A Day in the Life of Fox 5 and My9 Anchor Harry Martin

Anchoring more than one newscast per shift is nothing new. That is standard operating procedure. What is uncommon, though, is anchoring two newscasts for two different TV stations.

Welcome to the world of Harry Martin. With apologies to the late, great James Brown, when it comes to the local news scene, Martin may very well be the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”

Delve into Martin’s day and you see just how special it is.  

The veteran anchor has been a mainstay on WWOR and Fox 5 several years. Since 2009, however, Martin anchors for WNYW, followed by sister station My9 each weeknight.  

“We’re all on the same page,” Martin says. “There’s a lot of trust there.”

FishbowlNY recently spent the day with Martin as he prepared for each newscast.

In the morning, Martin wakes up to Good Day New York, checking to see what the potential stories will look like in the evening. His actual work day begins around 1:30 p.m. at the WWOR studios in Secaucus, N.J.

Despite the fact that Martin lives in the Garden State, it actually takes him longer traveling to the My9 studios than from Secaucus to New York.

He’s there to pick up the company car and head across the Hudson to Fox 5/WNYW.  If time permits, or warrants, he’ll begin a day-long contact with his My9 producer, and VP/news director Jim Driscoll.

“Harry is one of the hardest working anchors I’ve ever worked with,” Driscoll says. “He genuinely cares about the quality of the newscast we deliver and wants to connect with viewers.”

Of course, dealing the traffic makes Martin’s feat even more amazing. Therefore, by 2 p.m. Martin needs to hit the road to reach Manhattan’s Upper East Side by 3.

Even in transit, Martin still is preparing. 

“I’m constantly trying to keep everyone in the loop to where I am, and by the same token, if there’s a story that’s developing on my way over then I’ll do that.”

Once at Fox 5, amid the symphony of sounds in his office from a Blackberry buzzing constantly and desk phone ringing, Martin begins to assemble stories for 6 p.m. Ultimately, he will write the majority of the newscast himself.

The anchor also takes a proactive role at both stations in terms of coordinating what stories to run.

“He brings so much to the table off the air when it comes to the news gathering process that the viewer never gets to see,” Driscoll says. “He’s very much involved in the production of the newscast.”

To that end, Martin, who joined WNYW in 1993, touches base with his reporters to find out what they are working on.

“So I can make the intro more compelling.”

Martin also speaks to the reporters in an effort to eliminate intros that repeat what they have in their opening line.

“There’s nothing I hate more,” Martin admits.

But there’s certainly no hate for the staff at both stations.

“There’s a lot of moving pieces, it’s not just me. …to get to a newscast and then once you’re in a newscast it’s all over the map as well,” Martin says.

Martin, 59, does three reports in the 5 p.m. show, each from a different venue.

On this particular afternoon, Martin, a psycho-biology major from Albright College in Reading, PA, is intrigued by the story about a potential new life form discovered by NASA.

Martin researched the topic, scouring the Web for facts and pictures. Those pictures would be front and center for his live report from the “Web room,” showing items from the Internet blown up on a large monitor for the viewing audience.