University of Wisconsin–Madison

John Roach

John Roach headshot

John Roach is president of ROACH, an Emmy Award-winning video and film production company.

Prior to forming his own Madison-based company in 1985, John was a producer at CBS and ABC in Chicago for six years. His credits include six Chicago Emmys, a National Iris Award for Best Television Special and a national CableACE nomination. He received the Peter Lisagor Award for Special News Production, plus recognition from the Organization of American Women in TV and Radio for his documentary work.

John, along with Mary Sweeney, co-wrote the screenplay for “The Straight Story,” a motion picture directed by David Lynch. “The Straight Story” premiered in competition at The Cannes Film Festival and was released in October 1999 by Walt Disney Pictures. The screenplay was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and the film’s lead Richard Farnsworth received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.“Like Hemingway’s dialogue,” wrote Roger Ebert, “the screenplay by John Roach and Mary Sweeney finds poetry and truth in the exact choice of the right everyday words.”

Additional accolades include the San Francisco Film Festival Award, the Silver Anvil, the Golden Spotlight, the Addy, the Cine Golden Eagle and numerous Tellys.

John also produced the CableACE-nominated “The Sports Writers on TV” with additional broadcast credits that include work for ESPN, FOX, NBC, and Ebony Jet.

John writes a monthly column for Madison Magazine. His book, “Way Out Here in the Middle,” was published in 2003.