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Detroit

Jonathan Carlson Joins WXYZ From WNCN

Jonathan CarlsonJonathan Carlson is joining Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ as an investigative reporter. Carlson comes from WNCN, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, where he was an investigative reporter and anchor.

Carlson has “deep experience covering everything from political scandals, school failures and government waste to natural disasters and breaking news,” WXYZ news director Dave Manney said in announcing the hire. “He’ll fit in nicely at Action News.”

Carlson begins at WXYZ in June.

Charlie LeDuff Named National News Correspondent for FOX TV Stations

LeDuff FlagWJBK investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff has been named national news correspondent for FOX Television Stations.

In addition to reporting for the Detroit FOX owned station, LeDuff will lead a series of national news reports on all FOX owned stations called “The Americans with Charlie LeDuff.”

“Charlie’s unorthodox storytelling, no holds barred attitude and exceptional wit combine to produce a news product that is unlike any other reporting out there,” Sharri Berg, SVP of news operations for FOX TV stations said in a statement. Read more

WXYZ Reporter Pelted with Food by Angry Squatters


A group of squatters were menacing a Detroit neighborhood. When WXYZ reporter Ronnie Dahl picked up the story and lead the efforts to have the squatters evicted, she became a target of their food-based rage.

The first incident happened when the reporter for the Detroit ABC affiliate confronted them as they drove away from the house they’d taken over. They threw what appeared to be soda on her and later brandished what looked like a bottle of barbecue sauce as they drove away.

When they drove by as Dahl was doing a live shot covering their eviction they pulled out the barbecue sauce again. “Just so you guys know, you’re live on television,” Dahl told them. “I wouldn’t do that.”

But they did. Watch the story.

Pulitzer Winning Detroit Reporter Calls Pulitzer People ‘Jerks’ Says Awards ‘Bullshit’

elrick_croppedM.L. Elrick, reporter for Detroit FOX owned station WJBK told Detroit Metro Times what he really thinks about the Pulitzer he won when he worked for the Detroit Free Press.

Elrick won the award in 2009 along with Jim Schaefer, who still works at the paper, for a piece about former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

When Metro Times asked Elrick about his Pulitzer, he told them he wasn’t all that excited about it and that the “Pulitzer people were jerks.” He added, “It’s like every award: Every award is bullshit unless you win it because it’s all subjective. There’s some great work that doesn’t get recognized. To think that the work is only important because someone gave you a piece of shit crystal from Tiffany’s, that’s ridiculous.”

David Ashenfelter, a former Free Press reporter himself, wrote on Elrick’s facebook page “While it is true that you and Jim broke the biggest story in decades in Detroit, it’s also true that you and Jim were significantly assisted by other Free Press staffers who worked tirelessly on the story. Be grateful that you won the biggest prize in American newspaper journalism. And be generous with the people who helped you — as well as the organization that recognized you, Jim and the team of reporters for extraordinary work.”

As part if his reply to Ashenfelter, Elrick said, “David, as I’ve often said, I think most awards are bullshit — unless the judges select you. And, as I’ve often said, I’d rather have them than not! My personal and professional admiration for you knows no bounds. As for the folks at Columbia … they were high-handed dicks.”

See the complete text of Elrick’s comments to Detroit Metro Times after the jump. Click here to read the article. Read more

Jeff Wattrick Joins WDIV in Detroit

WDIV_Local_4_ClickOnDetroitJeff Wattrick is joining WDIV, the NBC affiliate in Detroit, as managing editor of the station’s website, ClickonDetroit.com. He begins in his new role next week.

“Jeff has the knowledge and understanding to deal with our content on several platforms. Having a talent like him leading our digital enterprises sets us up for long-term success and innovation,” WDIV news director Kim Voet said in a statement.

Wattrick was most recently a columnist at Deadline Detroit and the editorial producer at Mlive.

Former WXYZ News Director Phil Nye Dies


Phil Nye, former news director for Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ, has died.

Nye was the news director for the station in the 1970′s.

According to WXYZ, Nye’s friends and colleagues shared their thoughts about him on social media, “Some of the comments refer to him as a “super leader,” “a true talent” and a “wonderfully compassionate human being.”

He was 87.

Detroit Police Clear Officers Involved in Scuffle with Reporter

Detroit police say two of their officers did nothing wrong when they blocked WJBK reporter M.L. Elrick from approaching City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry, Jr. at a council meeting.

The two officers were caught on tape shoving the reporter for the Detroit FOX owned station out of the way when Cushingberry approached the meeting which sparked an investigation by Detroit police.

Accoridng to WJBK, police found the officers in question used force that was “reasonable and necessary.”

Elrick responded, “This isn’t the first time Detroit police have roughed up a reporter, or a citizen, trying to get answers, and I think it’s troubling that the chief saw nothing wrong here. We’re going to continue to try and hold public officials accountable, and I think it’s disappointing that police in a city that don’t have enough police are being used to protect public officials who don’t want to answer questions.”

It’s Official! Scripps Buying Granite Stations in Buffalo and Detroit

scripps logo_304x200E.W. Scripps has announced it really is buying Buffalo ABC Affiliate WKBW from Granite Broadcasting.

The station group announced it’s buying WKBW along with Detroit MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD for $110 million in cash.

Rumors of the Buffalo sale have been swirling since Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News reported Scripps executives had toured the Buffalo station in December.

“These stations in Detroit and Buffalo will contribute strong cash flow to our core business, expand our reach in one of our best markets, and expand our TV footprint in partnership with ABC,” Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO said in a statement. Read more

Police Investigate WJBK Reporter Rough-Up

Yesterday we told you WJBK reporter M.L. Elrick was roughed up by police after attempting to interview City Council president pro tem George Cushingberry, Jr. at a council meeting.

Today we learned Detroit Police have launched a formal investigation into the incident.

Police Chief James Craig said Elrick’s run-in with a supervisor and an officer assigned to City Council protection duty appeared to be a use of force, but not an excessive use of force. He also said the Sergeant involved has been moved from the executive protection detail.

“The reporter, while attempting to force an interview, blocked President Pro Tem Cushingberry’s path and the unit responded by forcing a protective space allowing the councilman to proceed to his seat,” City Council president Brenda Jones said in a statement, according to The Detroit Free Press. “Due to the nature of the reporter’s aggressive behavior, Sgt. Robert Mitchell, the head of the unit, contacted his superior and filed an incident report. This incident is under investigation and I have, and will not have, any further comment on this incident.”

The Free Press reports “Earlier this month, Cushingberry was found with alcohol and marijuana in his car during a traffic stop earlier this month.”

Chuck Gaidica Leaving WDIV for Ministry, Station Announces Replacement

Gaidica_BaileyWDIV director of meteorology Chuck Gaidica (pictured right) is leaving the Detroit NBC station after 27 years to join a local church as the Pastor of World Outreach.

“Of all the names associated with Detroit television, Chuck Gaidica is one of the most respected and beloved,” Marla Drutz, VP and GM of WDIV said in a statement. “When Chuck came to me some time ago with a desire to change his position at the station, I was naturally very sad. I’ve known him since 1983 so I know that when he makes a decision of this magnitude that he has come to it after serious thought.”

Gaidica has worked at WDIV since 1987. He is leaving in August 2014

WDIV also announced it’s hired Ben Bailey (pictured left). Read more

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