WJR 100 | THE MODERN QUARTER CENTURY ~ 1997 – 2022

By the late ‘90s, 760 WJR was reporting on a resurgence that was underway in Detroit. Investments in the downtown vicinity, theatre district, and New Center were restoring buildings, bringing in jobs, and attracting younger residents.

New stadiums were opened in 2000 and 2002 for both the Tigers and the Lions respectively, ultimately landing deals that brought the MLB All-Star Game to the city in 2005, and the Super Bowl in 2006.

Other accomplishments included the attraction of tech giant Compuware, the opening of three casinos, and a deal in 2010 that established Detroit as the headquarters for what would become the nation’s largest retail lender, Rocket Mortgage.

All this positive growth didn’t however come without some new challenges. Progress yielded to corruption in the mayor’s office, government bailouts for GM and Chrysler, and Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, which was the largest for a municipality in US history.

Through all this, 760 WJR maintained its reputation for up-to-the-minute news and in-depth coverage, all presented by a world class lineup that included Paul W. Smith, Mitch Albom, Guy Gordon, Kevin Dietz, and Tom Jordan, among others.

760 WJR also continued our commitment to Detroit sports, returning as the flagship station for Detroit Lions Football, continuing as the broadcast partner for the Michigan State Spartans, and helming coverage of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the first-ever PGA tournament held inside the City of Detroit.



By the late ‘90s, 760 WJR was reporting on a resurgence that was underway in Detroit. Investments in the downtown vicinity, theatre district, and New Center were restoring buildings, bringing in jobs, and attracting younger residents.

New stadiums were opened in 2000 and 2002 for both the Tigers and the Lions respectively, ultimately landing deals that brought the MLB All-Star Game to the city in 2005, and the Super Bowl in 2006.

Other accomplishments included the attraction of tech giant Compuware, the opening of three casinos, and a deal in 2010 that established Detroit as the headquarters for for what would become the nation’s largest retail lender, Rocket Mortgage.

All this positive growth didn’t however come without some new challenges. Progress yielded to corruption in the mayor’s office, government bailouts for GM and Chrysler, and Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, which was the largest for a municipality in US history.

Through all this, 760 WJR maintained its reputation for up-to-the-minute news and in-depth coverage, all presented by a world class lineup that included Paul W. Smith, Mitch Albom, Guy Gordon, Kevin Dietz, and Tom Jordan, among others.

760 WJR also continued our commitment to Detroit sports, returning as the flagship station for Detroit Lions Football, continuing as the broadcast partner for the Michigan State Spartans, and helming coverage of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the first-ever PGA tournament held inside the City of Detroit.

PODCASTS:

31-year-old Kwame Milik Kilpatrick was Detroit’s youngest mayor upon his election in 2001. The youthful leader’s flashy jewelry, slick suites, and party lifestyle — much of which turned out to be illegally bankrolled by the city — earned Kilpatrick the title of, “America’s Hip-Hop Mayor.”

His indiscretions soon expanded beyond mere embezzlement, with a “pay-to-play” system that extorted vendors and rigged bids. He also took bribes and used non-profit funds to finance his life of luxury.

In 2013, Kilpatrick was found guilty on two dozen counts — including racketeering, extortion, mail fraud, and tax evasion — and was sentenced to 28 years in a federal prison. Kilpatrick was pardoned by President Donald Trump after serving just seven years of his prison term.

760 WJR covered all aspects of the Kwame Kilpatrick story, presenting coverage as it broke. In this segment, 760 WJR’s Ken Rogulski speaks with journalist M. L. Elrick, who was part of the team that uncovered the Kilpatrick scandals.

Best-selling author, journalist, and television personality Mitch Albom has hosted the afternoon drive slot on 760 WJR since 1996. Even though his books, columns, and commentary have since gained him worldwide notoriety, Albom continues to call Detroit his home and 760 WJR his day job. His dedication to the city of Detroit includes his founding of the S.A.Y. Detroit organization, which funds shelters, healthcare, community infrastructure, and housing for Detroit citizens in need.

Mitch’s charitable work extends beyond Detroit to Haiti, where he directs the Have Faith Haiti Mission. In this segment from “The Mitch Albom Show,” Mitch talks about why he has chosen to take up this cause, and describes the challenges faced by the children that the organization cares for.

Guy Gordon was a fixture on Detroit television for more than thirty years before joining the team at 760 WJR in 2017. The eight-time Emmy winner has covered many of the market and the World’s biggest stories, earning a reputation for excellence in breaking news and investigative reporting.

In this segment from January 6, 2021, Guy speaks live via telephone with members of Congress as they hide in their offices from the pro-Trump insurrectionists who were invading the US CapitolCLICK HERE catch more of 760 WJR’s coverage.

VIDEO:

Detroit audiences have been starting their mornings with “The Paul W. Smith Show” for more than 25 years. His keen understanding of the region, easy-going interview style, and ability to hone in on the questions that really matter, make his program the show to both hear and be heard on.

Paul W. has many philanthropic interests, including The Paul W. Smith Golf Classic, which to date has generated more than 7.5 million for Detroit-area kids. In 2019, Paul W. accepted the Edward H. McNamara Goodfellow of the Year Award in recognition of his significant charitable contributions to the region. In this video of his acceptance speech, Paul W. tells an introspective story of how kindness to the community can lead to personal fulfillment and success.

Longtime 760 WJR host Frank Beckmann retired from the station after 48 years on the air. The final episode of his program, “The Frank Beckmann Show,” which he hosted for over 33 years, was streamed worldwide on March 26, 2021 from one of his favorite Michigan destinations, the Boyne Highlands Resort. Frank died less than one year later of vascular dementia. CLICK HERE to learn more about the life and legacy of Frank Beckmann.

Former 760 WJR Creative Director John Marshall and “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Voulo assembled this retrospective of 760 WJR’s history to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the station.  

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WJR 100 | THE MODERN QUARTER CENTURY ~ 1997 – 2022

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