Friday, October 21, 2016

On the air with Ernie Anastos

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  • See Video Below
William C. Vantuono (left) and Ernie Anastos

Ernie Anastos, anchor of the 6:00 news on WNYW-TV Fox 5 New York, is one of the best broadcast journalists I’ve come across in numerous television appearances during my nearly 25 years at Railway Age.

See Video Below

News anchor Ernie Anastos with William C. Vantuono WNYW-TV Fox 5

Ernie’s credentials are, to say the least, impressive: A New York Hall of Fame Broadcaster, he has won more than 30 Emmy awards and is the first and only New York TV anchor to receive a Lifetime Emmy Award, the highest honor given by The New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The New York Times described Ernie as “the ubiquitous anchorman” who has captured the love and respect of New Yorkers. Ernie has covered major stories that have shaped the past three decades, among them the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. He met with Fidel Castro in Cuba to produce a series of special reports on the anniversary of the Cuban revolution, traveled to the war-torn countries of El Salvador and Nicaragua, and has interviewed past world leaders, among them Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Desmond Tutu.

Frankly, I’m honored that a journalist of Ernie’s stature wanted to talk to Railway Age about important, very public issues involving the railway industry. There’s too much misinformation being disseminated in the general media about railroads and railroad safety (like our Federal Railroad Administrator calling air brakes “Civil War-era” technology). I’m always willing to accept media invitations because I believe I can at least try to explain and interpret things in a way that the general public can understand.

What you’ll see on the video is a roughly four-minute conversation—live TV appearances tend to occur in the blink of an eye to a person being interviewed. Why you won’t see is a private preparatory meeting in the “green room” prior to the broadcast. When I arrived at the Fox 5 studios, I was expecting to meet with a producer and then go on the air cold, not knowing what to expect. Instead, I was told Ernie was going to meet with personally. I wasn’t expecting this! Well, he came in, sat down with me with material he had prepared. We spent the next 15 or so minutes discussing what we were going to cover. Ernie put me at ease and listened intently to what I had to say—a consummate professional, very engaging. Aside from a desire to have a useful, substantive on-air discussion in a very limited time frame, he had no agenda, no pre-conceived notions.

How refreshing. Ernie, anytime you want to talk railroads, I’ll be happy to oblige.




William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, William C. Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age’s leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts, among them Next-Generation Train Control, Light Rail, and Rail Insights. He is the author or co-author or editor of several books, among them All About Railroading; John Armstrong’s The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does; Railway Age’s Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary; and Planning, Engineering, and Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey.

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