To mark NY1's 20th anniversary, anchors Pat Kiernan and Roma Torre helped flip the switch Tuesday at the Empire State Building, allowing the landmark structure to be lit up with the station's signature colors of yellow and blue. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
It had to happen eventually. On Tuesday afternoon, NY1 was the breaking news.
The station's regular scheduled programming was interrupted to bring NY1 anchors Pat Kiernan and Roma Torre flipping a switch to symbolically light up the Empire State Building in the station colors, to mark NY1's 20th anniversary. It was a precursor to the actual building being bathed in blue and yellow Tuesday night.
"We're just a part of the city, the same way the Staten Island Ferry is part of the city, the Yankees are part of the city, the New York Times is part of the city. NY1 is on that list now and that's a pretty amazing accomplishment in 20 years," Kiernan said.
Kiernan and Torre have worked together at NY1 almost as long as the station has existed. As part of the original crew, Torre remembers Time Warner Cable's 24-hour news experiment had lofty goals.
"It's what they told us they wanted to be, was, you know, a really solid news organization and we proved them right," said Torre. "And we proved our detractors and naysayers wrong and that is very touching to me."
Speaking on the 86th floor, it was very clear to Time Warner Cable executives that the Empire State Building and NY1 are two great city institutions known for their "stories."
"When we talk to customers. their number one reason for loving Time Warner Cable is NY1 and they tell me that all day, every day," said John Quigley, Time Warner Cable's regional vice president of operations.
"I don't think any of us, when we started 20 years ago, would ever have imagined that we'd be here at the Empire State Building, or I don't know we didn't ever think about NY1 becoming a New York institution, which NY1 has definitely become over the years," said NY1 News Director Dan Jacobson.
"We started out as a very risky venture. Not too many people gave us much of a chance. We were the classic 'Little Engine that Could' in a city that was ruled by media giants. But we proved that youthful energy and good old fashioned chutzpah made us very competitive in this market," Torre said.
Time Warner Cable customers already know all the reasons NY1 is a city institution, from Weather On The Ones, to the NY1 Minute and, of course, "In The Papers."
So keep watching. For our anniversary, NY1 is illuminating, but the station is always enlightening.
NY1 will officially mark 20 years on Saturday.