A popular Westchester news anchor will now be a key player moving forward with the controversial Tappan Zee Bridge project, for which estimated costs are $5 billion.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced the appointment of Brian Conybeare to the position of special advisor for the construction project. Conybeare, who before this worked as an anchor for Westchester’s news channel 12, will serve as the liaison for the governor to Hudson Valley residents and businesses.
He will be located in the Hudson Valley full time, conducting the day-to-day meetings with local community and business leaders and working with Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz, who Cuomo recently appointed to oversee the project.
“After more than 10 years of gridlock surrounding the Tappan Zee Bridge project, we are moving forward to finally build a new, safer bridge for the Hudson Valley,” Cuomo said in a statement. “As we continue to make progress, Brian Conybeare will help connect my administration with residents and the business community.”
Cuomo said Conybeare’s background in journalism and expertise on the bridge history will help him to bring community members important information.
Conybeare said he plans to ensure that the new bridge is constructed through a transparent and inclusive process, according to the news release.
On channel 12, Conybeare also co-anchored a weekly political talk show, “Newsmakers,” and hosted the station’s local election debates and live town meetings.
Conybeare recently received a 2011 New York Emmy Award — his third — for an a exclusive story on a parking ticket scam. In 2009, Brian won a national award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting on corruption in the promotions department of the Yonkers Raceway Casino. That coverage also led to a criminal probe and three arrests, according to the release. Additionally, he has won five Edward R. Murrow Regional Awards and five New York Associated Press Broadcast Awards.
Conybeare earned a bachelor’s in communications from the University of Michigan and a master’s in journalism and mass communication from New York University. He currently resides in Eastchester with his wife, Janna, and their four children.