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Philadelphia Image Sees Little Short-Term Boost From ‘Made in America’ Fest

(Credit: Tim Jimenez)

(Credit: Tim Jimenez)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter touted last weekend’s “Made in America” concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as a huge boost to Philadelphia’s national image.

One national media watcher says the impact of the two-day concert was actually not very big — though that could change later.

Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, says coverage of “Made in America” certainly showed off the Parkway quite well (see related story).

But he says coming on a holiday weekend, and sandwiched between two political conventions, it was barely a blip on the radar of a national audience.

“It wasn’t like some of these Lollapalooza or Woodstock 2 (events), or any of these kinds of things,” Thompson tells KYW Newsradio.  “I don’t think it got that kind of coverage.  I didn’t get the sense that this was in the center of the cultural soul during the days that it ran.”

Making things worse was spotty cell phone coverage and the limited tweeting that resulted.  And those snafus became part of the national story (another related story).

“When that becomes the story itself, and not necessarily in a positive way, that’s not exactly how you want to get your concert and your city covered,” Thompson says.

Still, Thompson believes Philadelphia’s image thanks to “Made in America” could get a huge boost further on down the line, when director Ron Howard’s documentary about the concert is released.

“If the film that he puts together is anything close to, for example, the Woodstock film, it could be that this concert becomes more famous after that happens, than it was when it was actually happening.  They had all these camera crews wandering around these iconic locations along the Parkway, and the show really did seem to emphasize its Philadelphia-ness throughout.”

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