Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Cleveland – After 45 years of delivering news to northeast Ohio – with 38 of those years spent at WEWS NewsChannel 5 – Ted Henry delivered his final piece of news copy during the 11 O’clock newscast Wednesday night.

Henry began his broadcasting career in 1964 at a radio station in his hometown of Canton. He then worked as a news reporter at WAKR-TV23 in Akron. In 1968, Henry traveled to Paraguay to work for the Peace Corps on community health, agriculture and education issues. When he returned to Ohio, he worked at WKBN-TV in Youngstown.

Henry joined the WEWS staff in 1972, working first as a news producer, then as weekend anchor. He was named weekday anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. news in 1975 and has held that position ever since. Until Wednesday night, Henry co-anchored NewsChannel 5 at 6 and 11 p.m. with Danita Harris.

When Henry announced his retirement to his coworkers he said he was leaving with feelings of “satisfaction, fulfillment and with expectations for an enjoyable retirement of continued learning."

Ted Henry has been a part of news for as long as I can remember and when the big local stories hit, he has been the one to turn to. While watching Ted Henry over the years people have come to know him and rely on him for honest, fair and in depth coverage on the stories that matter to them the most. Throughout his years on the air we have seen news anchors come and go, not only at NewsChannel 5 but all the Cleveland stations. Ted Henry has been one that has always been there. He is a true Cleveland Icon.

While we have seen stations and anchors over dramatize news stories for ratings – or pedal fear in order to get people to “stay tuned” – Henry never did that. He didn’t have to. We would “stay tuned” because we knew with him telling the story we would get the information we needed without the BS.

On Thanksgiving, 2006, Ted wrote a piece for a feature we ran on TMC NEWS entitled “What are you Thankful for?” I thought I would end this piece with the words he wrote.

“What are you Thankful for?” Ted Henry – November 23, 2006

Let’s begin with the air we breathe. It’s free, plentiful and absolutely essential. The smiles I see from those I encounter along the path, friends and strangers alike. They build me up. Carry me through the roughest moments. I haven’t met a person yet for whom there are no rough moments. These greetings help. Another’s smile and quick kind word can make the most difficult moment, smaller.

The metro area we live in. It’s tough and gritty. We’re accustomed to failure, lost jobs, lost games and lost moments of opportunity. Nonetheless we feel blessed. That’s because we are. People here know how to make something from almost nothing. And they don’t complain. We have a resourcefulness here that can help this region endure. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

And finally, I live among the nicest, smartest and most sincere people in the world. That’s not local boosterism, it’s just the way it is. Ask anyone who’s ever lived elsewhere. They’ll tell you how kind and considerate are the people who live here. Tough times may not lash out at every individual I know, but they do come to every family I know. And what I’ve noticed in my sixty plus years is how tightly people here pull together in times of need.

There’s a strength of personal character here, coupled with a genuine caring for one another that blankets this whole region that I feel grateful for. I’ve seen this region prosper during the most encouraging times, I see it now stand tall when challenge abounds, and I know I’ll see it again, relaxed and having some much deserved fun when opportunity returns, when those up and down the streets of our cities find all the work and challenge and good health they can handle.

For this and more, I am grateful.


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