DETROIT — While no firm launch date has yet been set, CBS News and Stations’ local news operation serving the Motor City and surrounding communities is expected to be up and running just in time for the running of the Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 16.
On Monday, CBS took a step closer toward a launch date.
WWJ-62, The CW-affiliated WKBD-50 and CBS News Detroit are welcoming two anchors, a meteorologist and an “Executive Producer of Community Impact” to its far northwest metro studios and offices housed in Southfield, Mich.
Shaina Humphries and Rachelle Graham will be on camera, as anchors; while taking the role of meteorologist is Ahmad Bajjey. Serving in the community impact position is Amyre Makupson.
While all will have a presence on WWJ-62’s forthcoming local newscasts, which will also be seen on The CW 50, it is “CBS News Detroit” — the hyper-local streaming and broadcast news service that is being built from scratch — that will serve as their main on-air home.
CBS News Detroit is being overseen by market VP/GM Brian Watson and News Director Paul Pytlowany. It will offer live and local news coverage from 4am to 11:35pm, seven days a week. For WWJ, it will offer early morning, midday, early and late evenings under the “CBS News Detroit” brand, providing a clear digital-to-linear connection for viewers.
Newscasts are also expected to air on WKBD-50 at 10pm and opposite CBS This Morning on weekdays.
The creation of CBS News Detroit marks the first time WWJ will have its own full-scale local news department since becoming a CBS Television Network-owned station. The decision to move forward with a full-scale rollout came at the end of 2021. It pits CBS against FOX’s WJBK-2 in Detroit, which had been the CBS affiliate until September 1994; The E.W. Scripps Co.’s ABC-affiliated WXYZ-7; and Graham Media Group’s flagship “LOCAL 4,” NBC-affiliated WDIV.
Humphries most recently served as a co-anchor of the weekday 5, 6, 10 and 11pm newscasts at WTXF “FOX 29” in Philadelphia, a role she’s held since February 2019. Prior to that, she was an anchor and reporter at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa.
Graham, a Metro Detroit native, most recently anchored and reported for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s NBC-affiliated WEYI-25 and two stations it manages via a shared services agreement — Howard Stirk Holdings’ FOX-affiliated WSMH-66 and Cunningham Broadcasting’s CW-affiliated WBSF-46 — in Flint, Mich.
She’s arriving along with Bajjey, a Dearborn, Mich. native who has spent the past 9 1/2 years with the Flint stations and the last 17 months as the stations’ chief meteorologist.
Makupson, a Detroit native, is following in the footsteps of her mother of the same name, a news anchor at WKBD-TV from 1975-2002.
CBS Stations President Adrienne Roark, who has worked closely with Watson and Pytlowany and their WWJ colleagues on developing the plan for creating CBS News Detroit, said, “It’s exciting to see CBS News Detroit starting to take shape. Our local leadership team, led by Brian and Paul, is doing an amazing job of executing on our vision as we write a new chapter in the history of local news. We look forward to continuing to add employees who want to part of something that will truly be special.”