Former Seven and Nine network newsreader Ian Ross has died at age 73 in a Gold Coast hospital after a short battle with cancer.
His career began in the late 1950s in regional radio, at 2MW Murwillumbah, before moving to Sydney to 2SM in the early 1960s.
He made the move to television in 1965 to Sydney’s TCN9 as an on-the-road reporter. He went overseas to London’s UPITN for two years before rejoining Nine in 1974 as a reporter and later as a newsreader. For many years he became known to viewers around Australia as the newsreader on Nine’s Today.
He retired from television in 2001 but was lured back, to Seven in 2003, to front its 6.00pm news in Sydney. With Ross as anchor, Seven News became Sydney’s most watched news service, delivering Nine its first serious defeat in the timeslot for decades.
Ross retired from Seven at the end of 2009.
Tributes from many former colleagues, across all networks, have flooded social media. They all carried the common theme in remembering a man of great generosity, warmth and a sense of humour.
Ian Worner, CEO of Seven West Media, issued a statement on behalf of the Seven Network:
“Ian Ross was a champion bloke.
News rooms bring out the best of characters and Roscoe was one of the best of the best.
Everyone who had the opportunity to work alongside Roscoe during his 50 year journalistic career will remember him with tremendous affection.
Ian joined the Seven News team in Martin Place in 2003, after a lengthy spell with Channel Nine, Sydney.
It was a seamless, comfortable transition, exactly like everything Roscoe undertook, and there can be no doubt he was instrumental in what became a critical period for Seven. He was proud of that. And he deserved to be.
Our love and thoughts are with Ian’s longtime partner Gray and other members of his family. They all meant the world to Roscoe. And Roscoe meant the world to us.”
Likewise, Nine Entertainment Co CEO David Gyngell also issued a tribute:
“The Nine and Seven networks and the whole television industry have lost one of our best and bravest in the sad passing of Ian Ross. That he was universally loved by his peers in as tough and competitive an industry as television news says it all.
What’s more, his wide audience also thought the world of him.
Ian was a lovely man – warm, generous, hilarious, a great, loyal friend to all his colleagues and the ultimate professional.
He will be sadly missed. I extend our deepest condolences to Ian’s family and his partner Gray.”
Ian Ross is survived by his ex-wife, three children, eight grandchildren and his partner of 22 years, Gray Bolte.