2006 Behind the Scenes Award

For a wide-eyed 1951 graduate of Mercyhurst College, learning the inner workings of the phenomenon called television was like gaining the code to the secrets of the universe. Ann Deckop jumped at a chance for a summer job at the only television station in her hometown, WBEN-TV. All she hoped for was to meet some of the on-air radio legends from her childhood, who had leaped to television. She never imagined that she would spend all of her working life at Channel Four as the right-hand woman to the station’s top executives. First in Sales and then with C. Robert Thompson. Ann became assistant to Thompson’s successor, Leslie G. Arries, Jr. as he guided Channel Four through the turbulent final decades of the Twentieth Century. She worked with Arries on his many community outreach programs and National Association of Broadcasters projects. Ann Deckop’s career thrived through fifty-five years of phenomenal change in broadcasting. Currently Public Service Director, she oversees Channel Four’s public affairs programming and serves as station liaison to the Call For Action unit. She says she has enjoyed the friendships, the fun, and the excitement of being in the middle of everything going on in our community. When people ask, “Where do you work; what do you do?” it is with a great deal of pride that I reply, at Channel Four.

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