Posted Thursday, January 29, 2004
This episode of A Quiet Crisis celebrated the start of our third year producing the project. The very first episode premiered in June of 2001 and featured a rousing conversation among panelists representing business, academia, banking and philanthropy. In this episode, we decided to take a look back at that first show to remember some of what was said about our sluggish economy. We also assembled a new panel and considered some tough questions like: Just how much progress have we made in reinvigorating our economy? And… where do we go from here?
Fred Nance, Cleveland Managing Partner for Squires, Sanders and Dempsey
Joe Roman, Executive Director of Cleveland Tomorrow
Stephanie McHenry, Chief Operating Officer at Shorebank
David Abbott, Executive Director of The George Gund Foundation
Mark Rosentraub, Dean of The Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University
There were many signs of trouble in late spring of 2001. LTV Steel had just gone through bankruptcy—again. Cleveland’s last downtown department store was closing. The region’s largest multi-national corporation, TRW, was leaving town. No major downtown construction project was on the boards. Regional growth was lagging behind the national average. The so-called “brain drain” was sapping the region of its best and brightest young minds. And nobody wanted to talk about it.
This was the backdrop for A Quiet Crisis, a series initiated by The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest daily newspaper and ideastream, the multimedia content organization just formed by the merger of Cleveland’s public radio and television stations. For three years this innovative multiple-media series focused the attention of Northeast Ohio on the region’s most serious challenge—an economic decline that was unraveling the “comeback” renaissance of the 90’s and threatening the vitality of the region.
Through 14 round table discussions of community leaders that were broadcast on WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN, radio call-ins, in-depth reports on radio and television, newspaper articles, columns and editorials, the ambitious multimedia campaign highlighted the region’s problems and also offered solutions in ways that energized and empowered individuals and organizations to action and change.