Ed Ansin, the longtime owner of Boston TV station WHDH (Channel 7), died Sunday. He was 84.
Paul Magnes, executive vice president of Channel 7′s parent company, Sunbeam Television, confirmed Ansin’s death in an email to employees, saying in part, "Ed was a broadcast pioneer and a true leader, at WSVN, WHDH and WLVI, in the community, and in both the real estate and broadcast industries."
"Besides his family, Ed loved nothing more than owning and operating his television stations," Magnes' memo read. "We are all so fortunate to have worked for a man who truly cared about his employees and the industry."
Despite his age, Ansin remained involved at Sunbeam, which owns Channel 7 and Boston sister station WLVI-TV (Channel 56) and WSVN-TV (Channel 7) in Miami.
“Most people think I’m crazy not to retire,” Ansin told the Boston Globe in December 2019. “Tom Brady plays football until he’s 42, and that’s crazy, too. I’m obsessed with television. I just like it.”
Chris Wayland, the president and general manager of the NBC Boston Owned Properties and Regional Sports Networks, worked with Ansin at both WHDH and Sunbeam.
Wayland said in a statement that Ansin "impacted local broadcast television more than anyone that has ever lived.”
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“He didn’t just change the playing field, he changed the game. Since Ed came to Boston, local and national news has been influenced in tangible ways by his original vision," Wayland said. "He changed my life both personally and professionally in immeasurable ways. I will forever be indebted and grateful to Ed. I am crushed and my heart aches for the Ansin and Sunbeam family. We lost a giant today the likes of which we will never see again."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh reacted to the news of Ansin's death on Twitter, writing, "Sad to hear of the passing of Ed Ansin who was a trailblazer in the Boston media market, leading @7News with a steady hand for decades and leaving a lasting mark on the entire television industry. He will be missed."
Ansin's sons, Andy and James, will be taking over leadership of the company as part of a transition plan, according to Magnes' memo, which says the three stations and real estate division are "all in good hands."
Ansin purchased WHDH in 1993.