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The Emery King Post at The Diner [at] Penda’s Realm - Cookies - the coin of Penda’s Realm.
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The Emery King Post

This one is long - grab a coffee.

So Leticia asked me what happened to Emery King and if I don’t post something soon, she threatened to come to my house not leave until I gave her everything I know.

Little does she realize that lots of people come to my house and never leave - they’re shoring up the foundation as we speak.

Emery King, formerly of WDIV Local 4 was unceremoniously escorted to the doors of the station and put to the street. It happened so suddenly and without warning many of us wondered why WDIV would shoot themselves in the foot like that. Once, Local 4 was a proud station, with excellent reporting and top-notch anchors.

Now - not so much. Local 4 used to pride itself on getting a story to you first - however, usually it was wrong or massively incomplete. Frequently, there will be a reporter in the field who neglects to tell anyone where they are, leaving us with vague generalities, like “on the west side … Half-Assed Reporter, Local 4″. I could name the biggest offenders of this, but since I don’t watch Local 4 anymore, I don’t care to give them anymore glory. Sure the anchors remain - Ruth, Carmen, Devin - and the worst they can do is flub a pronunciation (which happens quite a bit) but there’s no Emery. Emery counter Ruth’s goofiness - and gawd that took effort. You could see that whatever antipsychotic medication he was taking was barely taking the edge off of the chattering going on next to him (I kid - this is just a rumor - feel free to spread it around), but it was a balance - and it worked, because as long as he was there, that newsroom had some dignity.

(this is not to slight Carmen or Devin or Ruth, whose individual longevities speaks for itself, but it was Emery - a Titan unto himself)

So what happened?

[King's lawyer, John] Moye told Journal-isms that he had submitted an updating of King’s previous contract to management, and “I expected that it would be enthusiastically welcomed and . . . approved.” Instead, station executives said they wanted to talk with King. They told him the contract would not be renewed and that he would not go on the air that night. “There were no contract terms discussed,” Moye said.

Negotiations, that dirty work in entertainment that celebrities don’t want you to think about. Contract negotiations broke down, I’m guessing in the middle of the work day, and as far as WDIV was concerned, Emery was trespassing. No, you’re right - it was a shitty thing to do.

I watched a little of Local 4 after that, but I haven’t in a long time. I like Tim Pamplin, the unseen cameraman who does the NightCam shots for the 11 p.m. news. He has an accent. It makes me warm and tingly.

Basically, in the meantime, Emery has been keepinghimself busy. He’s chairman of the Michigan Film Advisory Commission and he and his wife has a production company.

From July :

WDIV-TV announced that King will be producing and hosting documentary specials and leading Local 4’s televised town meetings.

The new contract agreement reached between King and Local 4 will give the newsman the opportunity to write, produce and host documentary feature programs that are of interest to the local community.

King has received critical acclaim over the years for his work in groundbreaking local productions, many of which have been produced for Local 4 by his own production company, Kingberry Productions.

[snip]

King and his wife, Jacqueline Casselberry King, started the production company in 1993. Their efforts have yielded compelling programs, some of which chronicle the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans.

All of the programs have aired exclusively on WDIV Local 4. In addition, they have been distributed to colleges, universities, libraries and school districts around the country through Filmakers Library, a Manhattan-based media distributor.

One of King’s productions, “The Rouge,” which documented the experiences of immigrants who came to Detroit to work at the world’s largest industrial plant, was honored with a prestigious 1997 Iris Award, a national award that recognizes outstanding television programming.

Other productions include “The Freedom Train,” which examined the work of the founders of the National Negro Labor Council; “Cobb: A Detroit Legend,” which looked at the facts and myths of the legendary major league baseball great, and “Rosa Parks: Path to Freedom,” which celebrated the accomplishments of Rosa Parks.

King has also hosted and co-written other WDIV specials that have received critical praise from the press and public, including “Buffalo Soldiers Wrapped in Steel, “Idlewild: A Place in the Sun” and “Paradise Lost, Paradise Found.”

So there - Leticia. Emery King is alive and well and living in Metro Detroit.

2 Responses to “The Emery King Post”


  1. 1 bricoleur Dec 17th, 2005 at 2:55 pm

    In the late 1970s, Emery King was was a radio newsreader on WBBM-AM in Chicago. WBBM was an all-news radio station much like today’s WWJ in Detroit. He sounded so calm and self-assured that I never realized he was still in his twenties. His delivery made you focus on the news, not the reader.

    Two decades later, it took a while to connect Channel 4’s Emery King with the familiar radio voice. But in time his steadfast commitment to content over personality came through. And he always had the good grace to look uncomfortable with the happy talk around him.

    With King gone, nobody does quality work in Detroit. In Windsor, yes, it’s amazing how much substance Channel 9 delivers with no budget and no on-air reporters. But that just exposes the hollowness of what the three surviving Detroit broadcasts claim is “news,” though it includes far too much of predetermined story lines and far too little of current events that actually affect people’s lives.

    King may have been facing an impossible struggle, but we are definitely worse off without him.

  1. 1 news headlines Trackback on Jan 5th, 2018 at 4:20 pm

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