~ 2018 ~
Best Broadcasting Pioneer
Mary Lynn Roper General Manager
KOAT Channel 7
If you don’t know the name Mary Lynn Roper you’re probably new in town so welcome to Albuquerque. Now let us tell you what everyone already knows: Roper has had more to do with bringing us the news on TV for the past 40 years than anyone in New Mexico. The Raton native is truly a pioneer starting her broadcasting career in radio in 1970 before joining KOAT in 1977. Since then she’s leaped gender barriers like a Colfax County bobcat becoming the state’s first female TV co-anchor and then later its first female News Director. Since 1993 she has served as the station’s General Manager. But viewers probably remember her most for her reporting and anchoring talents—she was on the scene with memorable live dispatches during the 1980 Santa Fe prison riots in which 33 inmates were killed. In an age when journalism has shifted with the immediacy of digital news—and the profession seems to draw as much vile as praise from the public it is designed to serve—we may never see another like Roper. She grew up working at her parents’ radio station then became a radio reporter TV news photographer and TV news producer. Earlier this year she announced her retirement from KOAT to take place before the end of 2018. But here’s a teaser: while she might step down from TV news those who know her well say there’s a possibility she won’t be out of the public eye for long. Stay tuned!