WJR-AM broadcast reporter
Gene Fogel’s tenacious reporting for WJR-AM in Detroit freed an innocent man from prison leading courts to rethink types of evidence routinely accepted previously. Another story led to a shake-up, indictments and resignations at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit. Fogel’s work represents the power of solid reporting and the effectiveness of excellence in journalism. And he did it all without photos, video or the printed word.
Fogel, whose mellifluous voice still broadcasts on Detroit ’s all-news station, has worked at WJR since 1971 and added lecturer at Oakland University to his roster of responsibilities in 1992. His work helped generate a 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Associated Press, a Radio Television News Directors Association award for investigative reporting about the “bite mark” series in 1997 and the first ever Lowell Thomas Award for Excellence in Broadcasting in 1983.
He has won awards from Peabody, Society of Professional Journalists, the American Bar Association and the Wade McCree Advancement of Justice. Oakland University students named him a finalist for professor of the year.
“Fogel’s style of reporting mirrored the city where he practiced his trade, blue collar,” recalls Rod Hansen, WJR radio reporter. “In over three decades as a broadcast journalist, Fogel covered thousands of stories big and small, but he treated them all with equal importance and accuracy.”
Fogel remains modest despite all his accomplishments. William J. Hasler, a former intern and assistant to Fogel now employed on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” said Fogel came to his wedding reception and shunned praise of mentoring a young man to national prominence. “Gene pointed out he hadn’t gotten me anywhere. He only handed me the ball. I was the one who ran with it.”