Lana Jones was a reporter for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston, where her smooth, confident voice delivered a broad spectrum of breaking news for almost 30 years. From grisly crime scenes to election night parties, the Boston Marathon, and the arrival of the Tall Ships, Ms. Jones conveyed tragedy and triumph in reliable, eloquent accounts that made her a familiar presence across the region.
“Her voice was memorable. She made it look easy,” said her friend Rod Fritz, a former WBZ news anchor. “She took a story and delivered it in a way that anyone — no matter their background, job, or education — could understand it. She was a great storyteller.”
“She stood tall on the landscape of Boston news reporting. Bold when chasing a story, compassionate with the people those stories touched, witty in conversation, and always a professional. We’ll all miss her,” Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley said.
“I don’t think I ever saw her lose her cool,” said WBUR-FM senior reporter David Boeri. “She was terrific to be around. She had that smile that said, ‘Everything’s going to be OK.’ ”
“Lana was the consummate professional who could take a 100-page Supreme Court decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said WBZ program director Bill Flaherty.
“She was such a gentle person that you didn’t know how tenacious she was,” said former WBZ reporter Karen Twomey, who shared a workstation with Ms. Jones for several years.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Jones immediately pointed her Toyota toward Manhattan, where she was stopped by roadside signs that announced: “New York City Is Closed.” She found back ways to Ground Zero and began reporting from the scene. After days of traipsing the streets amid debris and ash, Ms. Jones decided she should leave her shoes there, her husband said.
When former priest Paul Shanley was released from prison and slipped away from news cameras waiting at his new home, Ms. Jones was the only reporter who thought to head to the Ware Police Department, where Shanley was required to register as a sex offender.
“She was not out for fame or glory — any of that,” Twomey said. “She just wanted to do her job and get it right.”
In a male-dominated profession, the nickname for positions like the one she held was “news chick,” her husband said. Ms. Jones, however, never wanted to become the comic foil for male hosts. She forged a career as a radio journalist, hosting a weekly talk show at Worcester’s WAAF on youth issues. In 1983, she became a news anchor and reporter in Boston for WMJX-FM and was a reporter for WHDH-AM from 1989 to 1991.
“While she may have signed off,” her family said, “her powerful and positive impact on our own stories continues.”