Sunday, March 21, 2010


Arrived back in NYC yesterday afternoon, greeted by magnificent weather---apparently, I'm told, the last in a string of awesome days with temps in the 70s, sunshine, and warm breezes. Today, in Central Park, the daffodils are poking up and yes, friends, even a few green buds on the trees. It's been a tough winter, and New Yorkers were out en masse in the park, streets, and cafes all over the west side. What a glorious way to be welcomed home.

I was so happy to be back on US soil after this last week in Dubai that I almost kissed the ground as I disembarked from the plane. Nothing against Dubai or the UAE, where I met dozens of fine, courteous, professional people. You know, I've never been a "love it or leave it" kind of American, but I am, unabashedly, a God Bless America kind of American. Spend a week or two in a place where basic civil rights, press freedoms, lifestyle diversity, and political debate are not only discouraged but in many cases forbidden, and you will come back with a re-calibrated perspective on why We the People must do all we can to preserve and nurture our freedoms, republican form of government, and way of life.

The health care debate, which even now is coming to an historic denouement, has given us windows on extraordinary political courage and cowardice, hope and hypocrisy. But please, dear reader, never take for granted that we can have an open, free-wheeling debate, reported fully (and ad nauseum) in the media, that there will be a vote, and that the outcome of the vote may be new laws, that will immediately be published and enforced in a manner open to all. Yes, it's time for a heaping dose of gratitude.

(Cue trumpets, harps, and chorus)

OK, back to reality now. Launching a media business in a foreign country in less than 90 days brings with it every business and personal challenge imaginable. But, as I was saying to dad today, it's the thing I love in media, maybe the only thing I truly love about media: the creation of new brands and assembling teams of creative, innovative pros to launch them. This past week, twelve to fifteen hour work days were routine, and shifting gears hour by hour---media buyers at 10 am, agency heads at noon, printers after lunch, editors and designers by late afternoon, and by then it was a working day in the US and there were calls to make, emails to write etc. etc.

I think we have a decent shot at being able to launch this sports media biz within the very narrow time frame we have planned. But everything has to come into alignment, and so far, miraculously, it has. Driving back to the hotel on Thursday evening, after a particularly long, tough day, the sky was perfectly clear, and though the stars were not very visible due to the dust and haze in the atmosphere, a thin, brightly lit crescent moon loomed overhead.

As I stared at the moon, I noticed something I had never seen before, ever (that I can recall): the new moon's crescent was illuminated from below, so that a bright white reflection emanated from a thin slice at what seemed like the south pole, making the moon seem to smile down on us. So odd. At this stage, I'll take heavenly smiles or any other favorable omen I can get. We'll even the need the universe on our side on this one......

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