New York

Legendary news anchor Rod Wood has passed away

Posted: Dec 14, 2021 / 05:25 PM EST
/ Updated: Dec 14, 2021 / 05:25 PM EST

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Longtime NewsChannel 9 anchor Rod Wood died on Sunday, December 12, after a quick sickness.   Rod was surrounded by his 5 kids.  Rod, who retired in November 2020 turned 81 on Saturday, December 11.

Born Roderic Woodruff Groat, Rod was lengthy thought of the dean of Central New York broadcast journalists, masking the news in his native Syracuse and surrounding areas for greater than 55 years. Rod traced his curiosity within the news again to his childhood when he wrote and revealed a neighborhood newspaper whereas nonetheless in elementary faculty.  Part of his curiosity could have come from his dad and mom.  His father and mom met whereas they each had been employed on the “Syracuse Journal” newspaper– though neither was within the news division.

While in highschool, he took half in a Syracuse University Drama Department program and starred in a manufacturing of “Pinocchio.”  He later appeared with nationally recognized actor Brian Donleavy in a summer season inventory manufacturing on the Fayetteville Country Playhouse.


Rod attended Nottingham High School and later took lessons by way of the University of Maryland, Onondaga Community College, and University College at Syracuse University.  

Uncle Sam beckoned in 1960, and Rod went into the U.S. Army. During three years of service, he served within the Military Police.  After his discharge in 1963, Rod utilized for a job with WOLF Radio in Syracuse and endured till the station gave him an opportunity. His broadcasting work — and particularly his voice — drew the curiosity of WNDR Radio in 1964, and he was provided a job broadcasting news. Three years later, Rod moved from WNDR to WHEN, the place he grew to become the radio station’s morning news anchor after which news director in 1974. He additionally served as weekend anchor on WHEN-TV throughout the 9 years he was on James Street.

Rod joined WIXT (now WSYR-TV) in 1976 as a news anchor.   He spent over 55 years on the Central New York airwaves masking the news.  The Syracuse native was honored by the Associated Press and plenty of different organizations for news protection and group involvement.  He was additionally honored for shopper training by way of reporting, for his common “Consumer Reports” options.  Rod served as president of the Syracuse Press Club in 1976 and was honored with a plaque on the Press Club’s Wall of Distinction in 2001.  He and longtime co-anchor Carrie Lazarus had been named to the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2011.  Rod and Carrie anchored collectively for greater than 25 years, making them one of many longest-running anchor groups within the nation.

…as the one that sat subsequent to Rod for 32 years, I was the luckiest!


Carrie Lazarus

At his retirement, Rod was honored on the ground of the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Katko and was awarded an honorary diploma from Onondaga Community College.  The NewsChannel 9 Newsroom was additionally named in Rod’s honor.

Rod misplaced his spouse of 52 years, Nanette, in May of 2020. Their household contains 5 grown kids (John, Chris, Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Priscilla) and ten grandchildren.


A press release from Rod’s household:

We are past unhappy to report that our beloved father Rod passed away this previous Sunday night.  

He was surrounded by his kids when God referred to as him house.  On the day prior, he had turned 81.  

Just just a few brief weeks in the past, he was identified with an inoperable and aggressive most cancers.  He fought very arduous however was unable to beat it.  

A local son, he beloved Syracuse and Central New York above all different locations.  Nothing introduced him extra pleasure than serving and delivering the news to our group.  His delight in Syracuse and its wealthy historical past, previous and current, was unceasing.  If you had been a Central New Yorker, you had a buddy in Rod Wood.  And we had been lucky to name him ‘Dad’.   

Thank you for all of the love and assist you confirmed him from the start of his profession in 1963.    

We will miss him past measure!  


Rod’s Kids, The Groat Family:  John, Chris, Liz, Becky, and Priscilla 

Services might be introduced at a later time.

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