1977 : Diana Lewis Becomes Co-Anchor on WXYZ-TV in Detroit

July 4, 2018 all-day

Photo of Diana Lewis, courtesy of the MSU School of Journalism

On Independence Day in 1977, Diana Lewis signed on to be the co-anchor of Action News at 5:30 p.m. Since then, Detroiters have relied on Lewis to guide them through the events and issues that impact their lives and community.

Lewis was Bill Bonds’ first female co-anchor and within a year, WXYZ-TV was the second top television station in the United States in local viewer ratings, attributed by many to ABC’s prime-time ratings dominance and the success of Channel 7 Action News.

As a writer, reporter and announcer for the past three decades, Lewis has been at the forefront of many “firsts” and never turned her back on the uncomfortable, but important, stories. For instance, in 1978, Detroiters listened to Lewis’ prose and narration while watching one of the nation’s first visual stories on childbearing. She also returned viewers to the 1967 Detroit riots, weaving a story of unrest, violence and abuse through her interview with a woman who was there.

Just recently, Lewis completed a series on Detroit’s history of housing and race, focusing on the wall that separated black and white neighborhoods and featuring the people within the communities it touches.

In another first, on Mother’s Day in 2004, Lewis departed her weekday schedule so she could co-anchor with her daughter, also at Channel 7—the first mother-daughter TV news pairing in the nation’s broadcast history.

Lewis has received local and national accolades for her journalism: the Media Award for objective reporting and community involvement from the Michigan Business and Professional Association, The Michigan Association of Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, the Silver Circle Award, two EMMYs and many more.

Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Inductee, 2012.

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