By Anthony Rapacciuolo
Photography by Barry Williams / AnnieWatt.com
It’s been said that The Medium is the Message, and over the past 35 years here in New York, there’s one man who has managed to leverage almost every medium to not only deliver the news of the day but also to create real relationships with his audience. His genuine love of and interest in people is what prompted him to begin his own radio show at the age of 16, and he’s been on the air ever since.
His storied career has led him to report on issues that have defined generations, author books inspiring children to follow their dreams, earned him more than 30 combined Emmy Awards and nominations, launch the magazine you are currently reading, and kick off his newest television show, Ernie Anastos In New York. Who is this man? Why, I’m sure he’s someone you’re already familiar with, someone whom you’ve probably never met but feel as though he’s merely a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while. Someone you’ve grown to trust because he’s been reporting the news for more than three decades, and who is undoubtedly a New York Icon. I am, of course, writing about none other than Mr. Ernie Anastos.
Ernie attributes much of his success to his family and his faith and has managed to capture the hearts and respect of so many by continually promoting positivity as well as purpose and value. In fact, those are the driving forces behind his newest television show which he hopes will foster change through stories that are relevant to people’s lives and well-being.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Ernie in his office at FOX 5 and learning more about the man behind the news desk, and his newest endeavor Ernie Anastos In New York.
Tell our readers what they can expect from your new show?
The program is about our city and your life. We’ll be talking about new trends and ideas as well as fashion, wellness, travel, real estate, dining, entertainment and more. I’m enthusiastic about the show because we’ll have the opportunity to spread more positive news, and the content will be focused on providing people with what they need to know about living in this great city. We’re going to capture the essence of New York from the look and feel of the show to the opening theme song.
The song embodies the spirit, diversity, and magic of my home declared Charles Wallert, the songs producer. It describes all the things identifiable to the world’s capital and is uplifting and fun. When asked what it means to perform the song, artist George Benson said that it was a real honor to be identified with a bona fide New York star like Ernie Anastos.
Our readers have heard about the theme song, can you give us a sneak peek of some of the guests?
There will be a variety of guests who are all well versed in their field and have colorful personalities. We’ll have people like George Brescia, an author and fashion expert, Patricia Stark, former Miss New York and News Anchor turned life coach, and Christopher Farley, offering the best in entertainment and nightlife. The format is going to be inviting, and you’ll feel like you’re in the living room of my apartment in New York City. It’s going to be comfortable and conversationaland will offer advice on how to improve your life.
What makes Ernie Anastos In New York different?
I believe people will tune in initially because they feel some sort of connection with me. I’ve developed a rapport with this city over the past 35 years, and I hope they know what I stand for and realize that I try and bring out the best in everybody. They’ll be able to be entertained and informed and learn about things to help them live better.
You’ve accomplished so much in your career, why this show and why now?
I think the timing is right because I’ve been reporting for over 30 years, and have had the opportunity to see every facet of news. I want to continue to be a voice for more positive news, and for making people feel good about themselves, their lives and their futures. Our stories will be relaxed and useful in making decisions about how to make the most of your life in this great city. I’ll also be back out on the street asking people questions to stir their imaginations and hear their viewpoints. It’s going to be about them.
What defines or separates New York from any other city?
I think that the whole world is in one city, New York. This is where you can find everything you could ever ask for from food, entertainment, shopping, education, and culture. Being in New York allows you to connect with the world right here, it’s all at your fingertips. There’s only one New York, and it’s an atmosphere that allows us to be who we want to be, while also being a part of something greater.
Juxtapose your opinion of New York to those who believe it to be a cold and unfriendly place.
If you come here and experience the city, communicate with the people, and see what’s available that opinion will change. I’m not going to say we’re perfect but this city has a big heart. It’s a bunch of neighborhoods that are all connected. The passion that people in this city have is hard to express, and you simply have to feel it. It’s a pulse; it’s a beat, a feeling, a mood, an attitude. It’s something that you have to experience. This TV program allows me to act as a goodwill ambassador of sorts for the city of New York, and I welcome anyone who hasn’t experienced it to visit our great city.
Tell our readers if there was a defining moment in your life that led you to where you are now.
For me, everything comes from home. I was fortunate to grow up in a home where there was a lot of love and understanding. We were given the opportunity to be who we wanted to be. We were taught fundamentals and values in life, but also a sense of purpose. Why are you here, what gift have you been given, and how can you use it best? As a young child, I knew I wanted to communicate. I used to talk to everybody, and at around 12 years old I even had a little radio station in my basement. Then at 13, I printed a small local newspaper. My home taught me to be respectful of everyone and to genuinely enjoy people. A Greek philosopher once wrote, “I have a wish to die young but as late in life as possible.” To me, that means that even though I’ve been doing this for over three decades, I’m still a kid in my heart, and I still have all kinds of things that I want to do. This show is the next step!