Tag Archives: News12 Connecticut

News12 Now “As Local As New Jersey Gets”

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.

The familiar face of Tom Appleby.

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.

Andy, Come Home!

“06880” is not in the habit of posting “lost dog” stories. (Main reason: Not enough dogs read this blog.)

However, Andy’s tale rises above the usual ho-hum threshold. It is, as we in the news biz say, a “dog bites man” story.

Andy

Andy — a corgi — was lost around 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve on Guard Hill Road, off Clinton Avenue. Owner Michael Ghiggeri believes he was scared off by the fireworks.

Rather than post “lost dog” flyers on telephone poles, Michael posted on Facebook. Someone shared that on a “Greenwich Mountain Lion” page — who knew? — which drew the attention of News 12 Connecticut. Because it was a slow news day there (as it is here), they did a piece on Andy.

That prompted even more Facebook posts. Strangers poured out of the woods to help. One woman drove an hour, to search on foot. Another drove over with her pajama-clad children sleeping in the back seat.

Donations have poured in, from as far as Florida. One friend even offered $1,000 in reward money.

Michael credits the response to simple reasons: “Pet lovers can relate. Especially corgi lovers — one woman had a corgi with the same markings.”

In addition, people who “personally know Andy” are moved. “He has a unique disposition,” Michael says. “He loves everyone. Instead of barking, he literally ‘woofs.’ He’s just the smartest, easiest, best dog.”

Michael’s wife is a professional horse trainer. At shows up and down the East Coast, he became well known. Horse farms are contributing reward money too.

“Facebook is still growing,” Michael reports. He and his group have passed info along to mailmen, UPS guys, utility workers and dog walkers. They’ve also contacted the Humane Society, animal control and media outlets.

Andy is not wearing a collar. But an embedded microchip provides information on his identity.

“Andy is 11,” Michael notes. “He can hear, but we think it is going. Also, he has cataracts.”

So he definitely will not be reading this post.

But you are. If you see Andy, call 908-399-9428 or email mjghiggeri@yahoo.com.