Mary Bubala joins Fox 45 as a reporter

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Photo via Mary Bubala/Facebook

Months after asking a question on the air that many decried as racist, and subsequently being fired from WJZ, TV news anchor Mary Bubala has landed at WBFF Fox 45.

She started working at the station as a reporter yesterday, news director Mike Tomko told Baltimore Fishbowl. The Sun first reported the news of her hiring.

During a May 2 live segment on the fallout from former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation in the wake of the “Healthy Holy” children’s book scandal, Bubala asked Loyola University of Maryland professor Kaye Whitehead: “We’ve had three female African-American mayors in a row—they were all passionate public servants, two resigned, though. Is it a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore City forward?”

A recording of the segment by BET news anchor Andre Showell–with the addition of an incredulous “Oh my God!”–quickly spread, drawing rebukes on social media from Baltimoreans, including a number of journalists.

Shortly after it went viral, Bubala issued a public apology.

“I am so very sorry,” she posted on Twitter. “The way my question came out was not what I intended to ask because race and gender are irrelevant to one’s leadership abilities. I combined two questions in my head during a live interview and said something I didn’t mean to.”

Several days later, the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists issued a statement calling for an on-air apology from Bubala–who, in a longer Facebook post, said she had requested the opportunity to address viewers and was denied–and WJZ.

Her question became a flashpoint in the city, with some commenters calling for her job and others, like this Baltimore Sun reader, labeling it an “honest question.”

On May 7, the station confirmed Bubala was no longer with the network.

Speaking today, Tomko told Baltimore Fishbowl that Fox 45 was impressed with Bubala’s reporting prior to the controversy.

“[T]he nature of live TV invites instances where journalists make mistakes,” he said. “We’ve made the decision to hire Mary based on her impressive body of work covering issues that impact the Baltimore community, rather than a single mistake that she has since apologized for.”

In a statement, WBFF general manager Bill Fanshawe said: “Mary Bubala is a tremendous talent with more than 20 years of experience reporting on issues that matter to the Baltimore community. She has an impressive body of work, and we look forward to having her join our incredible team.”

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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46 COMMENTS

  1. Please let Fox45 know how I appreciate seeing Mary Bubala on their staff as a news reporter. I watched her for years on WJZ and feel she was mistreated by being fired. It is good to see her back giving the news.

    Shirley Little
    Annapolis, MD

  2. She’s very talented and should be an anchor – hope that happens soon! Congrats Fox for hiring her and keeping her in Baltimore!

    • I think she got a raw deal at Ch.13 and that it was a relevant question. I’m sure she will be anchoring again in no time.

  3. I agree 100% ! . It’s sad when a competent reporter makes an obvious true statement and gets chastised for doing her job. The world is too sensitive to this politically correct B.S. If the policians in question were MARTIANS… nothing would be said. JUST MY OPINION 🐸🎳 Welcome to 45 Mary keep up the great reporting.

  4. Congratulations on your next job You deserve it Wishing you the very best Looking forward to seeing you Mary A fan

  5. I see nothing wrong with what she said. Nothing racist about her remarks. If the truth fits own it. The last 3 mayors have done very little for Baltimore and the question needed to be asked. It isn’t a matter of race or gender, if you can’t do the job, move on and let someone who can do it.

  6. I’ve still not watched wjz 13, since her being let go. She’s a class act, and I’ll continue watching fox 45

  7. What WJZ did was a travesty!!!!
    Sorry Mary I no longer on WJZ, BUT I am EXTREMELY happy that WBFF picked her up.
    Being over there with Kai Jackson will probably be a welcomed change for Mary.

  8. Very happy to hear this great news. I haven’t felt positive about Ch 13 since she was fired. She is a talented reporter and I look forward to her work with Ch 45.

  9. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
    We are so glad to see Mary Bubala back on the air. She deserves to be working for the “Greatest News Station”.

