THE ICON: Sally-Ann Roberts
THE LEGACY: In March 1977, a fresh-faced reporter from Mississippi named Sally-Ann Roberts signed on at WWL-TV as the New Orleans station’s City Hall reporter. It would mark the start of an accomplished on-air career that over the next four decades would see her become a beloved local broadcast figure. She’s best known for her 25 years as co-anchor with Eric Paulsen of WWL’s “Eyewitness Morning News,” but at every step along the way — whether as part of her teen-issues show “Our Generation,” her community work as a mentor, her advocacy for bone marrow donations — she proved to be a dignified, hard-working and unflappable pro. Roberts retired from the airwaves in February 2018, but her legacy lingers: She was the type of newswoman that up-and-coming journalists could aspire to become, and the sort of soothing, beaming personality a whole city loved to wake up to each morning.
THE ARTIST: Jeff Morgan
THE INSPIRATION: “When you hear the name Sally-Ann, it represents all that is good about mornings in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana. She has reached that rare status of being an icon.” — Tod Smith, WWL-TV’s president and general manager, when Roberts announced her retirement