‘He gave us the tools’: Employees of WHDH owner Ed Ansin remember his lasting legacy

BOSTON (WHDH) - Ed Ansin, the owner of WHDH and WLVI, passed away Sunday at the age of 84. He owned WHDH for more than 25 years and revolutionized local news in Boston and across the country leaving behind a lasting legacy that continues to inspire those who worked for him.

Adam Williams: “Mr. Ansin had an unswerving commitment to this newsroom and really to the industry but, he had an unwavering commitment to the community. I really remember some good times with Mr. Ansin at the Best Buddies bike ride. He didn’t just put the company brand on the packaging and as a sponsor, he would be there and see the faces light up at the event.”

Amaka Ubaka: “For me, Mr. Ansin was not just a talented person. Not only somebody who paved the way in local news but, he was also just a nice guy. He was the kind of person who knew things about you, even though he was an owner, even though he was you know, a billionaire, he still took the time to talk to his employees. And I’ll remember that about him, just being a quality guy, someone with a smile on his face.”

Jadiann Thompson: “Mr. Ansin revolutionized local TV news and that style and that vision is even something that I learned about when I was in college. Then I got the chance to work under that umbrella. He never let his foot off the gas, no matter what anyone said. Including, bringing the 9 o’clock newscast to New England which has been wildly successful.”

Ryan Schulties: “Thinking about Mr. Ansin — what he meant to this place — I always think about the commitment to local news and the resources that he, at the last minute, poured into this place to make us really a local news powerhouse. You think about what he did here and his commitment to that and how he enjoyed working here in an era where so many people were cutting back, he doubled down. I can’t thank him enough. For coming in here as a weekend reporter back in 2006 to now the anchor of 7NEWS at 9, I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity. To take a chance on a young reporter coming into Boston, trying to learn the ropes, and his commitment to me. I’ll never forget that.”

Jeremy Reiner: “Mr. Ansin saw the importance of weather and he gave us the tools to fight those weather wars and I will be forever grateful that he gave me to pursue my dream of being a meteorologist in basically my backyard here in Boston.”

Joe Amorisino: “I am very grateful to have worked for Mr. Ansin for all these years. Through the best of times and the most challenging he always led with a steady hand. He was always measured, disciplined in his decision making, and above everything else, always a gentleman. We will miss him.”

Kim Khazei: “I’ll remember Mr. Ansin as a pioneer and a one-of-a-kind in broadcasting. He was the first to bring this exciting new format to television that others criticized before they saw it here in Boston and then emulated. The first to do a four-hour morning show, the first to do a 4 o’clock newscast, and most recently, the first to do what no other station in this country has done and that is to be an independent station but still be number one in primetime. And to do it always with breaking news in mind, with the community in mind and with his people here in the newsroom at the top of his thoughts.”

Dan Hausle: “I think I may be the only person who was with Mr. Ansin both times he walked away from network affiliation. First in Miami and then here in Boston. Each time they said it was the end and each time it was the beginning of a brand new experiment that saw us delivering the news in more ways from more places than ever before.”

Byron Barnett: “Ed Ansin was definitely one-of-a-kind. I was already here when Ed arrived and took over and right from the start, you knew things were going to be different. He took a struggling TV station and took it right to the top — changing the Boston TV market along the way. His keen sense of business and his absolute love for local TV news made him and by extension us, a force to be reckoned with. Ed Ansin definitely left his mark on the TV news industry. There will never be another one like him.”

Jonathan Hall: “More than 26 years ago, my very first week at Channel 7, Ed recognized me in the parking lot. I was thinking, ‘This is just some guy.’ He thrust his hand out and said, ‘Hi, I’m Ed Ansin,’ and right then I knew, this was an owner who was going to be deeply involved, who cared, and who knew his people. A guy that would back you up, make sure you had all the tools you needed to gather the news quickly and effectively. We are going to miss Ed Ansin terribly. He was such a great leader and a friend.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan: “What a risk-taker. What an innovator. He was just so purely full of the belief that what he thought would work, would work. He had these amazing instincts for what people wanted and even more than that, for what they were going to want. He made us all part of this team to bring that to the core. he changed my life. He changed all of our lives. We at Channel 7 are who we are because of Ed Ansin and we are grateful and proud of that.”

Steve Cooper: “He was a pioneer in every sense of the word when it comes to local broadcasting and bringing local news to our viewers at home. Ed Ansin was always there for me. 22 years ago this week, I walked into 7NEWS, I met with the managers there and then I was hired by Ed Ansin. And to this day I have so much to be thankful for and so much to be grateful for. Ed had so much on his plate but he always paused to remember the people in the trenches, the people out in the street, the people working so hard to make 7NEWS what it is today.”

We will continue to work to make Mr. Ansin proud and continue his vision into the future.

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