Brian Niemietz of the New York Daily News

Ernie Anastos looks back on his biggest stories...

Veteran TV newsman Ernie Anastos reported a lot of stories in 2018, but the Fox 5 anchor is living a tale of his own as he winds down his 40th year of broadcasting over New York City 's airwaves.

"You know, it's amazing," the multiple Emmy-winner told the Daily News. "It's a positive affirmation of my purpose in life. I meet people on the street who watched me and now their kids are growing up watching me."

Anastos, 75, started his career bouncing around Boston, Chicago and Providence in the 1970s before landing at WABC's "Eyewitness News" in 1978 next to his "good friend" Rose Ann Scamardella, who inspired Gilda Radner 's famed "Roseanne Roseannadanna" character on "Saturday Night Live. Live."

Just a few weeks into the job, Anastos got his first big scoop -- a courthouse interview with Vogue model Melanie Cain, who was at the center of a love triangle that ended in the murder of her pub owner fiancé at the hands of a horse trainer to whom she'd also been romantically linked.

"They put me on it and said, `Hey can you do something with this?" he recalled. "I'd only been in New York maybe a month -- to cut a long story short, I got an exclusive interview. That story put me on the map." In January 1979, Anastos struck gold again with another huge scoop.

"I was the only reporter (around) when (former U.S. Vice President) Nelson Rockefeller died -- that particular night he had a heart attack and they brought him to Lenox Hill hospital," he recalled. "I ran to the hospital and got an exclusive."

Reporting on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks stands out as the most poignant series of stories Anastos has done, which profoundly affected the good-natured anchor. "Over the years there have been papal visits, World Series, Super Bowls, New Year's Eves, but the story that really changed me the most, and was the most painful and significant in my career, was 9/11 and how we responded as a city and as a family and a country," he said.  Anastos held it together on the air night after night, but the horror caught up with him when the cameras stopped rolling.

"When we were on the air we kept doing our job," he said. "Then one time I went into my office, this had to be two weeks in, and I was talking with someone ... about what had transpired and I lost it," Anastos said. "I didn't lose it on the air, but I lost it in conversation. All of that emotion built up in me." Anastos still has a chunk of glass from one of the twin towers' windows that a fireman gave to him at the site of the fallen skyscrapers. When he attempted to tell a charity event crowd about that piece of glass a couple of years later, he broke down again.

"I couldn't go on," Anastos recalled. "I really had to stop and catch my composure."


Published Articles

Happy Ernie Anastos Day!


Today is Ernie Anastos Day in New York. 

Anastos is being recognized by Mayor Bill de Blasio with a special reception and his own day today.  Read more...

Mayor to honor Ernie Anastos


Emmy-award winning news anchor Ernie Anastos will be honored by Mayor Bill de Blasio with a special reception Tuesday.  The mayor will declare March 21 "Ernie Anastos Day in New York" in recognition of the Fox 5 anchor.  Read more...

Ernie's Uplifting Stories


Ernie Anastos has been talking to kids for years, and, sadly, he's found a theme: They have a pretty dismal view of TV news.  Time after time, these kids inevitably say that the only way they'd get on the news is if they killed someone.  Read more...

The Importance of Being Ernie


Cops love him. So do schoolchildren, and their parents, and nice old ladies, and waiters in Greek diners, and charity bigwigs, and late-night comedians. Read more...

Q & A with Ernie Anastos


Lifetime Emmy Award winner Ernie Anastos has been the voice of Big Apple news for more than three decades. In 1985, the New York Institute of Technology named him Anchorman of the Year; last year, the school granted him an honorary doctorate. This month, Anastos – now anchoring for WNYW-TV – joined the NYIT Board of Trustees.  Read more...

Ernie's Big New


Veteran TV news anchor Ernie Anastos has penned a children's book about an intrepid reporter named - What else? - Ernie."Ernie and the Big Newz" tells the story of a youngster who follows his dream to become a member of the popular Big Newz team in New York.  Read more...

Put more positive news on TV!


Fox’s New York City affiliate is aiming for fewer stories about car crashes, fires and crime on its 6 p.m. newscast. “People are always asking about more coverage on issues and stories that can help us to better understand our lives and the changes around us,” he said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “This is what we’re going to do at 6pm.”  Read more...

Ernie Anastos shares his views


WNYW news anchor Ernie Anastos on the cultural differences and work ethic in Greece.  Read more...

Positively Ernie


The pressure of being the font of information in this city is intense. But it is a responsibility that Ernie Anastos does with circumspection and with a smile. After all, he is New York. Forever synonymous with our fair metropolis, Mr. Anastos has enjoyed recognition and success beyond which many achieve.  Read more...

Stanford focuses on media


STAMFORD -- After an estimated 15,000 newscasts over 40 years in broadcasting, New York Fox 5 anchor Ernie Anastos said he would like to see the media give up the "if it bleeds, it leads" template in favor of more balanced coverage.  Read more...

Up Close and personal


Ernie Anastos, an Emmy award-winning Fox News (news anchor for the mass media and TV celebrity) broadcaster and the first Greek-American anchor in the country states: “I am very proud of my Greek heritage. I am extremely proud of my family and all of the good values and qualities that they’ve passed on to me.  Read more...

Magazine Articles

Ernie Anastos - NY's TV Legend


Take a look at the fantastic article on page 18!  Read more...

NYIT Board of Trustees


Excellent article on this tremendous honor as Ernie Anastos joins the NYIT Board of Trustees


Fair Media Council Awards


Humbled to have been honored with this Lifetime Achievement Award for being the Best in Local News!  Read more...