WJBK’s Charlie LeDuff on Golfing Through Detroit: A ‘Sweet and Sour’ Look at the City

By Merrill Knox 

WJBK investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff says his favorite thing about golfing the length of Detroit is that the finished product is “anti-local TV.”

“It’s 11 minutes long. There’s no story there. No one was murdered, we’re not at the scene of an arson. It’s just taking a walk and trying to take a look at the city,” LeDuff told TVSpy in a recent interview. “I needed to take all that stuff I had been writing about — the fire department, the police department, municipal contracts, county corruption, that whole thing, and sort of put together a letter, some kind of commentary about who we are and how we live.”

The end result is what LeDuff calls a “sweet and sour” look at the Detroit — a trip through the city’s empty, dilapidated blocks, with some lighthearted moments along the way.


“A lot of people understood what we were doing,” LeDuff said. It wasn’t supposed to be funny, and it wasn’t supposed to be maudlin, and they understood the balance.”

LeDuff spent many years as a print reporter before joining the Fox O&O in 2010.

“Seeing is believing. You don’t have to describe how a guy looks or the tenor of his voice. You can hear it, you can see it,” he said. “I love doing TV because so much doesn’t need to be said.”

“We have very rich people in Detroit, and we have very poor,” LeDuff added. “I think my job day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month is to present the whole canvas.”

Watch LeDuff’s report here: