Fred Roggin is going this week, after more than 42 years of bringing sports news to L.A.-area TV viewers.
He will step away from anchoring daily sports segments at KNBC Channel 4 and focus his AM 570 radio show among other creative outlets, the network announced Tuesday.
On Dec. 31, Roggin, 65, thanked his loyal listeners and viewers in a tweet, writing, “2023, the best is yet to come!!”
On Thursday, he’ll sign off from NBC for the final time, having been a familiar presence on the local TV airwaves since 1980, appearing on nightly newscasts, hosting “Going Roggin,” a 30-minute sports commentary program, and creating and hosting “The Challenge,” a live multi-platform show.
Originally from Detroit, Roggin grew up in Phoenix and attended Phoenix College, where he studied broadcasting. KNBC recruited him from the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, tasking him with creating the station’s “Sunday Night Sports” show, which lasted 18 years. He also served as the weekend sports anchor and did midweek features.
In the decade after his arrival, he covered eight championships, including five Lakers NBA titles, two Dodgers World Series crowns and a Raiders Super Bowl victory, a winning start to a career in which he also chronicled the careers of greats including Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who made his L.A. debut in September 1980, the same month as Roggin.
He also was a part of NBC’s Olympics coverage, working every Olympics since 1984.
Roggin didn’t only deliver highlights. He did it with a distinctive sense of humor. And he also was, as former Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth wrote, “a prodigious producer, a master salesman, as adept at analyzing marketing data and rating trends as he is with stats and scores, and a familiar face in a market where change takes place far too often.”
To keep up in a changing media landscape, Roggin proved adaptable and creative, figuring out how to continue to maintain and cultivate his audience.
“We had to start changing because the world was changing, and we had to figure out how to appeal to the broadest audience, not just the male-driven sports viewer,” he said in 2006. “So how were we going to do it? We had to remember: Our business is television, and our assignment is sports, and good production makes good TV.
“… Over the years, you do have to reinvent yourself,” he added. “We may not be a destination port for sports information anymore, but people do come to us for perspective and uniqueness. The research has proved that over the years.”
And so he tackled the job differently, including hosting “The Challenge” weekly for 17 seasons after Sunday Night Football. On the show, he and Petros Papadakis covered NFL action as well as presenting high school football highlights from throughout Southern California. He’d highlight “Roggin’s Heroes” and found ways to appeal to even non-football fans, offering weekly prizes such as a family four-pack of Vans or a pair of general admission tickets to Universal Studios.
For his contributions to sports broadcasting, Roggin was recognized with the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement from The Los Angeles Press Club in 2013 and inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in 2014 and the California Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. In 2020, he garnered the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.
He’s also been awarded 35 Los Angeles Emmy Awards, 30 Golden Mike Awards, five Associated Press Awards and been honored numerous times with Los Angeles Press Club Awards.
Happy New Year!! Please know how much I appreciate you listening to @AM570LASports every day.. watching #TheChallenge every Sunday night and watching @NBCLA when you can. We’re a giant family and I’m thankful. 2023, the best is yet to come!!
— Fred Roggin (@FredNBCLA) January 1, 2023