Jim Harper Remembers Legendary News Director Philip Nye...

Philip Nye (not the science-guy, the newsman) passed away this week. If you grew up listening to Keener 13 you probably heard him doing the news, back when radio stations actually had a full news dept.

If you grew up in Detroit in the 60's and 70's you probably watched Ch 7 Action News, (Bonds, Kelly, Ackerman, Turner) which he oversaw as News Director. His talent knew no bounds as he went on to even greater things in broadcasting and he positively impacted the way we viewed our TV news in America. He brought a level of class and respect to the industry.

I remember as a young man, taking the bus from Westland to Dearborn with my childhood friend, Jim Kerr to visit Keener 13 and investigate the rumors that Paul McCartney was dead. We were 13 and 14 yrs old...just a couple of teenagers terrified about a Beatle-rumour. We asked the receptionist if we could talk to someone about this terrible news and she asked us to wait. 5 Minutes later and dashing man appeared and said in a velvet voice "Can I help you boys?" It was Phil Nye, Keener's News Director.

He sat down in the lobby and discussed the "Paul is dead-story" with us and all it's mysterious music-clues us for about 15 minutes. At the particular time the story had not been denied or confirmed by anyone, including The Beatles. He asked us to continue investigating and report back to him if we discovered anything new. Nine years later I would sit in that same lobby (on the same couch) as the Program Director and Morning Host of 100.3 WNIC.

I spent 22 years at that station and a week wouldn't go by without me thinking back about how big a gesture Phil Nye afforded us. The news of Mr. Nye's passing has me thinking about how much that gesture made me want to become a part of the great fellowship of radio broadcasters. 

And in my "mature years" I sit in awe of how one life can impact another, and exponentially affect countless others. Rest in Peace, Phil Nye. And thank you for a very long and meaningful life lesson. Deepest sympathies to your family and friends. Jim Kerr went on to become one of the most successful morning radio hosts in America and just celebrated 40 years as New York's most beloved morning guy. So many great talents both on and off-air worked in the building Phil Nye called home.

Philip Nye (HEAR PHILIP NYE HERE) was the news director at the legendary WKNR AM 1310 Contact News in Dearborn/Detroit in the mid-1960′s working with names like Bill Bonds and Eric Smith. Phil made it to several of the Detroit Radio Reunions.

Nye passed away peacefully on March 20, 2014 at the age of 87. Born in Newark, Ohio on March 1, 1927, he was a proud graduate of Ohio State University where he studied theater and journalism. He had a long and distinguished career that included both radio and television. Mr. Nye worked actively as a broadcast journalist until the age of 86.

Visitation for Philip Nye will take place Monday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at McCabe Funeral Home in Farmington Hills. The memorial service will start at 1:00 p.m. on Monday

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