  10. Her punishment was far too severe. She had no apparent history of racist remarks. She apologized. Unless there was additional evidence not known to the public, WJZ went too far. I am glad she has been picked up by Fox, although I will not watch Fox under any circumstances, which has nothing to do with Ms. Bubala or any of their news team. I simply detest the Murdoch family and will do nothing to in any way support them.

    • WBFF FOX 45 is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which is owned by the Smith family – a local Baltimore family.

  11. I stopped watching Channel 13 as soon as I heard the ridiculous report. I’m a Fox 45 watcher now and will continue to be now that Mary Bubala is on there. Way to go WBFF..

  12. I was thrilled to see that Mary was hired by WBFF.

    GREAT MOVE WBFF.

    what transpired at WJZ was incredulous, and NEVER should have happened.

    Mary was following a totally logical observation and asked the questions tons of observed wanted to ask and don’t have the forum.

    I no longer watch WJZ for ANYTHING !!!

    I too look forward to Mary as an anchor ASAP, please???

    Best wishes MARY!!!

  13. Mary is one of my favorite reporters as channel 45 is my favorite news program. Good job! I agree with Ed’s statement 100%

  14. Glad to see you back i can’t believe what wjz did to you I belong to two organizations American legion and the moose club they will not put wjz on good luck Mary

  15. So excited to see her back doing what she loves. I stopped watching WJZ news the day she got fired. I will be watching her on Fox 45. Congratulations and looking forward to seeing you on the news again.

  16. The best news I’ve heard since she was treated so poorly by a news network I haven’t watched since her firing! Fox 45 I’m sure will have higher ratings.

  17. Glad one Baltimore station had the integrity to hire an outstanding anchor who made a mistake and some overreacted leading to her shunning

  18. Kudos to Fox for taking on a true representation of talent. Mary Bubala is true class and Fox 45 is lucky and smart to bring her onto their team!

  19. Glad you’re back , Mary.
    In this age of P.C.it seems there are those who look for controversy . Making an innocent,true statement racist seems to be the new normal.
    Congratulations and thanks to Fox for rising above the fray.

    • Congratulations to Fox 45 and to Mary! We are so caught up on race and gender anymore that you can not even mention it without causing insult. She stated facts nothing more. May the thruth set us free! Thanks again for recognizing her as a great reporter.

  20. Wishing Mary the very best. I just knew it wouldn’t be too long before we would see Mary at another local news station. So happy for her and the viewers. Like so many others, I stopped watching WJZ News after Mary was let go.

  21. I am so glad Mary is back. The over reaction by Channel 13 was a loss for them. Good luck
    on your new assignment. I’ll be watching!

  22. Fox 45 is now my family’s go to news channel. Great pick for a Fox 45 journalist. She is one of the best & Fox is lucky to have her. Go Mary!!!!!

  23. Great job for acquiring Mary! Its just CBS was forced to give in to social media push and not weighing in on her being a great anchorwoman.

  24. Glad to see a news station is interested in factual answers and not political correctness..we miss out on honesty in the media. Questions asked that the average person would ask if we had a voice in this media..Welcome Back.. Channel 45 has become my go to station for a long time..the other stations have lost my interest.

  25. Very happy to see Mary back on the air. What was done to her was horrible. I listened to the interview, there was nothing wrong with anything she said.. I was happy yo see Kia when he showed up also. Thanks

  26. Perhaps Bubala should have pointed out that there has not been a Republican mayor in Baltimore since 1967. Maybe that is the different kind of leadership needed to move the city forward. Men and women of all racial makeups in the Republican party. Just sayin’.

  27. I am so happy to know Mary Bubala is back on the air, she was so good wjz and should not been fired. I have been a Baltimore city resident in Forest Park community and was angry at wjz for letting her go, that was a sad day, but its wjz lost now and serve them right. Congratulations M’s Bubala and I wish all the best for you in the future.

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