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WXYZ Alumni and Staff: Haney, Don .

Don Haney
Don Haney (circa 1981)

WXYZ TV host of "Haney's People."

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  A Newscast for the Masses 
Available from Amazon.com

A Newscast for the Masses: The History of Detroit Television Journalism by Tim Kiska - As the chief source of information for many people and a key revenue stream for the country's broadcast conglomerates, local television news has grown from a curiosity into a powerful journalistic and cultural force. In A Newscast for the Masses, Tim Kiska examines the evolution of television news in Detroit, from its beginnings in the late 1940s, when television was considered a "wild young medium," to the early 1980s, when cable television permanently altered the broadcast landscape. Kiska shows how the local news, which was initially considered a poor substitute for respectable print journalism, became the cornerstone of television programming and the public's preferred news source. 

Kiska begins his study in 1947 with the first Detroit television broadcast, made by WWJ-TV. Owned by the Evening News Association, the same company that owned the Detroit News, WWJ developed a credible broadcast news operation as a cross-promotional vehicle for the newspaper. Yet by the late 1960s WWJ was unseated by newcomers WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV, whose superior coverage of the 1967 Detroit riots lured viewers away from WWJ. WXYZ-TV would eventually become the most powerful news outlet in Detroit with the help of its cash-rich parent company, the American Broadcasting Corporation, and its use of sophisticated survey research and advertising techniques to grow its news audience. Though critics tend to deride the sensationalism and showmanship of local television news, Kiska demonstrates that over the last several decades newscasts have effectively tailored their content to the demands of the viewing public and, as a result, have become the most trusted source of information for the average American and the most lucrative source of profit for television networks.

A Newscast for the Masses is based on extensive interviews with journalists who participated in the development of television in Detroit and careful research into the files of the McHugh & Hoffman consulting firm, which used social science techniques to discern the television viewing preferences of metro Detroiters. Anyone interested in television history or journalism will appreciate this detailed and informative study.


  Detroit Television 
Available from Amazon.com

Detroit broadcasting history is rich with character . . . and characters. It began atop the Penobscot Building on October 23, 1946, when WWDT shot a signal to the convention center, part of a "New Postwar Products Exposition." WWJ-TV offered scheduled programming in June 1947, and WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV jumped in a year later. The medium has influenced the city's personality and social agenda ever since. Soupy Sales turned getting a pie in the face into an art form. Mort Neff celebrated the state's outdoor charms. George Pierrot showed Detroiters the world. Other beloved personalities include: Milky the Clown, Ed McKenzie, Sonny Eliot, John Kelly, Marilyn Turner, Robin Seymour, Bill Bonds, Dick Westerkamp, Jingles, Bill Kennedy, Lou Gordon, Captain Jolly, Johnny Ginger, Auntie Dee, and many more.



WXYZ: The Lone Ranger/The Green Hornet/Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
WXYZ
Available from Amazon.com


WYXIE Wonder Land: An unauthorized 50-year diary of WXYZ Detroit by Dick Osgood
WXIE Wonderland
Some used copies available through Amazon.com

 


Breaking into Television by Dan Weaver
Breaking Into Television by Dan Weaver

Available from Amazon.com


TV Land - Detroit by Gordon Castelnero
TV Land - Detroit by Gordon Castelnero
Available from Amazon.com


  Detroit Television 
by Tim Kiska 

Detroit Television 
Available from Amazon.com

Detroit broadcasting history is rich with character . . . and characters. It began atop the Penobscot Building on October 23, 1946, when WWDT shot a signal to the convention center, part of a "New Postwar Products Exposition." WWJ-TV offered scheduled programming in June 1947, and WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV jumped in a year later.

The medium has influenced the city's personality and social agenda ever since. Soupy Sales turned getting a pie in the face into an art form. Mort Neff celebrated the state's outdoor charms. George Pierrot showed Detroiters the world. 

Other beloved personalities include: Milky the Clown, Ed McKenzie, Sonny Eliot, John Kelly, Marilyn Turner, Robin Seymour, Bill Bonds, Dick Westerkamp, Jingles, Bill Kennedy, Lou Gordon, Captain Jolly, Johnny Ginger, Auntie Dee, and many more.


 WXYZ
Available through Amazon.com

WXYZ: The Lone Ranger/The Green Hornet/Sgt. Preston of the Yukon  - Now a collector's item, this hard to get audio CDs contains three hours of audio recordings of the original The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.  Originally distributed by Radio Spirits, many third party suppliers through Amazon.com have these available.  If you have a copy, you just might want to hang unto it!


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