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Michigan Matters: WGPR's Legacy Impacting A New Generation

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (CBS Detroit) - It's a celebration of WGPR-TV – the first Black-owned and operated television station in the nation which was located in Detroit --- as legendary anchor Amyre Makupson, Program Manager Joe Spencer and Detroit Pistons broadcaster Greg Kelser appear to discuss its impact on CBS 62's "Michigan Matters"  8 a.m. this Sunday.

Joe Spencer, Program Manager of WGPR Historical Society; Amyre Makupson, Former WGPR Anchor; and Greg Kelser, Detroit Pistons Broadcaster; with Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain Logan Tesmer/CBS Detroit

The trio appear with Carol Cain, Senior Producer/Host,  and talked about WGPR Historical Society's upcoming event to mark the occasion and raise funds to build a new wing dedicated to its past to inspire a new generation of African American journalists at its original location on E. Jefferson in Detroit. 

WGPR-TV's Joe Spencer WGPR Historical Society

WGPR became part of CBS Detroit years ago, which Spencer, then WGPR's Program Director,  talked about. He then joined CBS.  Spencer recalled many careers being launched from WGPR including Makupson and also the many unique guests they had on shows taped there including the 'Godfather of Soul' James Brown. 

WGPR-TV Anchor Amyre Makupson WGPR Historical Society

Makupson was an anchor at WGPR, before joining Channel 50 and WWJ-TV. She shares memories of being at WGPR and talked how it helped her career. 

She also beamed as she talked about her daughter, Amyre Makupson, who is joining CBS Detroit as the station prepares to launch a new news operation.

Kelser, who played basketball at Michigan State and in the NBA, is now an award-winning broadcaster for the Detroit Pistons. He talks about his broadcasting career. He talked how NBA Legend Dave Bing helped him early on in his broadcasting career. 

The WGPR Historical Society will celebrate the legacy of the nation's first black owned station at a gala on Saturday, September 10. The event will take place from 7pm-10 pm at the ICON, 200 Walker Street, on Detroit's riverfront.   ESPN Commentator Stephen A. Smith is guest speaker. 

The organization will also present its first annual Enduring Legacy Awards that night to Makupson, Kelser,  Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem for their efforts to champion diversity. And a posthumous award will be presented to the family of WGPR's Founder, Dr. William V. Banks.  For more information: 

Raising the Bar on Talent Needs/ Mentorship 

James Holcomb, President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Comm Logan Tesmer/CBS Detroit

Jim Holcomb, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, also appears with Cain to talk his organization and its focus in helping companies deal with workforce challenges and talent needs which remains a huge issue. 

Holcomb, who has worked for the Lansing-based business organization for 15 years, assumed the top post in January. He talked about his efforts to reach out to others across the state, including unions, to work together to help prospects for the region. 

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

He also discussed the importance of mentorship and talked about their upcoming Athena virtual event this Tuesday to help women with mentoring. Cain is moderating the event. 

Holcomb also talked about Enbridge's aging Pipeline 5 and heated conversations over its future, and a ballot initiative before Michigan voters this November about term limits.

Watch Michigan Matters, Sunday at 8 a.m. on CBS Detroit

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