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NY Post
New York Post
24 Feb 2024


NextImg:NY1’s Annika Pergament reveals the news stories that changed her life — and led to love

She’s on the move.

In January, longtime “Mornings on 1” co-anchor Annika Pergament debuted “The Rush Hour,” a weekday news program that airs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and covers city politics, mass transit, education, business, and entertainment.

“My hope is that people can turn it on at any point in the afternoon and feel like they have a grasp of the city,” the 55-year-old, whose career spans three decades, told The Post. 

“My hope is that people can turn it on at any point in the afternoon and feel like they have a grasp of the city,” Pergament told The Post Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

“We’re going to hit the main stories of the day, but take time to interview newsmakers and go a little bit deeper on issues.”

She’ll unpack hot-button topics such as congestion pricing, subway safety, the migrant crisis, e-bikes, the minimum wage, and outdoor dining sheds.

It’s the issues that New Yorkers are talking about. What it is that you need to know to be an informed New Yorker,” Pergament said of the show, available to Spectrum subscribers on Channel 1, Spectrum News App Xumo, Stream Box, Roku and Apple TV streaming.

Pergament started her career in at NY1 in 1994. Her first big broadcast story for the channel was outside The Mark hotel on the Upper East Side in September of that year when police were called after Johnny Depp trashed a suite at the storied hotel. He’d allegedly had a fight with then-girlfriend Kate Moss.

“I remember the live-camera operator handing me the microphone and it was like ‘3, 2, 1 Go.’ I was so nervous,” Pergament recalled. 

Pergament started at NY1 in 1994 as a politics reporter. Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

Over the years, she’s covered politics and financial crises, reported from Ground Zero, and played herself on hit shows such as “The Sopranos” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

She met her husband, reporter, and former Deputy Police Commissioner Michael O’Looney, in her early days at NY1.

“They paired me with Michael to learn the ropes and just to train in the field,” she recalled. They soon started dating and inadvertently took their relationship public early on.

She was reporting a story in Albany when the assignment desk called her hotel. O’Looney answered.

“The Rush Hour” unpacks hot-button topics such as congestion pricing, subway safety, the migrant crisis, e-bikes, the minimum wage, and outdoor dining sheds. Tamara Beckwith/NY POST
Pergament (left) co-anchored “Mornings on 1,” alongside Jamie Stelter (second from left) and Pat Kieran (third from left), from 2017 through 2022.

“He said, “Hello,’ and he just handed the phone to me. Within seconds the entire newsroom knew. It ended up all working out.”

The duo tied the knot in 1996 and share two sons, Blake and Luke.

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Working on “The Sopranos” in 1997 with James Gandolfini was a career highlight.

“If you didn’t know he was an icon you would have just thought he was the nicest guy in the world because he had this quality where he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He would always welcome me, thank me for coming back,” she said. “He would want to talk about what’s going on in the news in New York City. [It] just made me feel like I knew him well because he had that magical quality.

Pergament met her husband, reporter and former Deputy Police Commissioner Michael O’Looney, in her early days at NY1. Getty Images

At the time, she was covering the murder trial of South Bronx English teacher Jonathan Levin. The 31-year-old son of media mogul Gerald “Jerry” Levin had allegedly been killed by a former student.

“Gandolfini was very interested – he would always want to hear what was the latest that had happened in the courtroom,” said Pergament, who was cast on the show by Georgianne Walker, wife of Christopher Walken. “I think that case had deeply moved him.”

Another pinch-me moment was spotting Bruce Springsteen at “The Soprano’s” first cast party at John’s Pizza.

Working on “The Sopranos” in 1997 with James Gandolfini was a career highlight. WireImage

“The bartender goes, ‘Hey boss.’ I look and it’s Bruce Springsteen,” she said. “I had a massive fan girl moment.” 

A low point came in 2013 when she reported from the stock exchange as SeaWorld went public. She saw caged penguins in a stairwell crying. The theme park company later paraded the penguins onto the trading floor for the milestone.

“They were so terrified. It made me really sad. They brought the CEO over to my position after he rang the bell. I said, ‘What about those penguins? This is not a normal environment,'” she recalled “Something did not sit right with me. Lo and behold the documentary ‘Blackfish’ documentary came in 2013. It cut to the heart of what this company was all about.” 

In 2010, Pergament launched “From the Floor” covering hourly news and market updates from the New York Stock Exchange. She interviewed Lynn Martin, the President of the New York Stock Exchange in 2022.
Spectrum NY 1

More recently, she launched a three-part series of investigations into the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) looking at how the agency handled childhood deaths.

And, last month, she interviewed a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, Toby Levy, on “Rush Hour” for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“She had so much love. Her message is to try to teach people not to hate. That was one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done,” she said.

“The fact that you can endure so much horror and have your underlying message be love. A lot of people can’t do that. I felt so privileged to meet her and interview.” 

Photos: Tamara Beckwith/NY Post; Makeup: Markphong Tram/ABTP; Hair: India Williams/Honey Artists