James W. Sasser, 50, former newsman and more recently public relations counsel to several industries here and in New York, died Friday (Jan. 14) of cancer at his home in Pelham Manor, N.Y.

He was vice president for media affairs of Underwood, Jordan Associates, a national Public relations firm, at the time of his death.

Born in Logansport, La. Mr. Sasser worked as a reporter for the New Orleans Item and the United Press Associations.

In 1962 he moved to New York City and became promotion director of the New York Journal-American and later director of promotion, plans and public relations.

Mr. Sasser then joined the World Journal Tribune following the merger of the Journal American with the World Telegram & Sun and the Herald Tribune, as assistant promotion manager.

Later, Mr. Sasser moved to WNEW-TV in New York as part of its original news staff and ultimately became its news director.

He joined Underwood, Jordan Associates in 1970, and was responsible for contacts with news media and was a specialist in television, radio and audio-visal production. He was a member of the National Press Club.

Survivors include his wife, Harriet, of the home, and two children.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.