Found one of my favorite pictures of Bill Bonds and me. Remembering Bill this month. It's been a year already since his passing .
This was at a Ch. 7 friend raiser when I had breast cancer, I was in the middle of radiation with third degree burns. He made me laugh . I needed that night with my channel 7 family surrounding me. It was held on the day before my birthday, May 15th, 2009 at Mr. JOES .
12/19/2014 - Patrick Campion writers and interviews Walter Kraft, "I had an opportunity to sit down with a longtime coworker of Mr. Bonds, Eastern Michigan University's VP for Communications Walter Kraft, to talk about his life and legacy."
MP3 Download - Walter Kraft shares his memories of Bill Bonds with Patrick Campion on WEMU
Bill Bonds in WXYZ-TV's Original First Floor Newsroom
After the original second floor newsroom at the Southfield, Michigan, location, the newsroom was re-built in a new wing of the main building on the first floor. This is a shot of Bill Bonds during the 1980s.
Fermi II Nuclear Plant News Coverage by Channel Seven
WXYZ-TV Special Reports.
"Bill Bonds, who hosts 'Special Reports,' closed the half-hour by say that all of Channel 7's evidence has been turned over to the state..."; "From the looks of the Channel 7 story at this state, executive producer Bob Woodruff, segment producer Mike Zeko and our old buddy Bill Bonds deserve considerable applause. ..." - Newspaper Detroit Free Press, 1980 - Clipping furnished by Mike Zeko
Bill Bonds and Diana Lewis at the 2013 WXYZ Alumni Reunion
Jackie Fitzloff and Jeanne Findlater. Oakland Hills Country Club funeral luncheon for Bill Bonds. Jeanne was WXYZ's Vice President and General Manager. Jackie Fitzloff was Jeanne's administrative assistant. The luncheon was held after the Memorial Service for Bill Bonds, long time WXYZ news anchor, who died on December 20, 2014.
There were many times that the crews gathered at the "Farm House". The Farm House was one of the original buildings on the land which WXYZ-TV now occupies in Southfield, Michigan. The Farm House has now been converted into a dining area and a few meeting rooms on the second story. It once also provide a sleeping area during the early days of the station.
Vince Wade, a long-time investigated reporter with WXYZ-TV and friend of Bill Bonds, writes a very heart-felt commentary on Bill Bonds. Thousands of comments have been posted about Bill, but not hit home as hard as Vince's message. Vince Wade writes...
I had the unique and memorable experience of working with Bill Bonds for many years. In the 70s at the height of Bill’s ratings success a Channel 7 news producer made a savvy observation; if you buy his act, the producer said, Bill is the best in the business at what he does. Indeed he was.
Detroit bought Bill’s act for a long time. My theory is thousands of Detroit factory rats, as many auto workers described themselves, identified with Bill’s on-air antics. They knew if they had a bully pulpit like Bill that they, too, would wear expensive but often garish clothes, that they, too, would spout off about the news just as they heard Bill doing. In his ad-libbed comments Bonds was doing what they did so many nights at some watering hole where they were having an end-of-shift shot and a shell (liquor with a beer chaser) while watching the news on the TV screen above the bar. Bill was one of them.
Bombastic Billy was smart and well-read. He knew what he was talking about. One night in the 70s during a national political convention ABC News decided to cut away for local news an hour early. Channel 7's late-news producer didn't get the message. Suddenly, with three minutes' warning, ABC anchor Howard K. Smith said they would be cutting away for local news. The Channel 7 newsroom was in total panic. The anchors raced to the studio. The newscast elements were not ready. As Bill put his mic on he said, "I have no scripts. I have no rundown (of the sequence of stories)." The floor director signaled he was now live. Bill said good evening and ad-libbed for two or three minutes while the staff scrambled to get scripts to the anchors and film clips in the projectors. At home, the audience probably thought Bill was ad-libbing just a little more than usual. Bonds was so keen on the business of news that he could tell the audience the news without a script. Very few news anchors then or now could do what Bill did that night.
Bill fought the demons of alcoholism his entire life. He lived his own private hell over the death of his daughter in a collision with a drunk driver. One time we shared a camera crew in Europe for separate assignments and late at night I would hear Bill in the next room loudly chastising himself over his daughter’s death while he paced the room in drunken agony.
There will be many stories told this week about Bill Bonds. But none of them will capture his uniqueness as a communicator. None of the tales will capture his magnetism, his ability to reach through the camera and grab you by your lapels and say, ‘Listen to me. This is news you need to know.’ - Vince Wade
Former co-anchor and reporter Mary Conway reacts to death of Bill Bonds
WCAR-AM to add Bill Bonds and Rich Fisher to their Schedule
According to the Detroit News, WCAR-AM (Garden City) will be adding Bill Bonds and Rich Fisher to their schedule. The small AM radio station just may add a few more to their audience as these former WXYZ-TV news anchors banter over current topics.
A few days before Thanksgiving 2014, author Chris Stepien found himself in an oncologist s office. But he wasn't the patient. Stepien's wife, Ellen, was just beginning her battle with aggressive breast cancer. That day, while listening to the oncologist's treatment strategy, Stepien began writing Dying to Be Happy: Discovering the Truth About Life.
In the pages of this book, a brush with a life-threatening disease sparks a frank discussion on mortality. The author explores the prospects of embracing death on a daily basis versus denying it. He encourages readers to follow the advice of Jesus Christ: always be ready for the end of life. Along the way, Stepien highlights a spectrum of short, true stories where people rise above the fear of death, including the harrowing account of a child who survived the Holocaust -- Stepien's own mother.
But Dying to Be Happy is more than an anthology of grim tales and close calls. It beckons readers to admit the inescapability of death in order to find true joy in this life and the next.
John Kelly and Marilyn Turner, Detroit's first couple of television, give us a rare glimpse into their private lives. Here you'll peek beneath the facade of the local celebrities and read their personal account, a story that is sometimes shocking, sometimes poignant, always honest and revealing. They speak of their early lives, their broken marriages, the ratings battles of the 60s and early 70s , the inside story of one of the most talked about Detroit romances as it blossomed between one of the city's hottest news anchors and its well-known weather girl.
Michael Collins; Actor, Director; Scott Kemp, Director
The History of Detroit Television is more than just a film. It's a living museum, a monument to a time that could easily be forgotten. This program is a salute to a time when TV was as local as Vernors, Sanders Hot Fudge and Hudsons. The stars of the day were Soupy Sales, Van Patrick, Lou Gordon, George Pierrot, Bill Kennedy, Milky The Clown and a host of other colorful characters.
Detroit and its strong Polish community share in America's rich history of Polish music and customs. This work documents that history and details the development of the Polish-American musicians in Detroit who became known as polka musicians, even though their music was very diversified.
My involvement with television and television news began more than a half century ago, almost by accident. Out of High School, I installed tv antennas, went to Korea in communication intelligence and ended up a tv news director and network news producer. This is a look back at some of the things I remember best.