'Legendary' NYC Fox Anchor Dies at Age 81
A man who was the voice of the news to New York City for more than 30 years has died.
John Roland, a longtime anchor of the “10 O’clock News” for WNYW, died Sunday at the age of 81, according to WNYW, which described him as “legendary.”
“He taught me about fairness in presenting the news. I felt his passion and respect for the audience who watched his nightly broadcast,” said Rosanna Scotto, the anchor for “Good Day NY.”
“Sitting next to John was always a learning lesson,” 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.”
Roland covered the news on both of America’s coasts during his long career. He worked for NBC in Los Angeles, later covering the Robert F. Kennedy assassination and the Charles Manson murder trial for KTTV.
Legendary FOX 5 New York anchor John Roland dead at 81 https://t.co/gtSKtbRJoX
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 8, 2023
Roland crossed the country to join WNEW-TV in 1969. The station was owned by MetroMedia at the time, but later became WNYW. Roland remained with the station until his 2004 retirement, according to Fox News.
Upon arriving in New York City, Roland was a political reporter who anchored the 10 p.m. broadcast on Saturdays until 1979, when he became the main anchor for the weeknight 10 p.m. broadcast, according to WNYW.
In 2003, Roland moved away from his 10 p.m. time slot to anchor broadcasts at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I want to thank you for inviting me into your home for all these years. It’s an invitation I never took for granted and always considered an honor,” he said in his final broadcast.
In 1983, Roland became part of the story. He was eating at a restaurant called the Racing Club when three armed men entered, according to WNYW.
Rather than submit to a robbery, Roland took on one would-be robber, struggling with the man until he shot him in the leg. Roland was then hit on the head with a gun.
President Trump @realDonaldTrump shared his thoughts today on a New York icon, John Roland. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/EefX0eBJmU
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) May 9, 2023
Roland was briefly suspended in 1988 after an on-air spat with Joyce Brown, a mentally ill homeless woman, according to the New York Post. He was reinstated after an apology.
In 2002, Roland had a near-death experience at work when he suffered from diverticulitis, according to WNYW.
After retirement, he and his wife, Zayda, moved to Florida.
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