Detroit’s WJBK Hires Colorful Journalist Charlie LeDuff

By Andrew Gauthier 


Charlie LeDuff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who left The Detroit News in October, has been hired as a reporter for Detroit Fox-affiliate WJBK. LeDuff has had a colorful career, punctuated by stints as a reporter and contributor for The New York Times, and work as the host of documentary TV programs for the Discovery Channel and BBC Four.

“People that don’t read watch TV. People that do read watch TV,” LeDuff told Crain’s about his move from Detroit print to Detroit TV. LeDuff’s transition was sparked by a multimedia piece produced jointly by WJBK and The Detroit News back in September that investigated the city’s struggling emergency medical response services. LeDuff resumed his investigation into Detroit’s broken down ambulances and slow response times last week, now as a WJBK reporter.


Throughout his career, LeDuff’s reporting has often been inextricably linked to his personality. “I work on emotion, I want to be attached to what I’m doing,” he told the Columbia Journalism Review recently. “I don’t want to just file copy.”

LeDuff’s WJBK debut was infused with an outsider, Michael Moore-like sensibility (video here). With high-contrast video, rollicking music, and LeDuff’s emotional narration, the piece was unlike many typical investigative reports. “The media landscape is remaking itself,” LeDuff said recently, and perhaps his unique style and hybrid skill set are part of that renovation.