Mary Lynn Roper, president and general manager at Hearst Television’s KOAT Albuquerque-Sante Fe, will retire this fall. The move caps 48 years in broadcasting for Roper, the last 25 as KOAT’s general manager.
“Throughout her career, Mary Lynn has exemplified the attributes of a top local broadcaster,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “She has devoted unwavering attention to KOAT’s news brand and commitment to community service and, in the process, became one of New Mexico’s leading civic leaders. She also helped pave the way for women leaders in television journalism. We could not be more proud of her service and dedication, not only to Hearst Television but to the people of New Mexico.”
Since beginning at KOAT in 1977, Roper held a variety of positions at the station, including news director, producer, reporter, photographer and anchor.
“My family’s been in New Mexico for hundreds of years, and I truly believe no other place in the world offers the same unique natural beauty, wonderfully proud variety of cultures, and kind-hearted people,” Roper said. “My greatest joy and accomplishment is having had the honor of proudly serving with the talented and dedicated men and women of KOAT who are truly committed to informing New Mexicans and serving our community.”
Roper began her broadcasting career in 1970 at radio station KRTN in her hometown of Raton, New Mexico. After working at an all-news radio station in Albuquerque, she joined KOAT as a photographer/reporter, ascending within a few years to become New Mexico’s first female co-anchor; she later added the duties of executive producer. She earned an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for coverage and subsequent follow-up reporting on the 1980 New Mexico State Penitentiary riot in which 33 inmates were killed.
In 1985, Roper became New Mexico’s first female TV news director. After five years in the role, then-KOAT parent Pulitzer Broadcasting promoted Roper to corporate VP of news. She returned to KOAT in 1993 as general manager.
In 2005 Roper was inducted into the New Mexico Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 2008 she was named New Mexico Broadcaster of the Year, and in 2013 she received an American Advertising Federation of New Mexico Silver Medal.