John Roach

2018 marks John Roach’s 25th anniversary as the “back-page” columnist for Madison Magazine. In 2003, a selection of the first 10 years of his columns were compiled into a book, “Way Out Here in the Middle.” The latest book, “While I Have Your Attention,” highlights John’s favorites and most memorable from 2003-2018.

He is founder and president of John Roach Projects, a video and film production company based in Madison, Wisconsin. Before returning home to put down roots and raise his family, John was a producer at CBS and ABC in Chicago for six years. He developed and produced “The SportsWriters on TV,” which ran for 13 years and was hailed by Sports Illustrated as the template for all television sports talk shows. His credits also include six Chicago Emmys, a National Iris Award for Best Television Special and a national CableACE nomination.

John and Mary Sweeney co-wrote the screenplay for, “The Straight Story,” a movie directed by David Lynch and starring Richard Farnsworth, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The screenplay was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. “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.”

In 2018, Roach was awarded lifetime membership to the Writers Guild of America.

John lives in Madison with his bride, Diane, with whom he launched three amazing children into the world: Kate, Maggie and JT.