Local news is losing one of its greatest champions.
Steve Paulus, one of the founders and longtime chief at NY1, is stepping down from the channel at the end of the month.
“I could talk for five hours about the stuff that we’ve accomplished and the people here,” Paulus told The Daily News.
“It’s the people I’m going to miss the most.”
NY1’s control room operations inside the NY1 studios.
Paulus, 60, said his exit is voluntary, but it comes in the wake of Charter Communications’ $65.5 billion acquisition of NY1 parent Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last April.
It also comes at a time when many senior executives across Time Warner Cable have been accepting lucrative buyouts, multiple sources close to the situation said.
Paulus declined to comment on the terms of his exit, but he said he will be succeeded by his longtime deputy Bernie Han, who will take over day-to-day operations of NY1 and oversee numerous other local cable news outlets around the country as Group Vice President of News.
Some of the many recognizable faces at NY1.
Over the years, Paulus has been the mastermind behind many of the channel’s most iconic features, including anchor Pat Kiernan’s morning gander at the morning papers, “In the Papers,” and the newsmaking show “Inside City Hall.”
Another lighter, groundbreaking feature he was behind is the channel’s annual coverage of the Greenwich Village Halloween parade. The executive has also called the shots from the control room during life-changing events such as the 9/11 attacks and Superstorm Sandy.
He’s also powered NY1’s knack for finding and grooming on-the-street talent who have gone on to big things, including WNBC anchor Lynda Baquero and Fox News Channel’s Jenna Lee.
“I’ve been doing this day in and day out for 40 years and I felt it’s the right time to move on,” said Paulus, who spearheaded the 1992 launch of NY1 after working behind the scenes at CBS News.
“I’ve got a good team in place and having accomplished everything that we’ve accomplished here, I think it’s a good time to take a break,” he said.
“Frankly, I’ve been doing day-to-day newsgathering since 1978 and the idea of actually watching a presidential campaign instead of covering it is really intriguing.”
Paulus said he plans to be available for anyone at NY1 in need of direction down the road.
“I’m going to be readily available to give any advice or feedback that they need moving forward,” he said. “I already told some folks here (at NY1) that if I see something misspelled on the air, they’re going to get a call. I may not be in the office but I will be watching.”