Sally-Ann Roberts, a morning news fixture on Tegna’s CBS affiliate WWL New Orleans for more than 25 years, is retiring. Her last day will be Feb. 28.
“She’s been a part of our lives and has reached that rare status of being an icon,” said Tod Smith, WWL’s general manager. “When you hear the name Sally-Ann, it represents all that is good about mornings in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana.”
The news brought tears to her sister, Robin Roberts, host of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Roberts’ time at WWL actually began in 1977 when she was a city hall reporter.
During her time at the station, Roberts hosted the Saturday morning teen talk show Our Generation, highlighting positive work done by local high school students, and produced Quiet Heroes, a segment providing an in-depth look at volunteer work around the community.
Roberts’ list of honors includes a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and the Press Club of New Orleans, an Edward R. Murrow Award for late-breaking news, and a NAACP National Health Committee Unsung Hero Award.
NOTE: I was lucky enough to work at WWL, back when the station’s morning news was the highest-rated morning news in America. At that time, the station did not air the national CBS morning news, so WWL’s morning news was on the air for four hours, I believe.
It was unlike any local TV morning news I’d ever seen. You never knew what was coming up in the next segment — a cooking segment with a famous city chef, a live music act, an interview with the mayor, a high school band strutting in the studio — it was unpredictable, and original.
One morning after 9/11, Aaron Neville came on and sang America the Beautiful a cappella.
Sally-Ann is beloved by viewers in Southern Louisiana. Here are just a few of the comments people left on WWL’s Facebook page about her retirement.
Here’s a promo we did for WWL’s Eyewitness Morning News.