Longtime WSTM anchor Jackie Robinson announces retirement from CNY Central

Jackie Robinson

After 34 years of bringing the news to Central New Yorkers, Jackie Robinson announced Friday that she has decided to step down from her position as anchor for WSTM-TV and CNY Central.

"I have had a long and storied career at CNY Central and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many talented people," says Robinson. "To those who watched and warmly welcomed me into your homes for over three decades, thank you for your support. You have been a constant blessing, and I hope I have served you well."

Robinson is a Central New York native, growing up in North Syracuse. She started her career at WSTM-TV, which was then WSYR TV and Radio, in the early 1970â??s. Robinson worked as a newsroom secretary during her summer breaks while she was attending what was then Cicero High School.

She continued to work at the station as a paid intern while she attended Syracuse Universityâ??s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Upon graduation, Robinson was hired as a general assignment reporter and weekend radio host.

Robinson became the first African American anchor at WSTM when she was promoted to weekend anchor in 1985. She was promoted to anchor WSTMâ??s 6pm and 11pm weekday newscasts in 1990. Robinson was a host of a half-hour public affairs show, "City Scene," for a number of years.

Her career at WSTM-TV and CNY Central is historic. She has earned the trust and respect of the community where she lives and works and is one of only a few anchors who can proudly say they have spent their entire TV career at one place.

CNY Central President and CEO Chris Geiger said, "Jackie is truly iconic. She has been an integral part of the lives of Central New Yorkers for more than thirty years. While she has decided to leave us at this point in her career, she will always be a member of the CNY Central family."

Robinson credits her success to the lifelong support of her parents, family, husband Henry and children Henry and Jocelyn.

During her time at WSTM-TV and CNY Central, Robinson has received dozens of awards and accolades, including Syracuse University Chancellorâ??s Award for Outstanding Journalist, a 2011 Syracuse University Woman of Distinction, the Governorâ??s Award for Outstanding African American of Distinction and she was named a 1990 Syracuse Post-Standard Woman of Achievement.

Robinson has been honored with the Syracuse Press Clubâ??s Career Achievement Award and been named to the organizationâ??s Wall of Distinction. She has been recognized numerous times by the Associated Press, United Press International, and Syracuse Press Club. Robinson holds an honorary doctorate from Cazenovia College.

On her 25th anniversary with WSTM-TV, both Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse proclaimed May 15th, 2003, "Jackie Robinson Community Recognition Day."

In November, Robinson will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Associationâ??s Hall of Fame for 2012. Past honorees include Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters and Charles Osgood.

Robinson has also served as a role model for countless students in Central New York visiting classrooms and encouraging children and teens to stay in school. She served as ambassador for the Onondaga County Public Libraryâ??s "Read" program.

There is no better example of her influence on Central New Yorkâ??s young people than an 8th grade Regents test from 1992. Students were asked to choose from a list of important historical figures and write about their tremendous contributions.

Students were given a number of choices including Jackie Robinson, the player who broke the color barrier in major league baseball; However, more than 100 local students chose to write about Jackie Robinson, the first prime time anchor of color at WSTM-TV. The Regents Board decided to allow the essays, and as a result, Robinson was given the Governorâ??s Award for Outstanding African American of Distinction.

Robinson has devoted much of her time to giving back to the community where she grew up. She has played an integral role in the YWCAâ??s annual Diversity Award since the programâ??s inception. She is also an active participant in the American Heart Associationâ??s Go Red for Women campaign. Her other community service efforts have benefitted The Alzheimer Association, Syracuse Boys and Girls Club, The United Way, The American Diabetes Association, and the Central Baptist Church.

She will anchor her final newscasts from 5:00pm to 6:30pm on September 4.

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