Contemporary media has caught up to Roland S. Martin, not the other way around. Long before it became popular to work in multiple industries, Martin was bouncing between print, radio and television with ease.
After discovering his life calling early, Martin first distinguished himself in high school, excelling in a magnet program for communications in his native Houston before continuing that momentum by earning a journalism degree on academic scholarship at Texas A&M University.
Tackling big stories early in his career, Martin covered the 1992 Republican National Convention and Hurricane Andrew for the Austin American-Statesman as well as the Waco Siege in 1993 and the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Stepping back from the mainstream spotlight on several occasions, Martin has been critical in moving traditional African-American media forward. His numerous leadership roles within the “Black Press” include serving as the managing editor of the Houston Defender and Dallas Weekly in addition to helming the historic Chicago Defender as executive editor and general manager. He’s also made his mark with magazines and the Internet, serving as the founding news editor of Savoy and the founding editor of BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Equally important is his work in radio. Martin laid the groundwork for that career in Texas, where he served as a morning drive reporter for KRLD/1080 AM and later news director and morning anchor at KKDA-AM in Dallas. Before joining nationally syndicated The Tom Joyner Morning Show in 2008 as a senior analyst, Martin hosted his own eponymous morning radio show on Chicago’s WVON.
It’s his national television work that’s brought Martin the most recognition. Beginning first as a commentator for TV One, Martin has gained a wider audience as an analyst with CNN, delivering commentary as well as serving as guest host for several programs. During the historic campaign and election of Barack Obama as president, Martin was a presence on both networks. He ended the dearth of African-American political commentary on Sunday mornings with the weekly Washington Watch with Roland Martin on TV One in September 2009.
Author and syndicated columnist, there’s no end to Martin’s talents. Clearly, a Renaissance man for the 21st century, Martin shows no signs of slowing down.