Veteran WWNY employee gets surprise from morning crew

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 9:07 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - If you were watching 7 News This Morning today, you saw our morning crew bid happy retirement to one of the station’s longest serving employees.

Eric Amundsen retires next week, after 39 years as a broadcast technician at WWNY.

As we wrapped up our weekly segment with Chef Chris Manning, a special treat - a plate of meatballs prepared by Beth Hall and delivered by ‘Chef Alex’ (in reality, the redoubtable Alex Eddy, our ace computer guy) - was carried into master control. You can watch the moment by clicking on the picture above this note.

A few words about Eric:

He’s done different jobs at WWNY, but really, his main job has been in what we call master control. It’s the part of the TV station which runs the shows and commercials going out for WWNY and for our Fox station, WNYF.

Master control is more than a little like an air traffic control tower. The person running it has to keep an eye on a bank of video monitors, feeding our signals for both stations to cable TV and satellite TV and plain old ordinary over the air, use your antenna TV.

It’s a lot to pay attention to, and that’s not nearly all the job entails.

Anyway, for the last 20 years, starting right after 9/11, Eric has been the sign-on master control operator, which means that all those terrible, snowed in, iced over, flooded out days when you couldn’t get out of your driveway or off to work, somehow, Eric got here. He is the guy who makes sure all the closings and cancellations get safely to the bottom of your TV screen. He’s the guy, who - when all else fails - makes sure there’s something on your TV set on channel 7 (or 4, or whatever you get us on) to watch.

On a personal note, for about as long as Eric ran master control, I was deeply involved in closings and cancellations. When I frequently had to call in to master control because I needed to get some message on TV, or change what we already had, Eric was my partner in crime. I will miss the sound of his voice.

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