Warner Saunders

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Warner Saunders (born January 30, 1935) was the 10 PM co-anchor for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. Saunders' primary co-anchor in the NBC 5 evening newscasts was Allison Rosati. A Chicago native, Saunders holds a bachelor's degree from Xavier University and a master's degree from Northeastern Illinois University. He and his wife, Sadako, live in Chicago.


He is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and the Chicago Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Silver Circle. He was once President of the Chicago Association of Black Journalists (1996–97). He also did a series of reports from South Africa in 1990 on the historic release of Nelson Mandela culminated in the documentary titled, South Africa: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?. Saunders came to WMAQ from WBBM where he was Director of Community Affairs, host of Common Ground, and a children's show known to many kids as The Good Gang Express.

He portrayed a news anchorman in the second season of the drama series ER, a show which is set in Chicago. He played a similar role in the second season of The West Wing.

Saunders was a former public school teacher, youth worker and Boys Club Executive Director. His WBBM-TV documentary, The End of the Line, spurred investigations of local gangs. His teaching career includes Chicago Public Schools, National College of Education (now National Louis University), Malcolm X College, Northeastern Illinois University, and Indiana University where he was voted teacher of the year for two consecutive terms.

Saunders retired from the 5 PM and 6 PM newscasts and retired from the 10 PM newscast on May 20, 2009. He plans to pursue "diversity education".

He has publicly accused former Chicago newspaper columnist Robert Feder of racism during Feder's career at the Sun-Times. (See Chicago Tribune column at http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/towerticker/2009/02/wmaqtvs-warner-saunders-confronts-former-suntimes-columnist-robert-feder-at-aftra-meeting.html)

His career in broadcasting was honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications on May 16, 2009 during "A Salute to Warner Saunders" the event was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.


He has won 19 Emmy Awards for news, sports, documentaries, children's shows, talk shows, and town meetings. Other awards he won are the Illinois Broadcasters Association Public Service Award, the Gabriel Award, The Ohio State Award, and the 1999 Hull House Jane Addams Award for his commitment to the Chicago community.

Xavier University of Louisiana[edit]

Saunders was a standout basketball player at Xavier. He scored 32 points in a 71-67 home victory against city rival Dillard on Jan. 11, 1956.

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