- The Washington Times - Friday, January 23, 2004

Veteran television newsman Mike Buchanan will join WJLA-TV (Channel 7) next week, roughly one month after WUSA-TV (Channel 9) dumped him after 33 years.

Mr. Buchanan will become a general assignment reporter for WJLA and its sister cable network, NewsChannel 8. He will likely make his first appearance Wednesday.

“Seven is hungry. They’re in the news business, and you can feel it,” he said.

WUSA did not to renew Mr. Buchanan’s contract when it expired last month. Station managers would not comment on their decision. “It was a mutual decision. They said get lost and I said OK. That smarted,” Mr. Buchanan said.

During his three decades at Channel 9, Mr. Buchanan became a household name as a deadpan-style police reporter and, later, as an outspoken anchor. He is credited with many scoops, including breaking the news in 1981 that John Hinckley shot President Reagan because he was infatuated with actress Jodie Foster.

“Mike Buchanan is arguably the best-known street reporter in our market. … We’re lucky to have him joining our team,” wrote Bill Lord, vice president of news for WJLA and NewsChannel 8, in a memo to staffers.

The move will reunite Mr. Buchanan with several former colleagues from Channel 9, including anchor Maureen Bunyan, weatherman Doug Hill and reporter Andrea McCarren. In some respects, the move also pits Mr. Buchanan against his son, Doug, who joined WUSA as a general assignment reporter in 2002.

Mike Buchanan is WJLA’s latest marquee addition. Since October, the ABC affiliate has also added anchor Leon Harris, formerly of CNN, and sportscaster Tim Brant, an ABC sports announcer.

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