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Ed Ansin on 'Leno': 'Glad It's Over'

Some people might’ve thought Ed Ansin was nuts when he spoke out against The Jay Leno Show last spring, and said he’d pre-empt the program to air a local news at 10 on WHDH Boston.

Given all that’s happened in the last few days over at NBC, Ansin would certainly be within his rights to take part in a little giddy “I told ya so.”

Ansin is not doing so, though he did tell the Boston Globe he’s “glad it’s over.”

“It’s an experiment,” he said, “and it didn’t work.”

Ansin made oodles of money in real estate and owns Sunbeam Television, comprised of WHDH and WSVN Miami. He splits his time between Boston and Miami, which allows him to watch both of his stations.

Ansin told the Globe he remains a fan of Leno:

...noting that he has special appeal in New England because he is funny but “not sophomoric.” He said TV dramas have historically succeeded in prime-time television ratings, referencing shows like “Hill Street Blues” and “thirtysomething” as well as more recent programs like “Law & Order” and “ER.” He said that he had been opposed to moving Leno’s show to prime time because it was “analogous to asking viewers to watch ‘The Today Show’ at 10 o’clock” at night.”

“I’ve been in television a long time,” he said. “Since 1962.”

Ansin doesn’t say much, which was part of why his initial opposition to NBC last spring was such a shock. We’d hoped to talk to him about Leno the past few weeks, but he declined.

But we did get Ansin to sit for a profile in August.

“I’m pretty mild-mannered,” he said at the time. “But if I see something we have to stand up and contest, I don’t mind doing it.”

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.