What longtime local wouldn’t recognize Ernie Anastos?
A fixture on ABC, CBS, and FOX 5 for more than 40 years, Anastos is a Hall of Fame broadcaster who has taken home 15 Emmy Awards and earned an additional 15 nominations. Former NYC mayor Bill de Blasio even honored Anastos with his own day (it’s March 21, in case you’re wondering). Now, the anchor is back after a two-year absence with a new project, Positively America With Ernie Anastos.
“My passion has always been to be close to people, listen to them, and respond to them. So, when I created my show, I wanted the program to answer the call, right now, for more positive stories and more information that people can use,” says Anastos. “I hear from a lot of people who say that they can’t watch the news anymore, and I can understand that because it’s just so depressing, whether it’s the war, economics, violence, shootings, or everything else that goes along with it. So, I said, ‘Let me create something that will help balance that out.’”
The show — which Anastos is producing, along with Pettengill Productions and syndicated by Telco Productions — is a half-hour weekly program debuting September 10 that will feature sit-downs with notable personalities peppered amid insights and tips from experts and on-the-street interviews. So far, Marie Osmond, Bob Costas, and Ken Burns, among other notables, have already spent time with Anastos. “I want to entertain and educate and to inspire and empower people,” Anastos says of the show, which is supported by Tarrytown’s Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Ahead, Anastos will also begin regular appearances on the hit children’s show Wonderama, an iconic family program that began in the 1950s and currently reaches 90 million households each week. Anastos says he has big plans for Positively America: “I want to start with Positively America and make that a success story, but I then want to bring it worldwide. I’m looking to expand into other countries; I’ve already laid the groundwork for that.”
Yet, no matter how grand the scale of his ambitions, behind it all is the passion the broadcaster has harbored since childhood. “To this day, if I’m on the air — I don’t care whether it’s ABC 7, CBS 2 or Fox 5, talking to who-knows-how-many people out there — I still feel that I’m in the basement, 13 years old, playing the radio at home, having my fun. That feeling has never left me, and I feel that way now, that this is something I was just born to do. It’s my gift, and I am so grateful for it.”