Marlene Sanders–Pioneer TV Correspondent, VP of ABC Documentaries Departs–1st Woman to Report from Vietnam Dies. WPW’S PETER KATZ Remembers Her First Years at ABC.

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Marlene Sanders reporting from the Central Highlands, South Vietnam

WPCNR MILESTONES. July 16, 2015:

Marlene Sanders died in New York City yesterday at 84.

She was one of the first women television journalists in 1964, and the first woman to report in the field during the Vietnam War in 1966. She was also an Emmy award winning  writer and producer. She was named Vice President and Director of Documentaries for the ABC Television Network in 1976. She was an lifelong critic of the television news management treatment of women correspondents, and co-author of the book, with Marcia Rock, Waiting for Primetime: The Women of Television News.

White Plains Week’s Peter Katz, former ABC Correspondent and Editor of the ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, knew Marlene Sanders, and remembers her this way, when she first started at ABC:

“I worked with her for a time. She was mostly doing a daily 5 minute afternoon newscast on the television network. It was sponsored by Purex. The studio it originated at was in the Des Artes Hotel, just across 67th street from the rear of the main ABC studios and I can picture it as if it was yesterday. (The restaurant, Des Artistes, was a favorite hangout for ABC people.The studio had been the hotel’s ballroom.)

At that time, female anchors and reporters were extremely rare on both television and radio. From time to time, Marlene would do field reporting and feed reports to radio as well as covering for t-v. I was producing ABC Reports, editing radio news, and reporting for WABC-TV at that time and would try to put her on radio whenever I could. She was easy to work with, a skilled journalist, and a nice person.”

Ms. Sanders covered the big stories of 1968: the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy for ABC, the Democratic Convention riots in 1968, and as producer of CBS Reports won three Emmy Awards.

Variety and The New York Times reported her death this morning. The Times obituary may be read at

The Times obituary reports in detail the paths she blazed for the women correspondents of today.

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