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Murphy advisor taking lead role in boosting NJ movie, TV industries (updated)

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Darryl Isherwood, a spokesperson and economic development advisor in Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, is slated to take a more active role in New Jersey’s film, television and digital media tax credit program, the administration announced on Jan. 7.

In his new role, Isherwood will be a senior advisor for economic development communications at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, as a sector lead for film and digital media.

That means his job will focus heavily on building state relationships with film, TV and digital media companies large and small, according to the announcement. And he’ll develop strategies for the growth of those industries in the Garden State by working with Murphy’s economic development team and the state’s film commission.

Isherwood came on board as an economic development spokesperson and advisor in March 2019 as the political focus was picking up across the state on New Jersey’s tax incentive programs. He was previously a senior vice president at Mercury Public Affairs and covered politics at The Star Ledger and PolitickerNJ.com.

Darryl Isherwood – COURTESY OF NJ ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

“I’m thrilled to continue working with Darryl as he takes on this important new role within the EDA,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said in a statement. “Film and television represent a huge growth opportunity for New Jersey’s economy, and Darryl has already been a key part of Gov. Murphy’s strategy to attract new productions and studio development.”

State officials said that since 2018, the NJEDA has supported 49 TV and film projects that have brought a total of more than $635 million into the New Jersey economy.

Production companies can receive tax breaks covering up to a certain amount of expenses they shell out for filming in New Jersey or buying goods from local businesses. Lawmakers are hoping to rush through a major expansion of the incentive program during lame duck legislative session

Since Murphy signed a law in 2018 bringing the program back online, incentives have been used to attract such productions as “Joker” and “West Side Story.” In addition, Netflix is reportedly considering a film studio here and NBCUniversal uses the former Meadowlands arena.

Isherwood will be tasked with advising companies on the state’s “overall value proposition,” the Murphy administration said, and connect those businesses with other key industry and academic figures, as well as advise those businesses on different state programs that they can access.

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 3:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 7, 2022 to included updated figures for the economic impact of TV/film projects.

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