Wednesday, May 1, 2019

R.I.P.: Tom Ellis, Longtime Boston News Anchor

Tom Ellis
Tom Ellis, the broadcast anchorman ruled local airwaves in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, died Monday. 

He died from cancer at age 86, according to The Boston Herald.

Ellis delivered record ratings to each of Boston’s network affiliate stations.  He grew up in Texas and got his start in TV news in San Antonio in 1958. He came to Boston in 1968 as the sole evening anchor for WBZ’s 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts and almost immediately earned robust ratings.

Central casting couldn’t have found a better example of what an ideal TV anchorman should be: He was fit, handsome, with a rich, distinctive voice, but Ellis was so much more than that. He brought intelligence and professionalism to the news desk at a time when personalities were paramount on local airwaves.

In 1974, WBZ teamed him at the news desk with Tony Pepper for what was promoted as the “Ellis-Pepper Bandwagon.” At WCVB from 1978-1982, he co-anchored with fellow legends Natalie Jacobson and Chet Curtis. He co-anchored at WNEV, now WHDH, from 1982-1986 with Robin Young and Diane Willis.

A member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Ellis’ final local stop — and his longest job — was at New England Cable News, where he served as weekend anchor from 1994 until his retirement in 2009. The retirement part wasn’t precisely his choice. NECN had decided to part ways.

Ellis occasionally moonlighted in TV commercials, appeared on the ABC soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” and had cameo appearances in three films: “Marathon Man” (1976) as a TV anchor; “29th Street” (1991) as a newscaster; and “True Colors” (1991) as an FBI agent.

No comments:

Post a Comment