Marc Malusis said he was "gutted" when he learned in December that his midday show on WFAN had been canceled. But as difficult as that news was to take, this month brought an equally emotional reaction in the other direction.
"I’m ecstatic," he said of his new job as a WPIX-TV anchor, which he began on Monday. "I’m elated. When I found out that I got offered the job, honestly, I started to cry. I got emotional. I’m an emotional guy.
"It shows you that being a good person, being good at what you do, establishing a brand where people trust you and just doing things the right way affords you an opportunity."
Malusis, 45, will anchor sports reports on evening newscasts and be seen on PIX11’s Thursday night "Big Apple Ball" basketball show and Sunday night "Sports Nation" program.
His schedule likely will limit or preclude him from working on SNY, where he has been for 14 years. But he still will be heard on WFAN, mostly on weekends, including his Sunday show with David Diehl during football season.
Speaking of WFAN, Malusis has worked there for 21 years in a variety of roles. He saw co-hosting middays with Maggie Gray for two years as an opportunity he had worked for his entire career. Then it was over.
"I was surprised," he said of learning the show would end, to be replaced by Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney. "I was gutted. I was all of those things . . . It took me a little while to get over it, in all honesty."
Malusis spoke about the weekday cancellation on his football show that Sunday, saying he was "the last to know" and pointedly leaving Gray off his thank-you list. Gray soon landed at CBS Sports Radio on a show with co-host Andrew Perloff.
Others on WFAN, notably Craig Carton, have alluded to what happened between Malusis and Gray, suggesting Malusis was left out of the loop.
But Malusis said only this about it: "I don’t have any ill will toward anybody. I think my statement said it all a couple of days after it all went down. People have said what they have said, but I’ll let my statement stand on its own."
Malusis, widely known by the nickname "Moose," now has landed on his feet at a local media outlet with a far longer history even than WFAN.
From the mid-1970s to mid-'90s, its lead sports anchor was Jerry Girard, one of the most memorable characters in New York TV news history, an iconoclast with a dry, biting wit.
"When you think about PIX11, that’s the first thing everyone mentions: Jerry Girard," Malusis said. "He did it a little bit differently and was able to cut through in New York. I’m going to try and bring that to the TV airwaves."
The era of widely influential local TV sports anchors is long over, but Malusis hopes to try new things with his PIX11 on-air colleagues Justin Walters and Joe Mauceri.
"They’re open to ideas, open to doing different things," Malusis said of the station. "I’m really excited to be at a spot where they’re really supportive, really appreciative of everything I’ve done over the course of my career."
Malusis said the reaction to his new job from friends and fans has been "overwhelming" since Newsday first reported it last Thursday.
"It means everything," he said. "The reaction on social media has really been touching and overwhelming. I appreciate it. I’ve not been able to get back to each and every person, but trust me, it all landed.
"Oftentimes you can see where people get kicked when they’re down. All the fans kind of lifted me up when my spirits were down and were celebrating when I landed at PIX."