SYRACUSE — Our congratulations to Brian Erb, who recently marked his 40th anniversary as a news photographer with TV-3. We’re careful not to say he’s worked at “WSTM-TV” for the past 40 years — not just because WSTM, WTVH and WSTQ now collectively call themselves “CNYCentral” — but because WSTM-TV wasn’t known by those call letters when Erb started.
Longtime Syracuse residents will remember that channel 3’s original owners were the Newhouse family — who also owned WSYR 570 and WSYR-FM (which, back then, was 94.5FM). So, when TV came along, they signed-on as WSYR-TV. It wasn’t until 1980, when Newhouse sold the TV station to Times Mirror Company, that the present WSTM-TV call letters came to be.
News of Erb’s anniversary was reported by CNYCentral over the weekend. (We didn’t catch it immediately, just getting back from vacation.) The story from Laura Hand points out that news video was shot on 16mm film when Erb started at the station — film that had to be developed and then literally cut-and-spliced before it was ready to air.
So… next time you’re steaming about how long it takes your freshly-shot news footage to copy from the camera’s memory card to the nonlinear editor’s hard drive, you might find some relief in reminding yourself: at least it’s not the 70s and you aren’t dealing with developing and cutting film!
Syracuse Press Club President Lou Gulino used to be the assignment editor at WSTM. In the SPC’s latest newsletter, Gulino credited Erb with helping “dozens of of young reporters and producers learn their craft.” He went on to compliment Erb as “a talented guy, a great resource, and the kind of guy an assignment editor could really appreciate when breaking news happened.”