WJAR Anchor Frank Coletta To Retire After Nearly 41 Years
A groundbreaking and historic run in Southern New England television will come to an end on July 26, when WJAR Providence, R.I. (DMA 53) NBC 10 Sunrise anchor Frank Coletta calls it a career after nearly 41 years in local television. The local legend made the announcement at the conclusion of a special broadcast honoring WJAR’s 70 years on the air.
“I’ve worked with so many talented and creative broadcasters in my time at NBC 10. But I could not have lasted 41 years here without the constant loyalty, encouragement, and support of all of you in the TV audience, and more recently, on social media,” said Coletta.
“I’ll always be grateful to each of you for letting me so graciously into your homes. I’m looking forward to starting a new routine — one that involves sleeping well past that 2:30 a.m. wake-up call!”
Coletta has anchored Sunrise since its launch in 1985. The Emerson College graduate first began his storied career in radio before joining WJAR behind the scenes in 1978 as an assignment editor. It wasn’t long before the West Warwick native found himself hitting the streets as a reporter. He won numerous awards for his investigative and business reports. When it came time to launch a whole new newscast for early risers, Frank traded his reporter’s notepad for an alarm clock and an anchor desk.
The rest is history. Sunrise became the most watched newscast in Southern New England, according to WJAR. Coletta has been named Best Morning Anchor by readers of Rhode Island Monthly magazine for nearly 30 years. In 2001, he was inducted into the Silver Circle of broadcasters by the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Coletta’s genial nature made him a favorite with Southern New Englanders. Multiple generations started their morning with Frank’s coffee cup salute. Local drivers knew to “watch out for the pippones,” and many more shared his angst when it came to dealing with those “dastardly” computers. Still, he found a second home hosting “Coffee Break with Frank and Friends” on Facebook in recent years.
“Frank is irreplaceable,” said News Director Scott Isaacs. “His decades of institutional knowledge made him a tremendous resource for journalists young and old. The best way we can honor his career is by continuing to tell the stories that matter most to Southern New Englanders.”
“Viewers have invited Frank into their homes for more than 40 years,” said WJAR General Manager Vic Vetters. “He’s been a trusted friend and a local TV legend. We raise our coffee mugs in salute to a classic newsman.”
The new Sunrise team will be announced soon.