Rolland Smith is my guest on THE ENRICHMENT HOUR, for Thursday, September 22nd. Rolland has over 50 years of broadcast and television production experience. He is former news anchor for WCBS-TV in New York and at super station WWOR-TV in New York. As we will also discover, Rolland is also a poet and a deeply spiritual person.
Rolland is currently writing and anchoring documentaries for independent television outlets. He also writes a daily blog on topics of interest from poetry to politics. Log in to www.rollandsmith.blogspot.com or www.RollandGSmith.com.
Rolland first joined WWOR-TV in 1988 from the CBS network where he was co-host of “The CBS Morning Program,” a 90-minute talk and news broadcast. He left WWOR-TV in 1993 to work for NBC in California. He returned to Channel Nine in 2000. While with NBC, he covered the war in the former Yugoslavia and the OJ Simpson murder trial.
Rolland calls himself a storyteller, but he is the consummate broadcast journalist. His skills as an anchorman, commentator, reporter, writer and producer have earned him numerous awards and honors. He is the recipient of eleven Emmy awards. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has honored him numerous times with Emmy nominations. He has two Telly Awards and numerous other awards and accolades.
Rolland is an author of three books of poetry and commentary. Quiet Musings, published by Sunscape Publications, was nationally released with critical acclaim in August 1995. Encore – The Poetry of Nature, also Sunscape Publications, was released in October 2001. In November 1996 he released a CD called “Syl.la.bles”. It is his poetry narration coupled with the original music of composer Tim Janis. His third book, a combination of poetry and commentaries entitled Stone Wisdom was released in December of 2008. His newest book of poetry, “NAKA” – Japanese for “From the Center” – will be released this December.
Rolland joined WCBS-TV as a correspondent and anchor in late 1970. He served as co-anchor of “The Channel 2 News at Eleven” from April 1973 to September 1986. Smith also anchored the “Channel 2 News at Six” from July 1976 to September 1986. He also anchored the station’s public affairs documentary series ” Eye on New York”. He served as moderator of WCBS-TV’s weekly public affairs program, “Public Hearing” from 1976 to 1984. He wrote and anchored a twice-weekly syndicated radio feature called “Footnotes” for CRD, a division of the CBS Radio Network, which was broadcast on various affiliate stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network from 1982 to 1986.
Prior to joining CBS, Rolland Smith worked for Metromedia Television in Washington, DC, as White House and Capital Hill correspondent and was subsequently transferred to New York, as co-anchor of the WNEW-TV Ten O’clock News where he also served as an accredited United Nations Correspondent for the Metromedia Group.
In 1968 Rolland reported from the front lines of the Vietnam War during the height of the “Tet Offensive”. His war zone coverage took him from the Mekong Delta to the DMZ, for Corinthian Broadcasting.
Rolland Smith counts among his memorable assignments and professional achievements:
• The distinction of being the first journalist to accompany the US Geological Survey Team inside Mt. St. Helens after the volcano erupted.
• Covering the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ireland and the United States and an exclusive televised conversation with the Pope in Rome during coverage of a Vatican Consistory.
• Anchoring separate town meetings with President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton
• Anchoring the International broadcast of the 1985 “Live Aid” concert for over 11 hours to an audience in excess of two billion viewers in 107 countries.
• In May of 1986, Smith anchored the two-hour worldwide broadcast of “Sport Aid”.
• Following the Moscow Summit of May 1988, he anchored a two-hour international radio simulcast of a joint United States-Soviet Union panel.
• In an effort to raise the world’s awareness of environmental dangers, Rolland anchored “Our Common Future” in June 1989. This five-hour television special, live from Lincoln Center, New York and Tokyo, Japan, brought together a variety of world leaders and performing artists to increase environmental awareness.
• Anchored and wrote a live two-hour broadcast from Moscow entitled “Earth Alert: A Global Forum”. The global broadcast was carried simultaneously on Intelsat and Inter-Sputnik and was part of a five-day conference held in Moscow, where world leaders gathered to discuss serious environmental issues facing the world today.
• A journalist participant with the Global Forum on Human Survival at an Oxford College Conference of spiritual and parliamentary leaders.
Smith has covered the national political conventions since 1968, and he has conducted interviews with many world figures and political leaders including Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Pope John Paul II, Daniel Ortega, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, Mother Teresa, The Dalai Lama, Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Pope John Paul II, Astronauts and Cosmonauts, Benjamin Netanyahu, Golda Meir, Paul Simon, Vice Presidents Nelson Rockefeller, Spiro Agnew, Walter Mondale, and Albert Gore Jr.
In addition to Rolland’s on-air accomplishments, he is the former President of the Foundation for Global Broadcasting, a non-profit organization encouraging the use of television and radio to further cross-cultural understanding.
Rolland is a member of the National Association Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), The Lotos Club, The Friars Club, and New York’s Explorers Club. He is a naturalist, a poet, a commentator, a skier and golfer and a licensed pilot.
Rolland lives in The Hudson Valley, NY.1 Spanning A 50 Year Career