Veteran Detroit newsman Bob Pisor dies at 77 following battle with cancer

RadioInsight Community Forums Television Insight Midwest Veteran Detroit newsman Bob Pisor dies at 77 following battle with cancer

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    Bill Recto

    He worked at WDIV in Detroit,

    It was at WDIV-TV (Channel 4) during the 1980s and 1990s that he became something of a household name. TV was not new to Pisor. He wrote news at New York WNBC-TV, New York’s public TV station and two radio stations in Ohio.

    Pisor started out as Channel 4’s media critic, something that hadn’t been tried on Detroit TV. He was legendarily dismissive of lazy, stupid or careless reporting and was especially allergic to journalistic arrogance. His baritone voice and relaxed manner eventually earned him an anchor job on the station’s noon and weekend newscasts. He also served as the station’s political reporter — a position at which he excelled.

    The outpouring from his former Channel 4 colleagues during the weekend was enormous: “He was one of the best I ever worked with,” wrote veteran cinematographer Bob Stevens, who worked at the station beginning in the 1950s. “I worked with Bob both at the Detroit News and WDIV. He was the consummate storyteller and capital J Journalist, and always a joy to be around,” wrote reporter Mike Wendland.

    “He was the most talented writer I’ve ever seen at Channel 4,” recalled former Channel 4 reporter-anchor Dan Mountney. “His knowledge of politics was just infectious. I learned so much from him about the local political scene. He was a great mentor to everybody in the newsroom. He was fun to be around and had an infectious laugh.”

    After leaving Channel 4, Pisor’s career trajectory veered into an entirely different direction. He moved to the Leelanau County area and founded Stone House Bread, a specialty company that produced bread made of organic flour, well water and sea salt.

    “I think he became disillusioned with journalism,” said his wife, Ellen. “He said he always liked to bake bread at home. He thought maybe it would renew his interest in life. He was so enthusiastic when he started at the News, but by the end journalism wasn’t fun anymore. Bob always felt you should enjoy what you’re doing. The idea that you could do a substantive piece in 30 seconds just offended him.”

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