Marlene Sanders

Marlene Sanders Broke Barriers

Marlene Sanders

Three time Emmy Award winning correspondent, producer, writer and former news executive, Marlene Sanders broke barriers for women throughout her career. While a correspondent at ABC News, she was the first woman to anchor a prime time network newscast, subbing for an ailing anchorman (l964).  In l966 she was the first TV newswoman to report from Vietnam.


aug 27, 1963

Marlene Sanders, WNEW News, is shown here in front of “The March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom” Headquarters, on August 27, 1963, one day before Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

While a producer-correspondent for ABC’s documentary unit, Sanders made news in 1976 by becoming the first woman news vice president at the networks, when she was named Vice President and Director of Documentaries.

Sanders, a native of Cleveland, Ohio began her career in New York in local news working for Mike Wallace in l955. In 1962 she joined WNEW Radio as Assistant News Director. She produced the award winning series News Closeup, and began on air broadcasting. In l964, she joined ABC News and remained there for nearly l4 years as a correspondent, anchor, producer and news executive. In l978 she joined CBS News, working on documentaries for CBS Reports and on other reporting assignments.

After nearly 10 years at CBS she left in l987 to host several public affairs programs at the local PBS station in New York, WNET. During her 4 years there she also taught part time as an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at both New York University and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. During this same period she anchored Profiles in Progress, 26 half hours about the developing world. Following 5 years as a Dupont Awards judge, in l999 she became a judge for the Peabody Awards given for outstanding achievement in broadcasting.

From 1977 through 2000, she was Professional in Residence at the Freedom Forum foundation’s Media Studies Center, where she organized and moderated panels on media issues. Sanders also narrates documentaries for HBO, public television, and others.

She is co-author with Marcia Rock of “Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of Television News,” an updated version of which was published in l994 by the University of Illinois Press.

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as numerous professional journalism groups.

Volunteer Boards: Chairperson of RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of The Community Service Society)

On the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women 2002-2006

photos added by WNEW editors

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