Ernie Anastos is accentuating the positive.
The long-time New York City TV news anchor is on a mission to deliver uplifting and positive stories to viewers around the country with his weekly half-hour program, “Positively America,” a continuation of his signature “Positively Ernie” segments from his anchoring days.
Anastos, whose career spans four decades as a trusted leading news anchor at ABC 7, CBS 2 and FOX 5, garnering him more than 30 Emmy awards and nominations, has always been passionate about including positive news in his broadcasts.
The world is in turmoil. News about wars, inflation, crime and political scandals dominate the airwaves and social media channels, leaving many people felling hopeless. Because of this, Anastos told amNewYork Metro, the country “needs an uplift” and that “positive news is still alive.”
“How many nights I went on the air, and I said, ‘Good evening,’ and then I had to tell people why it was not a good night,” the veteran anchor recalled. “My mission is positive news. News you can use. If there’s a problem, let me find a solution.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world, Anastos told himself, “It’s time for a new chapter, a new beginning.”
In 2020, the dynamic New York Hall of Fame Broadcaster and Lifetime Emmy Award recipient enrolled in a leadership and management program at Harvard Business School to further his extensive communications background and credentials.
“And then I decided I was going to create something new. And that’s when I decided that I was going to produce and create “Positively America,” Anastos said.
The nationally syndicated show, which hit the airwaves in September 2022 and airs on 200 TV stations, including PIX11 on Sundays at 6 a.m., covers a range of topics, including family, education, health, life challenges, technology, travel, career, and social issues with a positive viewpoint.
Finding the brighter side
Anastos, with the input of experts, provides solutions to everyday problems, hoping to inspire and empower his viewers.
Anastos’s love for reporting started early, listening to the radio under his parents’ kitchen table. When he was 13, he built a studio in the basement, and his mother would listen to his radio show while cooking. At 16, Anastos got his first shot as a talk host at a local radio station in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Anastos said that after covering hard news, he wanted to focus on the positive aspects of everyday life and share his optimistic vision of life. He is committed to spreading positivity across the country and the world, bringing people together by focusing on uplifting stories that unite instead of divide and provide a sense of community.
The show features timely stories, interviews with household names like Marie Osmond, Bob Costas, and Ken Burns, and tips from experts and on-the-street interviews.
With his signature style of reporting, Anastos tackles timely issues with a positive viewpoint ranging from artificial intelligence and drone technology to how people can reinvent themselves for new careers, how to protect children against the misuse of social media, and the importance of teaching children financial literacy.
“As a result, when these kids grow up, they learn to budget, they learn to respect the dollar,” Anastos explained. “And as a result, [they have] less debt, higher credit ratings, and more independence.”
“I love it. And I want to see it continue to grow. I’ve got radio, I’ve got television, I’m going to write a book next year, all about positivity. [Positive news] is what I live for,” Anastos said. “This is what keeps me excited and enthusiastic about life.”
In January, the multimedia journo joined 77 WABC radio to host “Positively Ernie with Ernie Anastos,” a 2-minute inspirational talk that airs daily and a weekly video and audio podcast that includes upbeat interviews with guests like fashion designer Nicole Miller, chef Lidia Bastianich, and ’80s heartthrob Tony Danza. Listeners can tune into his shows at wabcradio.com/Ernie, the WABC radio app, the Red Apple Podcast Network, 77 WABC app, Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcast, iHeart, and Amazon Music.
Anastos shared that he’s planning a series on outstanding New Yorkers who positively impact the community and serve as role models for young people.
“People need to be aware of individuals who are doing good things,” Anastos said. “[There is] too much emphasis on negativity. So I always like to say, ‘How can we reward good behavior?'”
Learning from a legend
John Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Group and owner of 77 WABC, praised the anchor as a “true New York hero, loved and respected for his professional journalistic career, his genuine style and personal dedication to this great city.”
One of Anastos’s mentors was legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite, who told Anastos the lead story should be the one that affects the most people.
“I always thought of it as a sociologist,” Anastos, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, said. “I look at people and say, ‘What is this person in need of right now? What is an issue that is of some service? Social security, people are worried. Will there be enough money? When do you start? So I interview an expert in that field; I say, ‘tell us what you do. How do you prepare for it?'”
Anastos ends his television show with an inspiring personal commentary.
“I talk to people about why they should be enthusiastic about life, why they should grow from their experiences, why they should be kind, why they should have goals and plans for living better,” Anastos said.
For Anastos, passion and a sense of purpose are the most important things in life, and he shared one of his favorite quotes.
“Erma Bombeck, she had a quote that I love. She said, “When I die, and I face God, I want to say I have nothing left. I used all the talent you gave me.”