Bunyan is a founder and board member of IWMF (International Women's Media Foundation), a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. and President of Maureen Bunyan Communications, Inc.
She was named a "Washingtonian of the Year" in 1992 and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, "The Silver Circle" of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and the Broadcast Pioneers Club of Washington.
Bunyan was born in Aruba, the eldest of three daughters, and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family when she was 11. After the death of her mother Wilhelmina, a nurse, Bunyan and her family continued to pursue educational opportunities; at one point, all of the members of the immediate family were enrolled at local colleges and universities, each studying for an undergraduate degree.
Bunyan started her journalism career freelancing at the Milwaukee Journal while attending the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee nearby, then went on to television jobs at WGBH-TV in Boston and WCBS-TV in New York City before arriving in Washington in 1973 and joining WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV), a station that was known for its Eyewitness News team that included Max Robinson, Gordon Peterson and Warner Wolf.
Promotion to anchor
Originally a reporter and weekend co-anchor with Patrick McGrath, Bunyan was promoted to co-anchor alongside Gordon Peterson at 6 p.m. after Robinson joined ABC News in 1978 (she would add the 11 p.m. newscast a decade later) and settled in as a member of a local news team that also included sportscaster Glenn Brenner and meteorologist Gordon Barnes. In addition to reporting on major local, national and international stories, she also hosted the award-winning magazine programs 22:26 and Studio Nine.
On December 11, 1995, after the management at WUSA offered her an anchor demotion and salary cut to stay at the station, Bunyan surprised viewers when she announced her resignation on the air during the 6 p.m. news. Channel 9 soon afterwards lost their first-place spot in the ratings to rival WRC-TV.
Return to the DC airwaves
As for Bunyan herself, she briefly worked for MSNBC and ran a public relations firm for a few years before returning to the Washington airwaves in February 1999, replacing Paul Berry as the lead anchor at WJLA-TV. Five years later, she was reunited with longtime friend and former WUSA co-anchor Gordon Peterson when they were teamed up on the 6 p.m. news. This has helped WJLA move from third to second place in that timeslot behind current leader WRC.
On January 9. 2017, Sinclair Broadcasting, the owners of WJLA, announced her contract was not being renewed. Her last evening newscast with WJLA was on January 31, 2017.
During the many years she has worked in Washington, she has received numerous awards. Ms. Bunyan also attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she earned a master's degree.
- Foremother Award from The National Center for Health Research, 2017
- Maureen Bunyan
- IWMF website "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2016-01-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Maureen Bunyan, 2002 Matrix Award Recipient - AWC-DC archives". Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Biographies". Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Home - Advisory Groups & Commissions" (PDF). Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- Marlane, Judith (1 January 1999). Women in television news revisited: into the twenty-first century. University of Texas Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-292-75228-3. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
- Farhi, Paul (8 January 2017). "Longtime D.C. TV anchor Maureen Bunyan out at WJLA, possibly ending her career". Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via washingtonpost.com.