Tim Kiska

Multimedia Journalist, Educator

In 1970, Tim Kiska attended Wayne State University classes in the morning and caught the Woodward Avenue bus to the Detroit Free Press for his 2-11 p.m. shift as a copy boy. He sharpened pencils, filled glue pots, ripped the Associated Press and United Press International wire machines and ran errands.

Kiska took to the newsroom and was promoted to the newspaper’s Action Line column in 1974. In 1976, he was promoted to write the Tipoff column, a feature focused on political insiders. In 1978, Kiska moved to cover Wayne County Circuit Court and the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

Kiska learned to make election night projections when the field was in its infancy and was put in charge of Free Press indicator precinct operations. He led a nationwide poll about whether the revelry and rioting in the wake of the 1984 World Series had harmed Detroit’s image. It had.

In 1987, Kiska moved to The Detroit News where he wrote a gossip column and about radio and television.

Kiska enrolled in Wayne State University’s MA program 1991, once again juggling newsroom and classroom while helping his wife, Patricia Anstett, raise three children. He earned a PhD in history at Wayne State in 2001 became a journalism professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He has published three books: “Detroit’s Powers and Personalities,” “From Soupy to Nuts” and “Detroit Television.” In 2004, he became a producer/writer at WWJ-AM.

Most recently, Kiska developed the Detroit History Podcast, which has been downloaded by more than
150,000 listeners. Podcast topics have included the 1943 Detroit riot, the rise of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the 1920s, and the life of Jeff Montgomery, who vigorously advocated for LGBTQ rights when few were doing so. The podcast won the sole media award in 2020 from the Historical Society of Michigan.