Nassau and Suffolk County residents have been able to stay in touch with the career of Ron Corning. The anchorman–infamously ousted from Fox 5/WNYW’s Good Day New York while on vacation in April 2008—turned up at News 12 Long Island in November 2009. There he reteamed with former Good Day partner Jodi Applegate (until she bolted for WPIX in October 2010).
“That was, I would say, the deciding factor,” Corning admits. “Jodi and I are sort of with each other unmatched… It was a match that just worked from day one.”
Having said that, Corning also had a pleasurable experience with his other on-air partners at the Woodbury, N.Y., studios.
But, of course, Corning is quick to turn the attention back to his “sister,” calling the chemistry with Applegate, “effortless.”
Corning, “really sad” when his on-air soul mate left for WPIX, was torn about his future at News 12.
“It was one less thing to keep me there,” Corning admits.
In the end, Corning exited Cablevision, but instead of staying in the New York area, he’s headed 1500 miles southwest to WFAA.
“When I met these folks in Dallas, it was like somebody who decides they’re going to be single but they just reluctantly go out on one date, and it’s such a match,” Corning tells FishbowlNY exclusively. “How could I not pursue this?”
So after some cajoling, Corning accepted the co-anchor position for their morning newscast. Corning is proud to join the ‘FAA news tradition (first TV station on the air to cover the President Kennedy assassination). But he’ll need to help rebuild the ratings for the struggling morning show, a challenge Corning is more than up for.
“They’re all about their legacy in journalism, and given that…they are outside of that to create something that’s a little more personality-driven, a little more casual, and a little more conversational,” Corning says.
Returning to his preferred daypart, mornings also means a return to that lighter tone that he made famous with Applegate at Fox 5 and later reintroduced at News 12.
“I have to tell you, you move to New York, and unless you live on Long Island, you don’t really understand the nature of that operation out there,” Corning says. “But it’s pretty impressive. It’s a well-staffed, well-stocked facility.”
The popular Corning went one step further.
“If any station in Manhattan were to somehow incorporate the resources of News 12 in the seven areas that they cover, it would be a powerhouse operation,” Corning admits.
Once at Cablevision, seeing the sights of Long Island daily made him a happier anchor.
“It’s nice out there. I enjoyed it a lot,” Corning says. “I enjoyed the North Shore… Last summer, all of that stuff was such easy access on Saturday morning to get up, be at any of the area beaches without having to deal with traffic, because I’m already 30 minutes outside of the city. It was a nice life.”
In years past, talent with New York City and national experience (Corning previously anchored overnights at ABC’s World News Now) would be rarely, if ever, brought on board at the family-owned News 12.
“When the market turned all of sudden, it became a place for Jodi and a place for me,” Corning says. “I think they [Cablevision execs] saw that as well… I don’t know if that’s a trend that will continue.”
He recognizes, though, that News 12 Long Island has a loyal following as viewers “depend on it for a lot of things.”
Now, as Corning, who for the short term sublets an apartment in Manhattan, packs his boxes and makes the move to “Big D,” he won’t forget his time in the Big Apple.
“I’ll miss it, but at the same time it’s not like it’s something I’ll never experience again,” Corning says. “I can pop a flight and be back here in a few hours.”
Although committed and excited to starting anew in Dallas, after seven years based in New York, Corning doesn’t know what career path will develop down the road.
“All of that in the future could really play in my favor, if there’s an opportunity that opens up back here and the timing is right,” Corning says.