By
Charlotte Tyler
|
May 9, 2023
|
11:45 pm

John Roland, legendary FOX 5 New York anchor, dead at age 81

Broadcasting legend and longstanding anchor for New York's FOX 5, John Roland, passed away on Sunday at the age of 81.

Up until his retirement in 2004, Roland was the face of FOX 5's 10 p.m. newscast for almost 30 years, according to Fox News. The anchor gained the trust of millions of New Yorkers over his decades there.

According to FOX 5, Roland "was known for his frank delivery and his compassion for New Yorkers enduring the violent 1970s in the city."

He began his career in the 1960s and received his first significant assignment with NBC News in Los Angeles in 1966. In 1969, he joined WNEW-TV, which was then owned by MetroMedia, and remained there until his retirement.

When Roland first joined the New York station, he was the weekday political correspondent and the weekend anchor at 10 p.m. In 1979, he took over the 10 o'clock weeknight program.

From the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to the heartbreaking atrocities of September 11, 2001, viewers turned to Roland as he reported on historical events.

When Roland first joined the New York station, he was the weekday political correspondent and the weekend anchor at 10 p.m. In 1979, he took over the 10 o'clock weeknight program.

"Sitting next to John was always a learning lesson," Roland's former co-anchor Rosanna Scotto said. "He took pride in his writing and his down-to-earth communicating. It was never more evident than anchoring next to him during the 9/11 attacks."

Not only did Roland relay the news, but he was also prominently featured in the news. In 1983, while dining in a New York City restaurant, he confronted three armed criminals, grappling one of them and shooting him in the leg.

Roland was attacked by two other assailants at the same time during his time as a reporter. During his attack, one of them shot him in the head.

In 1988 he again made news when he was engaged in an argument on-air with Joyce Brown, who was a homeless lady who suffered from mental illness.

In 2002 when he was sick with a particularly frustrating case of diverticulitis and still working, he came dangerously close to passing away at his desk. After he had completely recovered from the illness, he went on to talk to the audience about the predicament he had been in with his health.

Roland will be remembered by his wife, Zayda, and his grandchildren in Florida, where he lived out his final days as a husband and grandpa.

 

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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