A native of Chicago, Illinois, respected journalist and news anchor Warner Saunders matriculated at Xavier University and received his M.A. from Northeastern University. Famed radio disk jockey Holmes Daddy O' Daylie helped the aspiring reporter enter the profession at a time when very few doors were open to African Americans. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the management of a local television station in Chicago asked Daylie to create a special public affairs program for the black community. Daylie agreed and asked that Warner Saunders, then director of the Better Boys Foundation, co-host the show. The resulting program, "For Blacks Only," was an immediate success and ran for more than a decade.
Producers at WBBM-TV Channel 2 Chicago were impressed by the hard working Saunders and, in 1972, hired him to serve as director of Community Affairs and host of the program "Common Ground." In 1980, Saunders left the station and joined the NBC Channel 5 news team as a sports reporter. He also hosted NBC's public affairs talk show, "Warner," which was honored with the Illinois Broadcasters Association Public Service Award in 1986. Currently, a co-anchor of NBC 5's 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm news broadcasts, Saunders is considered one of Chicago's premier news reporters.
Saunders integrity and compelling broadcasts have earned him the esteem of his peers. He has been honored with forteen Chicago Emmys, the Chicago Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Silver Circle Award and the Ohio State Award, among many others. In 1993, he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame. For his commitment to improving the lives of members of the community, Mr. Saunders received the prestigious Hull House Jane Addams Medal.
Saunders passed away on October 9, 2018.