Veteran news anchor Ernie Anastos is leaving WNYW/5 for Harvard Business School where he will begin a "special program of studies" in media management, the station announced Monday.
Anastos, who hasn't been on the air at the station in months, left the 6 p.m. broadcast where he had been co-anchor back in March. He joined Ch. 5 in 2005 as co-anchor of the 10 p.m. broadcast.
In a statement released by the station, Anastos, 76, called his move to Cambridge "a wonderful educational opportunity to expand on my media experience and create new programming for New York viewers.”
In the release, Ch. 5 said he would begin "various studies in leadership management principles" at the school, and that his course of studies was part of a "specialized executive education program in entertainment, media and sports."
Once among New York's best-known and popular anchors, Anastos joined WABC/7 in 1978 as a replacement for Larry Kane — himself a nationally known anchor in Philadelphia whose stint at Ch. 7 lasted but a year — and later co-anchored the 5 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Kaity Tong, now at WPIX/11. In 1989, he jumped to WCBS/2, then left there a few years later for an on-air role at the now-defunct "NewsTalk" cable network. Following a quick stop at WWOR/9, he returned briefly to Ch. 2.
While the Channel 5 run was long, it never quite recaptured the glory days at Ch. 7, but did yield an on-air incident that went viral in 2009 when he inadvertently uttered an expletive while joking about "plucking chickens" with weather forecaster Nick Gregory. He became anchor of the 6 p.m. broadcast in 2014.
In his statement, Anastos said, “I will miss my close colleagues [but] can’t say enough about New Yorkers who are the best TV news viewers in the world.” Ch. 5 said he'll begin at Harvard on Wednesday.