Astoria street to be renamed after National Greek Television founder

The intersection of Steinway Street and 31st Avenue will be renamed Dimitris Kastanas Way.
Photo courtesy of Costa Constantinides

The intersection of Steinway Street and 31st Avenue in Astoria will soon bear the name of Dimitris Kastanas, the founder of National Greek Television and a large presence in the Greek-American community.

The City Council approved the renaming, along with the renamings of 41 other streets across the city, last week. The street will be called “Dimitris Kastanas Way” for the man who founded the first private Greek-owned television channel in the United States, according to an article in Greek News.

Kastanas, who was also referred to as “Mr. Greek TV,” was born in Fthiotida, Greece and studied law while working at a local bank. He emigrated to America when he was 25 and began a Greek weekly show on Sept. 25, 1975. National Greek TV was created in December 1987.

The station was sold to a group of Greek-Americans in 2012 after Kastanas ran it for 37 years. It is now called New Greek TV.

“Dimitris Kastanas helped promote Hellenism and democratic values throughout his life,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said. “He became a great example of civic engagement to his Greek-American community.”

Constantinides added that the station founder allowed many Greek-Americans, whose native language was not English, to “directly engage with news and current events.” Kastanas also helped raise money for charitable organizations such as the Greek Children’s Cancer Fund.

Kastanas passed away on Jan. 21, 2013 of complications following heart surgery. According to Greek News, hundreds of people attended his funeral service, which took place at Greek Orthodox Church of St. Catherine and St. George in Astoria.

Kastanas is survived by his wife Nomiki Papamichael-Kastana, his daughter Matina, son George and granddaughter Mary. He was 70.