A longtime Rochester TV broadcaster anchored his last morning show for Spectrum News Friday morning.
The departure of Jim Aroune, who helped launch the 24-hour cable news channel as one of its first reporters in 1990, coincides with Spectrum eliminating morning shows originating from Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse for an Albany-based “Your Morning” program to be aired across upstate markets.
In a farewell segment honoring his career, Aroune, who moved to the anchor desk a year after joining the channel and also held senior editorial and executive roles in the organization, said, “It’s been a privilege to serve this community. And for that my family and I thank this cable company.
“I wouldn’t be here without the loving support of my wife, Sara, my three daughters. My parents, Jim and Theresa, really inspired me to do this for a living,” said Aroune, describing his father as a storyteller and his mother as a brilliant writer.
“She never authored books or worked as a writer for a living,” he later told in a phone interview. “She just happens to be a brilliant writer.”
A longtime Fairport resident, he also revealed that he’s landed a new job outside of TV news.
“As this was all happening there, suddenly, another opportunity became available,” he said. “An opportunity that I could not pass up. I’m not leaving because the organization is choosing a different path. I am moving into a new opportunity that presented itself as this change was happening at Spectrum.”
Aroune, who will turn 58 later this month, did not identify his new employer but did say the company is based in Rochester and that he’s staying here.
Aroune is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award winner and also has been honored by the New York Broadcasting Association and the Journalism Association of New York.
In a behind-the-scenes video shot Friday and posted to Twitter, a crew member asked Aroune what he would be doing this Monday at 4 a.m.
“Sleeping,” he said with a laugh, “after a wonderful 18-hour Bills tailgate and Sunday Night Football experience.” (An Orchard Park native, he said he practically grew up across the street from what is now known as Highmark Stadium.)
In that same video, asked what he’ll miss the most about his job, he said, “You guys. The best part. Hanging out with you guys. You kidding me?”
He later told the Democrat and Chronicle: “What we do today is as important as it has ever been, and I was happy to do that for this community. I think it’s an amazing place. I’m also going to miss the day to day — I call it a miracle that happens when someone wants to share their story with you and trusts you to do so, and you do it, and they appreciate the fairness and the accuracy with which you do it. I’m going to miss that. But I think this new opportunity will also provide that opportunity. I’ll just be doing it in a different way.”
And given what lies ahead, “I’m feeling good.”
“Your Morning” from Albany will be anchored by Julie Chapman and Dan Bazile, who have been in their roles since 2018.
Stories about Rochester by reporters based here will be seen during “News in 90,” which airs every half hour, and Rochester weather forecasts will continue to air every 10 minutes.
The format change “mirrors our other dayparts and will provide viewers a consistent approach to their news from morning to night with even more news from across the entire Upstate region,” Maureen Huff, Spectrum’s vice president of public relations, said in a previous statement.
Some off-air jobs are being cut in Rochester, but she didn’t say how many.
Originally, Spectrum News, which is available to Spectrum cable subscribers, was known as YNN and later as R News. It became Spectrum News in 2016 when Charter Communications bought Time Warner Cable.
Source: Democrat and Chronicle