TWO  standing ovations from more than 400 fans, ranging from Long Island leaders to the best in New York news, highlighted a tribute to the life and times of legendary newsman Ernie Anastos, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Fair Media Council. 

The star-studded luncheon included a who’s who in news and business: 10 news anchors participated in the program to share stories, memories and laughs about working with Anastos over the years, as well as hand out awards to the best in news as chosen by the public.

A life should not be evaluated by importance, but by significance

From the we-kid-you-not category: FOX5’s Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly performed a Hamilton-inspired rap, and PIX11’s Kaity Tong made a cameo appearance. Brenda Blackmon — one of Anastos’ many TV wives — kicked off the awards program, which also included CBS 2’s Mary Calvi, WLNY’s Dick Brennan, CBS/PIX’s Craig Allen, WCBS Newsradio’s Wayne Cabot and NBC 4’s Natalie Pasquarella and Michael Gargiulo all participated creating one of the biggest buzz-worthy events on Long Island in years.

New York Icon Ernie Anastos with FOX5 boss Lew Leone and Fair Media Council's Jaci Clement
New York Icon Ernie Anastos with FOX5 boss Lew Leone and Fair Media Council’s Jaci Clement

From the guest list: FOX News Television Stations boss and legend Dennis Swanson, FOX5 boss Lew Leone, FOX5 News Vice President Byron Harmon, WABC-TV President David J. Davis, Connoisseur Media’s Jim Condron, NBC 4 News Director Susan Sullivan, WCBS Newsradio 880’s News & Programming Director Tim Scheld, WLIW General Manager Diane Masciale, PIX11’s Assistant News Director Bob Marra, Regional Editor Ryan Bonner, Herald Community Newspapers’ Executive Editor John O’Connell and Long Island Business News Publisher Scott Schoen.

Jaci Clement, CEO of the Fair Media Council, praised Anastos for a lifetime of commitment to public service and exceptional achievement in the news industry, including 30 Emmy Awards and nominations. Of Anastos’ longevity in the business, Clement noted he’s “someone who’s always been there to get us through the good times, and someone we’ve grown to rely on to help us through the bad.”

FOX5’s Harmon did the official honors of presenting Anastos with the Fair Media Council award, and he did so with wit, sentiment and charm.

For his part, Anastos spoke briefly, underscoring the need to maintain a positive attitude to get the most out of life and emphasizing a life should not be evaluated by importance, but by significance.

The Fair Media Council is headquartered in Bethpage, Long Island and has served the public interest in media matters since 1979. FMC is one of the oldest, most successful media watchdogs in the country.