Philip Nye: Then and Now
By Scott Westerman – Curator, Keener13.com
WKNR was lucky to get Philip Nye. In 1963, the Ohio native already had a strong journalistic track record in his home state. But the allure of the Motor City and Knorr Broadcasting’s commitment to build a first rate news team brought him to Detroit. His eye for talent and his rock solid professionalism made WKNR Contact News the training ground for a generation of broadcast journalists. John Maher, Erik Smith, George Hunter and Bill Bonds are just a few examples.
During his tenure, WKNR won just about every news award in the book. He voiced a series of annual news retrospective albums that were donated to local schools and championed WKNR’s weekly Project Detroit program which took an in-depth look at the plethora of issues facing the Motor City.
From Keener, Nye went on to a stellar broadcast career as a reporter and anchor in Los Angeles, and as News Director for WXYZ-TV. In 1979 he was named Vice President of News for ABC-TV in New York. From there he moved into broadcast management as GM at KGO-TV in San Francisco and later was a founding partner of Burnham Broadcasting which owned television stations in five markets. He retired as President and GM of WVUE-TV in 1995, returning to Detroit five years later.
Ever the visionary, Nye realized that television’s future was tied to hyper local programming and in 2001 he created a local cable news program for Shelby Township. “Shelby This Week” has aired weekly ever since with Nye serving as Executive Producer and Anchor.
Philip Nye joined Bob Green, Scott Regen, Michael Stevens and Pat St. John to help us recreate the WKNR sound during the 2003 Woodward Dream Cruise, providing Keener Contact News summaries of the key events of each year of the WKNR era during the weekend.
Keener fans in Shelby Township can still enjoy his extraordinary work on Comcast Cable Channel 10.
AIR CHECK: Hear Philip Nye on Keener in 1968.