Amy Reusch

Question about Saratogian journalism

16 posts in this topic

well I would say a 1.1 million loss on the Saratoga season is significant.

The comments below the article make for entertaining reading.

Share this post


Link to post

Is the NYCB "financially troubled"?

There has been quite a bit of public discussion of NYCB's financial deficits overall in recent years. I don't know where they stand right now. Their financial reports (as recently as 2011) are on their web site, but I'm not sure how much you can figure out from those. Perhaps others can. http://www.nycballet.com/About/Annual-Reports.aspx

Share this post


Link to post

well I would say a 1.1 million loss on the Saratoga season is significant.

The comments below the article make for entertaining reading.

Especially the mention of "their sweatheat contract." "Sweatheat?" I know that Saratoga was considered a spa town at one time -- perhaps this is part of the culture?

But yes, it sounds like there's a significant enough deficit for the presenter that people would be concerned.

Share this post


Link to post

I think he or she meant 'sweetheart contract'. The comment is horribly written....

Share this post


Link to post

I think he or she meant 'sweetheart contract'. The comment is horribly written....

I'm sure they did, but sometimes misspellings are more exciting than the correct versions!

Share this post


Link to post

Funny, sandik! Truly, I cringe when I see comments that are not edited and corrected for spelling/grammar, etc, although they can be very comical.

Share this post


Link to post

Funny, sandik! Truly, I cringe when I see comments that are not edited and corrected for spelling/grammar, etc, although they can be very comical.

The little back-and-forth is my Achilles Heel. I write most big stuff in my word processing program, so I have a chance to make it make sense, but when it comes to a couple of sentences, I've put my electronic foot in my mouth many times.

Share this post


Link to post

Funny, sandik! Truly, I cringe when I see comments that are not edited and corrected for spelling/grammar, etc, although they can be very comical.

The little back-and-forth is my Achilles Heel. I write most big stuff in my word processing program, so I have a chance to make it make sense, but when it comes to a couple of sentences, I've put my electronic foot in my mouth many times.

I know and I do make typos and other errors with the back and forth, as you say, and in emails, especially because writing on a screen with my pathetic eyesight is something of a challenge! innocent.gif But that particular comment in the Saratogian was pretty bad........

Share this post


Link to post

Is NYCB's deficit a higher percentage than typical of American ballet compnay budgets? I thought they were one of the most financially stable ballet companies in the country. They are the most funded ballet company in the country. Is the deficit out of line? "Financially troubled" implies to me that they are at the edge of the precipice, looking into the abyss... We aren't in danger of their going under, are we?

Share this post


Link to post

Funny, sandik! Truly, I cringe when I see comments that are not edited and corrected for spelling/grammar, etc, although they can be very comical.

The little back-and-forth is my Achilles Heel. I write most big stuff in my word processing program, so I have a chance to make it make sense, but when it comes to a couple of sentences, I've put my electronic foot in my mouth many times.

I know and I do make typos and other errors with the back and forth, as you say, and in emails, especially because writing on a screen with my pathetic eyesight is something of a challenge! innocent.gif But that particular comment in the Saratogian was pretty bad........

Ah, you don't see the commentary of school issues in my community, do you? But we're getting rather far away from the advertised topic of this thread...

Share this post


Link to post

Is NYCB's deficit a higher percentage than typical of American ballet compnay budgets? I thought they were one of the most financially stable ballet companies in the country. They are the most funded ballet company in the country. Is the deficit out of line? "Financially troubled" implies to me that they are at the edge of the precipice, looking into the abyss... We aren't in danger of their going under, are we?

I'm not sure about this -- I know that PNB works hard not to carry a deficit, but I would have to look at their financial statements to say if they've managed to achieve that goal. Perhaps the denizens here can check their local companies and report back?

Share this post


Link to post

After 10 minutes of digging (I never said I was a hard worker on a Sunday) I looked at fiscal statements for PNB for the last couple years. They've got a budget of just over 20 million, with annual revenue just under that amount (almost 3/4 of it earned) The company had total assets of just over 8 million, and the Foundation had just over 14 million. Keeping in mind that I'm not an accountant, it looks like they're making up their difference from endowment. These figures include the school.

Someone with more financial savvy than I have (and that's not hard to find!) might see things here that I've missed.

Share this post


Link to post

I remember hearing someone at PNB say, back in the '90s, that they raised the money before they spent it. I assume this was rather than proposing a season and premieres hoping they would attract funding. I also rememer how the decision to buy $8 million worth of Tharp rights galvanized Hubbard Street's base... I am trusting my memory of conversation with staff, which isn't quite the same thing as hard facts, but at the time they had a $100,000 budget, but almost overnight the funds had been established to cover the purchase. .. The recession has surely hit ballet companies, but I can't believe NYCB is in real trouble... Concerned, sure... Making unwelcome adjustments, sure... but more than that?

Share this post


Link to post

I remember hearing someone at PNB say, back in the '90s, that they raised the money before they spent it. I assume this was rather than proposing a season and premieres hoping they would attract funding.

They have re-written their season plans multiple times in the last few years, as budget numbers shift around. They've run deficits a couple times in the past, especially when there have been unexpected problems (huge snowstorm in the middle of Nutcracker run a few years ago put a huge dent in their earned income), but of the big institutions in our town (art museum, opera, theaters, symphony) they are the most fiscally conservative.

I also rememer how the decision to buy $8 million worth of Tharp rights galvanized Hubbard Street's base... I am trusting my memory of conversation with staff, which isn't quite the same thing as hard facts, but at the time they had a $100,000 budget, but almost overnight the funds had been established to cover the purchase.

And I remember how this shifted the artistic direction of the company -- everyone was gobsmacked at the move.

The recession has surely hit ballet companies, but I can't believe NYCB is in real trouble... Concerned, sure... Making unwelcome adjustments, sure... but more than that?

I don't know. As a non-profit organization, their financial records are supposed to be publically available, but I don't know if that means they're online.

Share this post


Link to post
The recession has surely hit ballet companies, but I can't believe NYCB is in real trouble... Concerned, sure... Making unwelcome adjustments, sure... but more than that?

I don't know. As a non-profit organization, their financial records are supposed to be publically available, but I don't know if that means they're online.

The Audited Financial reports for NYCB for 2010 and 2011 are posted on their web site. Can others more conversant in this type of reporting tell us if they see problems? http://www.nycballet.com/About/Annual-Reports.aspx

Share this post


Link to post