Edmund N. Ansin (March 9, 1936–July 26, 2020) was an American billionaire and co-founder of Sunbeam Television.
1 Early life and education
4 Personal life
Early life and education
Ansin was born to a Jewish family, in Worcester, Massachusetts and raised in nearby Athol, Massachusetts. In 1936, his father, Sidney D. Ansin, the son of a Ukrainian immigrant, founded Anwelt Shoe, a shoe manufacturing business in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and he moved the family to Florida in 1941. His parents were the founding members of Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach. Ansin was sent back to Massachusetts for preparatory school at Andover Academy. After two years at Harvard University, he graduated in 1957 from the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics. His brother is former Massachusetts commerce commissioner Ronald Ansin. Ronald bought Anwelt Shoe from his father in 1966.
In 1962, Ed and his father formed Sunbeam Television Corporation after Sidney Ansin purchased the license for Miami's NBC-affiliated television station, WCKT, for $3.4 million. Ed Ansin became an executive vice president at Sunbeam; after his father's death in 1971, he became Sunbeam's president. WCKT changed its call letters to WSVN in 1983, and at the end of 1988, WSVN lost its affiliation with NBC and Ansin, after rebuking then CBS chairman Laurence Tisch's offer to purchase the station, found himself without network sponsorship. The station affiliated with the up-start Fox network, and supplemented its local news broadcasts with content from the newly launched CNN satellite network. Rather than follow the conventional approach used by successful independent stations (morning kids' shows, afternoon game shows, evening movies, and syndicated sitcoms), Ansin instead decided to focus on news. Instead of dry and stoic presentation, he and his news director, Joel Cheatwood, created the now ubiquitous Miami News Style with fast-paced reporting, crime-lead stories, live breaking coverage, and pretty presenters. "If it bleeds, it leads" became an industry catch phrase. The approach was wildly successful and WSVN news soon became the market leader. WSVN reported $96 million in revenues in 2011
In 1993, Ansin bought Boston's WHDH Channel 7. He shortened the time spent on individual news stories, relied heavily on video and audio effects, and emphasized "on-the-spot" reporting. In 2006, Sunbeam Television purchased Boston's WLVI, a CW Television Network affiliate, from Tribune Broadcasting.
Sunbeam Properties, a subsidiary of Sunbeam Television, developed the 400-acre Miramar Park of Commerce, the largest business park in Broward County.
Ansin was the only person who has received the United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Award for philanthropy in three different cities. Ansin donated $1 million to build Emerson College's radio station and technical communications building. Ansin and his brother Ron, former Massachusetts commerce commissioner, donated $2.6 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and their Youth Service Providers Network.
Ansin was divorced from his wife Toby Lerner Ansin, who founded the Miami City Ballet. They have three children: Andrew Ansin works at Sunbeam Properties, James Ansin works at Sunbeam Television, and Stephanie Ansin, artistic director and co-founder of The PlayGround Theatre (now the Miami Theater Center). The Ansins were members of Temple Beth David.
The Sunbeam Television broadcast operations are expected to continue on within the Ansin family, lead by Andrew and James.
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