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Detroit

WXYZ’s Dave Rexroth to Return With Prosthetic Eye After Fireworks Accident

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 12.08.07 PMWXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, says chief meteorologist Dave Rexroth will return to work next week. Rexroth lost his left eye in a fireworks accident on July 4th, and the station says he has had surgery and received a prosthetic eye. Rexroth sent photos that show he’s healed from the surgery, and as the station notes in a blog post, it’s difficult to tell anything has changed.

Before receiving the prosthetic, Rexroth shared his gratitude with WXYZ viewers:

“Although the past few days have been challenging, I have been overwhelmed by the love and kind words from not only those closest to me but every single one of you,” says Rexroth. “Over my 14 years in Detroit and southeast Michigan, I’ve been truly blessed with the most caring and supportive viewers, coworkers and friends ever. Your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement are really helping me get through this. Thank you all so much. I look forward to being back on air and being able to thank you directly.”

WXYZ to Debut Downtown Studio

Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ has unveiled plans for a new downtown studio for 7 Action News at Noon with Joanne Purtan.

The Scripps owned station said the “glass enclosed, outward-facing studio inside the ground-floor lobby of Chase Tower” will open in the fall and will feature views of Woodward Avenue and Campus Martius Park.

WXYZ VP and GM Ed Fernandez said in a statement, “This studio will give 7 Action News viewers an exciting front-row seat to the city’s incredible rebirth and allow us to connect in meaningful new ways with people making a difference and guiding Detroit’s transformation.”

GLAAD Calls Out WJBK for ‘Disturbing’ Report on Hate Crimes

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 1.32.52 PMA report aired on Fox-owned WJBK in Detroit has been described as “especially disturbing” by GLAAD, the LGBT media advocacy group. According to a post by GLAAD’s Dani Heffernan, several Detroit reporters used language that is considered discriminatory in their stories about a series of shootings being investigated as hate crimes. The victims were transgender women.

WXYZ’s story includes a banner describing the victims as “transgender men”, while the web story describes the victims as “transgender women.”

GLAAD said WJBK’s story was the most troubling:

The coverage from WJBK Detroit, a local Fox News affiliate, was especially disturbing. While the written story does not misgender the victims, the broadcast segment does, and it promotes the stereotype that transgender women are not who they say they are. Even worse, rather than hearing from friends and family of the victims, the report includes commentary from complete strangers who did not know the victims, but who nevertheless make gross speculations about the victims’ lives.

GLAAD has reached out to WJBK repeatedly about this problematic coverage, but the station has not responded.

In the WJBK story, the victims are described simply as “men who dressed like women”, and notes the neighborhood has “long been associated with gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles.” Reporter Ron Savage has no interviews with police or others, but includes an MOS interview with a cab driver who suggests the victims may have been drug users or prostitutes, though this is not backed with information from police or any other source.
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Jay Towers Promoted to WJBK Morning News

towers wjbk croppedWJBK weekend anchor Jay Towers has been named co-anchor of FOX 2 Morning News for the Detroit FOX owned station.

“FOX 2 viewers have enjoyed Jay’s contagious energy and winning personality on the weekends for the last 10 years,” said WJBK VP and news director Kevin Roseborough. “We are looking forward to expanding his presence on our station and have no doubt he will enhance our number one morning news team.”

Towers will join Anqunette Jamison starting Monday from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

For the last 10 years, Towers has anchored the weekend news and has been a feature reporter for FOX 2 News Weekend. He started his career as a 14-year-old radio DJ for WJRZ in Manahawkin, NJ.

Alan Lee Signs Off From WJBK

After 18 years at WJBK, Alan Lee signed off from the Fox-owned station in Detroit this morning. Lee is retiring from the station to write a novel. Watch WJBK’s tribute:

‘Post-Newsweek’ Name Retired, Company Now ‘Graham Media Group’

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Post-Newsweek Stations announced today the company would now be known as Graham Media Group, effective immediately. The name change comes after the sale of The Washington Post to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The company owns five television stations, WJXT in Jacksonville, WDIV in Detroit, KPRC in Houston, KSAT in San Antonio, and WKMG in Orlando.

In a statement, Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group, said the new name was a better fit for the company:

“Much like our parent company, Graham Holdings, this new name better reflects the diversity of our creative and innovative company,” said Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group. “We provide our communities with the best local news, programming and critical information, delivered on-air, on-line and on-demand, via our television stations, websites and social media, as well as 90 news, weather and community-focused mobile apps. In addition, we have recently made a strategic investment in Storm Pins, a crowd-sourced, social weather and breaking news app that connects you to your community, and we continue to look for ways to expand our reach into local communities through innovative digital media and web-based communications.”

Miami station WPLG, previously a Post-Newsweek station, was sold this year to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway

WXYZ Reporter and Photographer Shot at By Home Invasion Victim


A few days ago, an 88-year-old Detroit man was the victim of home invasion. The robbers put a gun to his head, forced him upstairs, tied him up and ransacked his house.

Yesterday, WXYZ reporter Jonathan Carlson and a station photographer went to the man’s house looking for an interview.

The man came out onto his porch and took a shot at the crew. No one was injured.

WXYZ says the 88-year-old man was taken to a crisis center for evaluation.

Longtime WDIV Journalist Jennifer Moore Dies: ‘She Was a Life Force’

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In a post on Facebook, family members have announced the death of Jennifer Moore, a longtime reporter at Detroit station WDIV. “A little after ten this morning, our mother succumbed to her nearly two year battle with cancer,” wrote Moore’s son Michael Carroll. “Our hearts are filled with love, not only from our mother, but with the knowledge that she touched so many lives, in so many profound ways.”

In an obituary posted on the WDIV website, friends and co-workers remembered Moore as a woman who fearlessly carved a path in a business that was, at the time, a men’s club:

“She was a life force. She was all that energy and all that curiosity,” said Anne Thompson, NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent.

Moore started at WDIV in 1979 as a business editor. For a woman at that time, her role was pioneering. It didn’t take long for newsmakers to recognize the newswoman.

“The first person they always called on was Jennifer,” Thompson said. “It was not just because she was a woman. It was because she probably was the smartest person in the room.”

Former Detroit Anchor Woody Willis Dies at 73

Former WJBK anchor Woody Willis has died after what the FOX owned Detroit station said was a brief illness.

Willis anchored at WJBK during the 1970s and 80s.

In honor of Willis’ passing, anchor Murray Feldman, who used to work with Willis on weekends, told viewers, “and in his honor I want to take a moment and thank the hard working staff behind the camera. That’s what he used to do at the end of every broadcast.”

Willis was 73.

‘Shame on Him,’ Detroit Reporter Ripped by Activist on National TV Over Water Bill Story

Detroit reporter Hank Winchester got on the wrong side of Maureen Taylor, the state chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, while the two were on MSNBC to talk about Detroit shutting off water to customers who are behind on their bills.

When the reporter for Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV told host Craig Melvin some people simply can’t afford to pay for water while others, “and this is where it gets controversial, who simply don’t want to pay the water bill, who would rather spend money on cable.”

Before answering Melvin’s next question about health concerns, Taylor took some time to say what she thought about what Winchester said. “Before I answer that, let me say shame on Hank. Shame on him…for putting that lie and that misinformation out on the air.” Read more

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