Cablevision has a funny way of “more effectively and consistently” delivering “high-quality hyper-local news” to Fairfield County viewers.
They’ve gotten rid of the guy who did it for more than 3 decades, and replaced him with someone 2 states away.
Tom Appleby — the steady pro who guided area residents through hurricanes and blizzards; reported on murders, budget battles, zoning issues and lost pets, and since 1984 has been the face of News12 for countless local residents — is the most prominent victim of Cablevision’s new owner’s cost-cutting measures.
In addition to shutting a call center in Shelton and back-office operation in Stratford — affecting 600 jobs — new owner Altice has moved nearly all News12 production work from Norwalk to Edison, New Jersey. Only a skeleton staff of reporters and videographers remains on Norwalk’s Cross Street.
Appleby was more than a familiar news anchor. He served as Cablevision’s vice president, general manager and news director. He helped win many awards, including numerous Emmys.
Appleby is a true pro. A Dartmouth grad — with a master’s and Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan — he also hosted a weekend public affairs show, “Focus on Connecticut.”
News12 has served as a valuable proving ground for countless reporters and anchors, just starting their careers. Many have moved on to bigger stations, far beyond Fairfield County.
But through 6 presidents since the Reagan Administration — or, more locally, throughout the terms of 1st selectmen Bill Seiden, Martha Hauhuth, Doug Wood, Joe Arcudi, Diane Farrell, Gordon Joseloff and Jim Marpe — Tom Appleby has been there for us.
He never left for a larger market. He reported stories, delivered news, mentored talent, and — most importantly — cared deeply about all of Fairfield County, and everyone in it.
Now Cablevision has left him.
And left the rest of us with an empty slogan: “As local as local news gets.”
Delivered from right around the corner, in Edison, New Jersey.