Fox 5’s Lori Stokes is retiring after 22 years in New York

The ramifications of Lori Stokes’ retirement mean that for the first time in more than 20 years, viewers in the tri-state area will get up Monday morning without seeing her familiar face on their TV screens.

Stokes began her broadcasting career in New York City, beginning with WABC/Ch. 7 in 2000 and ended Friday with her final broadcast on WNYW/Ch. 5, which she joined in 2017 – as co-host of “Good Day New York” with Rosanna Scotto; As of June 2021, she anchored the station’s 5pm, 6pm and 10pm newscasts.

Stokes, 60, opened up about her remarkable career and plans for retirement in a lengthy interview with The Post.

What led to your decision to retire?

I don’t know if it’s a thing. I’ve been an open book throughout my TV career, especially when I’m hosting a morning show [where] you bring it out there Everyone knows me, raising my kids, getting divorced, taking care of my parents [and] to see them on their journey to the other side. I think it was a combination of my being there for everyone and waking up and realizing I kinda had to stop and take care of myself. my [daughters] I’m 30 and 27, my parents are gone now, and I thought to myself, ‘I’ve worked hard, I’ve succeeded and I’m very blessed in this city. Now it’s time to step back and take care of Lori.”

Do you have any plans for the future?

Yes and no. I’m going to disappear to one of my favorite islands for a month and then return to my Ohio roots. I have many projects that I have to do. My father [Louis Stokes] was a US Congressman for many years [representing Cleveland’s East Side] and as I cared for him when he was in hospice he said, “I guess I never thought I’d get into this situation because I’ve been so busy with life.” His legacy is sure – building who are named after him – and he also left a lot of memorabilia, papers and photos at our home in Maryland. I am the custodian of all of his historical works and I have not only the obligation but also the passion to ensure that all of his materials get to the right place in Cleveland. So this is going to be a big project. I’m also on the board of trustees of the Cleveland Clinic [and several other organizations] That’s why I want to devote my time to these projects. In the back of my mind, a documentary here, a book there… for the first time since I was 13, I’m not working and I don’t have to tell myself what to do.

Lori Stokes poses for the photographer in a recent photo.  She is smiling at the camera and is dressed all in white.
Lori Stokes worked at WABC/Ch. 7 for 17 years before joining WNYW/Ch. 5 in 2017.
A screenshot of Lori Stokes delivering the news at WABC/Ch 7.
Lori Stokes breaks the news during her time at Ch. 7.

What are your most memorable moments as a news anchor in New York City?

Certainly 9/11 because we spoke to some of the people in the towers – Bill Ritter and I [on Ch. 7] spoke to James Gartenberg on the 86th floor [in the North Tower] and I always remembered him because he was so calm and I remember him saying that, the core [of the tower] was blown out and debris covered the door and I remember saying to him, “The NYPD and FDNY are on their way, Jim, you’re getting better,” and he kept saying, “I want to let my wife and others.” knowing that everything is okay.” We just had no idea what was going to happen eventually; We were just so used to talking that as we watched the towers crumble there was only silence – we had no words. At the time I had young children and I was [in the city] all day and I called home to talk to the girls and they both thought that everyone in New York had died. I remember walking to Columbus Avenue around 3 or 4 and it was a ghost town; [fellow Ch. 7 anchor] Steve Bartelstein and I walked across the street to a bar and everyone just stared at the TV. No words were spoken. It was as if we were all one that day.

What do you think your legacy is after so many years here?

I was very lucky. New Yorkers can spot those who aren’t authentic, and I think that’s all they ask of you — just be real and tell me how it is. That was a big secret of my success. I was always just me; I don’t pretend, I try to be friendly and I care about what I do every day. For that, I was rewarded by the New Yorkers, and I’ll be eternally grateful for that. Fox 5’s Lori Stokes is retiring after 22 years in New York


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