CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Al Primo
Al Primo was one of the original owners of the Cablevision franchise in Fairfield County, and helped create News 12 Connecticut, as well as News 12 Long Island. When he owned WNVR-AM in the Naugatuck-Waterbury area, he employed a six-person local news staff. Among his staffers was Chris Berman, now an icon on ESPN. Primo was publisher of The Village Gazette in Greenwich, a weekly newspaper that won several awards for its coverage of the I-95 Mianus River Bridge in 1983. As consultant to WTNH Channel 8 in the mid-90s, he helped enhance the “Action News” concept.
Primo is known as “The Father of ‘Eyewitness News’ ” and is credited with revolutionizing local news with that format. His career included news directorships in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and New York. He became vice president of news for the ABC-owned TV stations before starting his TV news consulting firm, Primo Newservice, based in Old Greenwich. In 1999, Primo was the founder of one of the Internet’s first video news websites, ForeignTV.com. In 2002, he helped create “Teen Kid News,” a weekly nationally syndicated newscast for teenagers. Primo earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Pitt, and a gift to his alma mater helped establish The Journalism Lab, one of the nation’s first electronic classrooms.