"I always said yes when anybody asked me, 'Can you do that?' Even if I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do, I would say, 'Yeah, I can do that.'"
About This Interview
In her three-hour Archive interview, Marlene Sanders (1931-2015) speaks about growing up in Cleveland where she developed an early interest in theatre. She discusses her move to New York City, where, after a series of odd jobs, she landed a job at WABD–TV. She talks about meeting Mike Wallace and being asked to work on his new show, Night Beat, which became a hit, and for which she served as associate producer. She chronicles her move to ABC News, where she became the second female correspondent, eventually anchoring a five-minute daytime news telecast as well as traveling to Vietnam in 1966 to cover the war. She details her history-making moments when anchor Ron Cochran came down with laryngitis and she was chosen to substitute for him, thus becoming the first woman to anchor an evening network newscast. Sanders then talks about her work as a producer of television documentaries for ABC in the 1970s. She details her switch to the executive suites when she was named Vice President and Director of TV Documentaries for ABC News in 1976 — another first for a woman in television. She also discusses her subsequent move to CBS News where she served as a correspondent, producing and reporting for such series as CBS Reports and Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. She discusses leaving CBS in 1987 and working as a host on various WNET-TV programs, teaching aspiring journalists, and co-authoring an autobiographical book on women in television news. She also speaks about her work at the Discovery Channel and serving as narrator on HBO's popular Autopsy series. She concludes her interview with remarks about the state of women in television at the time of the interview. B-Roll includes career-spanning photos. Karen Herman conducted the interview in a joint venture with New York Women in Film and Television, on May 4, 2006 in New York, NY.