Family of Ed Ansin remembers giant of broadcasting industry

(WSVN) - To the public, Ed Ansin was a television pioneer. Someone who rewrote the rules of broadcast television.

But to his children, he was so much more.

The Nightteam’s Patrick Fraser sat down with sons Andy and James to talk about the man in a way only they would know.

Andy Ansin: “He was remarkable in many ways, not with just how he was with us and the family and teaching me.”

The father of Andy, James, and his daughter Stephanie, he was known as a gentle, kind leader, admired by all of the people who worked for him.

James Ansin: “I think because they saw the way my father worked in that he really enjoyed it, and they enjoyed working with him. I think everyone thought they were partners as well.”

Ansin worked every day. The 84-year-old passed away on Sunday but was at Channel 7 all day on Friday because he didn’t consider it work.

James Ansin: “It really was the love of his life. He was so connected to South Florida and the news, and it never ended. It never stopped.”

His employees admired him. His children and grandchildren adored him.

James Ansin: “He was fun, but he was tough. He wouldn’t let anything slide. It was the same thing. He was very disciplined.”

Andy joked growing up he never knew how successful his father was.

Andy Ansin: “He also didn’t spoil us. Much to our annoyance. He could have. I didn’t find out that he was as wealthy, that our family was as wealthy as we are, until my junior year in college. In fact, it was because Forbes magazine listed it. I had no idea. My friends were like, ‘Hey, your dad is in Forbes.'”

Mr. Ansin, as he was known, was incredibly generous, one of the few business owners who funded a pension for his employees even though the financial experts said it’s not a great idea.

James Ansin: “Once in a while an accountant would bring up, ‘Should we change our plan from a pension?’ He would say,  ‘Absolutely no. I’m committed to our family.'”

He worked hard to take care of his family and employees, but he had his fun.

James Ansin: “One of my last memories of me with him was going to the Super Bowl this past February, Super Bowl 54. I was hoping the Dolphins would be in it. Unfortunately they weren’t, but that was the last event I went with him.”

Andy liked to go on hikes with his father, but it wasn’t just for the sights.

Andy Ansin: “Really it was like a father-son retreat, and we would talk about business and life and relationships for days.”

Andy said his father may have recently had his greatest business achievement with the independent TV station he owned in Boston.

Andy Ansin: “In some ways the timing of his death couldn’t be any better, because this was his proudest moment to be the only independent station, to be number one in prime time in the entire country. He was so proud of it.”

With the passing of their father, the children now move forward, remembering what their father told them: “Owning a TV station brings responsibility to serve the community.”

Andy Ansin: “The news station here locally, we can provide that service, and it’s important for us to continue to provide that service. It’s a great responsibility as a local person to do that.”

He was an extraordinary man. Now his children will follow in his footsteps, on the path he set for them.

James Ansin: “He worked so hard that his legacy to continue and that we would be positioned no matter what happened to him or to us, that the company can continue.”

Ed Ansin is gone. But his memories will be here forever.

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