A man who delivered the news to New York City for more than three decades has passed away.
John Roland, a longstanding anchor of the “10 O’clock News” for WNYW, died on 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.”
Throughout his lengthy career, Roland covered news on both hemispheres of America. After working for NBC in Los Angeles, he covered the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy 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
In 1969, Roland moved across the country to join WNEW-TV. Originally owned by MetroMedia, the station later became WNYW. Fox News reports that Roland remained with the station until his retirement in 2004.
Roland was a political correspondent who anchored the Saturday 10 p.m. broadcast until 1979, when he became the primary anchor for the weeknight 10 p.m. broadcast, as reported by WNYW.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, in 2003 Roland moved away from his 10 p.m. time slot to anchor broadcasts at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“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 entered the narrative. According to WNYW, he was dining at a restaurant called the Racing Club when three armed males entered.
Roland, unwilling to acquiesce to a burglary, fought with one would-be robber until shooting him in the leg. Roland was subsequently shot in the cranium.
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
According to the New York Post, Roland was momentarily suspended in 1988 after an on-air altercation with Joyce Brown, a mentally unwell homeless woman. His reinstatement followed an apology.
According to WNYW, in 2002, Roland had a near-death experience at work due to diverticulitis.
He and his wife, Zayda, moved to Florida upon retirement.