The most famous Detroit radio DJ of all time used to spin records in Howell? One of the most renowned photographers in American journalism got his start shooting newspaper photos in Brighton?
Here’s a dozen media personalities and journalists who worked early in their careers in Livingston County before moving on to greater the fame in other areas.
Yes, the granddaddy of Detroit radio DJs got his start at WHMI in the 1960s, spinning records for the Howell radio station. In 1970, Penhallow moved on to WRIF in Detroit, where he became a local radio legend. Penhallow’s well-known catch-phrase, always delivered in his booming bass voice, was “Baby!”
Allen’s first gig as a newspaperman was working as the sports editor of the Livingston County Press in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After a stop in Port Huron, he landed at USA Today, where he became one of the foremost hockey journalists in North America. He has authored numerous hockey books, co-writing them with legends like Brett Hull and Darren McCarty. In 2014, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
A well-known conservative pundit in Michigan, Nowling worked as a reporter for the Livingston County Press in the 1990s. He was the press secretary for Rick Snyder when he ran for governor in 2010, and then went on to work as the spokesman for Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr. He’s currently a partner at the Lambert PR firm in Detroit.
On the other end of the political spectrum is Eyer, who worked as a reporter for the Brighton Argus in the 1990s. After a long stint working for MLive and the Ann Arbor News (including as editor), Eyer got heavily involved in progressive and Democratic politics, working as the spokesperson for Gretchen Whitmer early in her gubernatorial campaign. Eyer was also appointed to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and is currently a candidate for the Ann Arbor City Council. She’s currently a partner at Vanguard Public Affairs in Lansing.
A WHMI radio personality in the 1990s, Bosh went on to work at stations in Lansing, Cleveland, Baltimore and Denver. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ll know the voice – he’s also done voiceover work for zillions of commercials, including for Ford Motor Co., Delta Airlines, Dunkin Donuts and more.
Turnley got his start as a newspaper photographer in the 1970s, shooting for the Brighton Argus and Northville Record. He moved on to the Detroit Free Press, where he became one of the most acclaimed news photographers in America, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for a series of photos on China and Eastern Europe. He’s best-known these days as the in-house photographer for the University of Michigan football team and a good friend of coach Jim Harbaugh.
An award-winning reporter for Michigan Radio, Smith worked in the mid-2000s as a reporter at WHMI. Her 2015 documentary on the Flint water crisis earned the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. ALivingston County native, Smith graduated from Pinckney Community High School.
Susan J. Demas
A well-known progressive columnist in Michigan, Demas worked as a reporter for the Livingston Daily Press & Argus in the mid-2000s. She went on to become a columnist for MLive and other outlets, and was the owner of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter. She currently works as the editor in chief of the Michigan Advance news site.
One of the best-known sports radio personalities in Michigan history, Regner worked as the sports director at WHMI in the early 1980s. When WDFN became the first all-sports-talk station in Detroit in the early 1990s, Regner was one of the very first on-air hosts. He’s also an author, writing “The Great Book of Detroit Sports Lists,” with Mike Stone.
Currently working as a reporter for Bloomberg News, Gruley got his start at the Brighton Argus and Livingston County Press in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He later worked for more than 15 years at the Wall Street Journal, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Gruley is also the author of several mystery novels, including the 2009 classic “Starvation Lake.”
A Detroit radio fixture for decades, notably at WNIC and Magic 105.1 FM, Harper worked at WHMI for a year in 1969-70 before moving on to become a morning drive-time legend in Detroit.
Robinson worked at the Livingston County Press in the early 1980s while still a student at Howell High School, and then went on to have a remarkably diverse career in both Hollywood and politics. He worked as a publicist, journalist and Emmy-winning TV producer in Hollywood before starting a career in politics. Among other gigs, he worked as an adviser to Congressman (and later gubernatorial candidate) Mark Schauer.