Legend and icon, words that are commonly misused and overused. But they could have been written just for Gabe Pressman. The Bronx native was 93. He was a fixture at WNBC for decades, getting a lifetime contract with his second stint in 1980.
The pioneering broadcaster is credited as the first street reporter in New York, when he joined WNBC in 1956.
“Gabe was the real deal!” Sue Simmons, his longtime WNBC colleague, remembers. “There was no one more respected in our newsroom. In my moments of insecurity, he was always gently supportive.”
Along the way, he interviewed mayors, governors and presidents. Pressman would do just that, “pressing” his subjects to answer for a hard-hitting story and becoming a leading proponent for the First Amendment.
There was plenty of shock in 1972 when Pressman switched channels to WNEW (now WNYW).
Former News Director Ted Kavanau got word from his general manager Larry Fraiberg that Pressman liked the Ten O’Clock News.
He almost single-handedly invented television news reporting in New York. Gabe Pressman and his six decades in the industry were honored Friday at the Fair Media Council’s Folio Awards. His award became a lifetime achievement appearance for the irreplaceable Pressman, who received two standing ovations sandwiching his speech and short video of his legendary career.
Pressman tells Tuned In, “It’s been a very interesting lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it for it any other experience.”
The pioneering broadcast journalist who turned 91 in February has been with NBC for more than a half-century.
“You are privileged to be a witness to interesting things that happen,” Pressman says. “I’ve had a whole lifetime of that.”
Perhaps Pressman’s most famous coverage came on November 22, 1963 in the hours after President Kennedy was shot. He left an assignment to wait for word from Dallas.
Popular sports anchor Andy Adler is city bound! She’s been named an entertainment reporter and sports anchor for the PIX Morning News. Adler starts April 7.
Adler had a “test run” on Channel 11 as a contributor during the station’s Super Bowl coverage.
“After working with Andy during Super Bowl week, we knew she would make a great addition to our team, her talents and energy are the perfect complement to PIX11’s Morning News,” Mark Effron, VP/News Director, said.
She gained a following at WNYW as a weekend sports anchor and co-host of Sports Extra. She was field reporter for the New York Giants pre and post-game shows on Channel 5 and served as traveling reporter for New York Jets games on WWOR.
Adler had been based in Los Angeles since 2010, where she most recently was the Los Angeles Lakers pre-and post-game host on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. In addition, she was a reporter and anchor at KNBC.
“Andy’s dynamic personality will be a great enhancement to the morning news team, and her extensive sports knowledge will be a catalyst for growth as we continue to develop PIX11’s newscasts and special sports coverage,” said Rich Graziano, President/GM, PIX11.
It’s another major shakeup at WNYW. The Fox flagship has dropped its investigative unit led by Arnold Diaz. Tuned In has learned that Diaz and the three producers assigned to that unit have been axed. Sources confirm that the senior investigative correspondent, and his Shame on You segment, is gone from WNYW. Diaz has amassed more than 40 Emmy Awards for consumer reporting. The Brooklyn-born Diaz started at Fox 5 in 2006. He spent more than two decades at WCBS/Channel 2, before going national with ABC’s 20/20 in 1995.
A WNYW spokesperson refused comment to Tuned In, but VP/GM Lew Leonetold TVSpy “…We want to thank him for his many contributions to FOX 5.”