LANSING, August 10, 2022 ~ Former 760 WJR News Director Dick Haefner has been inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Haefner, an award-winning newscaster, reporter, and news director, was 760 WJR‘s news director from 1989 to 2020, and his tenure is unmatched by any other Detroit broadcast news director He is one of the most recognizable news voices in his hometown of Detroit, signing on to radio news in 1969.
August 10, 2022 ~ Paul W. and Sean congratulate the former 760 WJR News Director on becoming a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Famer.
(CONTINUED) Under Haefner’s leadership, 760 WJR was honored with nearly every national and local news award in the broadcast business, including: the Peabody Award, Associated Press national award for Best Broadcast Reporting, Edward R. Murrow Awards, and numerous state news awards. His most recent awards were for Best Newscast and Best Feature in 2019 from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB). It is believed that Haefner may be connected to more news awards from the MAB than any other broadcaster.
Some of Haefner’s projects have changed laws. A series on suburban toxic waste dumps resulted in tighter rules for handling waste. An investigation of fraud at gas stations brought about new regulations on service station inspections and fuel hauling, and even changed the way the IRS taxes the fuel hauling industry. Among the biggest stories Haefner has broken are Coleman Young’s baby, the Nancy Kerrigan / Tonya Harding incident heard around the world, and Detroit’s two side-by-side sports stadiums.
In 2005, Haefner was diagnosed with prostate cancer and became one of the first patients to undergo robotic surgery. He tracked his own surgery and recovery as a reporter, and used his experience to produce a series. “Robots In The O-R” is the only radio production to win the National Association of Medical Communicators award, the top honor in the field of health and medical reporting.
Haefner broke one of the most tragic and long-running mysteries in local history. He first reported the existence of “The Oakland County Child Killer” the day after Christmas 1976, following the murder of a Royal Oak girl. Haefner said: “I could never have imagined we would be doing stories about this 44 years later. The stories haven’t changed that much, except for the duration of time.”
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