Eric Shawn is celebrating his 40th anniversary of anchoring election night coverage on cable news. He produced and anchored live election night coverage “Election 74: Manhattan,” on Manhattan Cable Television channel C, public access in New York City. His coverage was praised by the television critic in the New York Times in 1976. From there, he went on to become a local reporter at WPIX and then WNYW before he started reporting nationally. Shawn joined FOX News at its inception in 1996 and is now a New York-based senior correspondent and anchor of FNC’s weekend show “America’s News Headquarters.”
Shawn will anchor Fox news Channel’s election coverage from 1-4 am ET. TVNewser caught up with Shawn to discuss 40 years covering elections and how times have changed since he began in 1974.
TVNewser: This is your 40th year covering election night news. What is the biggest change in the way the media covers election night?
Shawn: In the cable news world, we now can go live with a smart phone or the Live U in an instant. In 1974, we did not even have the luxury of a satellite truck. We relied on the New York City subway and taxi cabs to ferry the reporters’ taped reports from the campaign headquarters to the studio! We had no polls, projections or voter data and could only call the races when the Board of Elections did or the candidates conceded or gave a victory speech. It kind of kept the excitement of the election night drama going. I miss that uncertainty, versus the immediate declaration of the projected winner the second after the polls close that we announce now, based on our sophisticated data crunching operations.
TVNewser: So, how did you make it 40 years anyway?
Shawn: Beats me! I just keep showing up and my stuff is still in my office.
TVNewser : You’ve interviewed everyone from Bill Clinton to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… who is the most interesting person you’ve ever had a chance to meet? Read more