In this week’s issue… CT anchor dies suddenly – Morning change in Syracuse – Remembering Joe Smith, Carroll Spinney – Toronto anchor retires – Galaxy gets Twitch-y

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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*For more than 33 years, Denise D’Ascenzo’s calm demeanor was a fixture on CONNECTICUT television screens, a rare constant presence amidst other anchor changes as she remained in place as the evening anchor on Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB (Channel 3).

It’s understandable, then, that the state’s TV news community was reeling Saturday as news broke of her death at age 61, apparently after suffering a heart attack in her sleep.

D’Ascenzo came to WFSB in 1986, moving east from Cleveland’s WJKW (Channel 8, now WJW), where she’d been the 6 and 11 PM anchor for three years; before that, she’d been at WIXT (Channel 9, now WSYR-TV) in Syracuse, after graduating from Syracuse University. The move to Hartford was for family, to be closer to her fiance, and it was the last one she’d make: she settled in at WFSB and never moved again.

Much of her time on the WFSB anchor desk was spent next to Dennis House, who had the tearful duty of announcing her death Saturday night. “She was my sister, my TV wife, my best friend here and my co-anchor for 25 years,” House said on the air.

D’Ascenzo won 11 Emmys, two Murrows, and many other awards. In 2013, she was elected to the NATAS Silver Circle for her significant contributions to broadcasting, and in 2015 she was inducted into the Connecticut Broadcasting Hall of Fame. D’Ascenzo, who was 61, is survived by her husband and a daughter.

We have a great lineup of podcasts here on our site. While you’re catching up with your summer reading, don’t forget about your summer listening. Now is the time to make sure you’re up to date with Top of the Tower.

Our latest one features Donna Halper discussing her life in radio, from her time at WMMS when she helped Rush get US airplay, to what she learned from Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.

Don’t forget you can still visit our store to check out our other great products. We’ll be taking preorders for the 2021 calendar soon. Stay tuned!

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You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

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