Broadcasting legend John Roland, who served as a news anchor for Fox 5 in New York City for three decades, has died aged 81.
Roland anchored the 10pm newscast on the New York channel for nearly 30 years after starting at Fox 5 as a political reporter and weekend anchor in 1969.
He became the nightly news anchor for the station in 1979 where he covered historical events such as the 9/11 terror attacks before his retirement in 2004.
Roland became a trusted newsman for millions of people across the decades, and was known for ‘his frank delivery and his compassion for New Yorkers who were living through the violent times in the city in the 1970s,’ Fox 5 said.
Those who worked with Roland, including his co-anchor Rosanna Scotto from the 1990s, said he was an inspiration.
Broadcasting legend John Roland, who served as an anchor for Fox 5 in New York City (pictured) for three decades, has died aged 81
John Roland during Fox 5 Hosts a Party Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 10 P.M. News Show at Fresco II On The Go in New York City in 2007
‘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.’
Jerry Cipriano, Former Senior News Editor of CBS News, tweeted: ‘R.I.P. John Roland, longtime anchor of The 10 O’Clock News on Channel 5 in New York.
‘I will always be grateful to him for sharing with a young, aspiring TV news writer a simple mantra: write the way people talk. Thank you, John.’
The journalist, originally from Pittsburgh, began his broadcasting career in the 1960s, working for NBC News in Los Angeles where he covered high-profile events such as the Robert F. Kennedy assassination before joining Fox 5 for the rest of his career.
Roland was also known to make the news. In May 1983, Roland and his friend were having a late-night dinner at the former Racing Club, a restaurant in New York City’s East side, when three armed men entered the eatery and attempted to rob customers.
Roland wrestled with one of the robbers and shot him in the leg before managing to disarm him. The other two robbers attacked the news anchor, hitting him over the head with a gun that left Roland needing 32 stitches.
The police arrested the three robbers and their getaway driver as they attempted to flee from the scene. Roland’s heroic attempts to stop the robbers made the front page of every local newspaper that week.
Those who worked with Roland, including his co-anchor Rosanna Scotto (pictured together during a newscast) from the 1990s, said he was an inspiration
Roland became the nightly news anchor for the station in 1979 where he covered historical events such as the 9/11 terror attacks before his retirement in 2004
John Roland and Rosanna Scotto during Fox 5 Celebrates The 4th Anniversary Of The 10 PM News in 2007 in New York City
During his time at Fox 5, formerly WNYW-TV, Roland got into an on-air argument with Joyce Bruce, a mentally ill homeless woman and was later suspended. Roland personally apologised to Bruce and went back on air after the brief suspension.
In September 2002, Roland almost died at work after suffering from diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal disease, and was rushed to hospital.
He underwent 18 blood transfusions and doctors removed part of his colon in a surgery that saved his life. Roland recovered and returned to work to the station in the October.
The broadcaster spent his final years living with his wife Zayda in their Florida home.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk