s global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote in the e-mail. “We are fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got, but poorly written laws make for even worse enforcement, and unless you help to stop it once and for all, the laws may never get better and New Yorkers will continue to suffer.” The debacle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb has been ongoing over the past year, but it got heated when Schneiderman filed a subpoena earlier this month. The subpoena requests three years’ worth of data on thousands of Airbnb New York hosts. Airbnb has said that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s office is specifically looking for data on 15,000 hosts — it’s unclear if this includes almost all of Airbnb’s New York hosts. While Airbnb has said that it will cooperate with New York’s lawmakers to root out illegal hotel operators and slumlords, it also filed a motion last week stating the subpoena was “unreasonably broad” and it won’t turn over sweeping amounts of information on hosts who have done no wrong.

Over the past five years weve considered various options, he said. While digital ad sales are growing, it has not been enough to stem the shrinking dollars coming from the weekly print edition, increasing pressure on Editor-in-Chief Adam Moss. It would be sad if it happened, but it would not surprise me, said Steve Cohn, editor of Media Industry Newsletter, which showed that New Yorks ad pages were down 9.2 percent year-over-year through Oct. 14. Digital now accounts for about half the companys ad revenue, but that is attributable as much to prints steady erosion as it is to digitals gains in recent years. Before the recession, New York racked up 3,343 ad pages in 2007, according to MIN 1,500 pages more than it is expected to tally this year. Ad pages fell 12 percent in 2008, followed by a staggering 27 percent drop in 2009. And in a move that is sure to be worrisome as it pushes for digital dollars, Web traffic in September dropped to 3.6 million unique monthly visitors, according to comScore, a 16 percent drop from last year. A Wasserstein family trust inherited the magazine after the death of Bruce Wasserstein in 2009. The financier brought it for $55 million back in 2003. So far, the Wasserstein family has kept the magazine and websites rolling, but it is not clear what the trusts capacity is to absorb losses over a prolonged period. The most recent example in the weekly media world holds little promise. When stereo equipment magnate Sidney Harman died in April 2011, only months after rescuing Newsweek, his family trust soon bailed on the money-losing magazine. Like other weekly publications, New York has resorted to more double issues in slow periods and a gradual cutback in frequency.