Vincent Duffy

News Director

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007. In his first year of leading the Michigan Radio news room, the news team won more than three dozen national, regional and state awards including a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a month long series investigating education in Michigan.

Duffy also Chairs the Radio/Television/Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world's largest organization representing electronic journalists.

Duffy graduated from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio) with degrees in political science and telecommunications, and then toured the world as a radio journalist covering news in Australia, Switzerland and South Africa.

After returning stateside he earned a master's degree in mass media from Miami University of Ohio while working as a reporter at WMUB in Oxford.

Duffy then had his first taste of a Big Ten school when he joined the news team at WILL at the University of Illinois as a reporter, Morning Edition host, and eventually News Director. While at the University of Illinois he also completed his doctoral coursework in communication research.

In 1997 Duffy returned to Kent State University as news director of WKSU.

In addition to his work for WKSU and NPR in Ohio, Vince hosted the weekly television news program  NewsNight Akron on PBS 45 & 49. His first television documentary, "Sharing Democracy: The Akron/Subotica Partnership", received the prestigious Telly Award and added Serbia to the growing list of destinations Vince has traveled to cover news. Vince also produced and hosted several PBS 45 & 49 specials, political debates and documentaries.

Duffy has won six national Edward R. Murrow awards for his radio journalism, as well as a Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner award, a national Unity award, many others.

In 2008 he added Ghana to his list of countries visited to cover news when he covered a University of Michigan delegation led by U of M President Mary Sue Coleman.

Along with his obvious love of travel, Vince enjoys skiing, and martial arts. He has second degree black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate.

You can follow Vince on Twitter @vincentduffy

Pages

Offbeat
12:49 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

When journalism ethics involve the whole family...

Scorpians and Centaurs Flickr

Being married to someone in the news business isn’t easy. Our spouses deal with our long hours and travel, our preoccupation with news when we’re at home, unexpected interruptions on holidays and weekends, and our refusal to accept those free family tickets offered by the nearby theme park.

Lots of families have to deal with long hours and work that follows you home, but that theme park ticket example separates journalists from many other professions. We have an ethics code to follow.

Read more
Politics
4:44 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

School Board member who fought financial review teams indicted for theft

User Gini Flickr

The Highland Park school board member who filed the Open Meetings Act lawsuits against the state's financial review process for Detroit, has been indicted for theft. The U-S Attorney’s office says Robert Davis sent fake bills to the district and stole thousands of dollars.

Davis faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Authorities say between 2004 and 2010, he stole more than $125,000 from the Highland Park School District by using cover companies to submit fake invoices to the district.

Read more
Politics
10:37 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Court of Appeals allows Detroit and review team to continue negotiations

wikimedia commons

Detroit officials and a state financial review team are free once again to try and reach a consent agreement. The Michigan Court of Appeals tonight unanimously overturned an Ingham County Court judge’s order that prohibited the two sides from working out an agreement before Monday’s deadline.

Read more
Politics
5:39 am
Wed March 21, 2012

In this morning's news...

Judge restores power to Flint's mayor and city council

An Ingham County judge has restored authority to Flint's mayor and city council while ruling a state review team violated Michigan's Open Meetings Act during the process that led to a state-appointed emergency manager. The order Tuesday from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is another legal defeat for Governor Rick Snyder's administration since the adoption of a state law last year that gave emergency managers expanded powers when appointed to help cities and schools fix their finances. Aquilina's order comes in a lawsuit brought by the leader of a union that represents some city of Flint employees. The decision invalidates last year's appointment of Flint emergency manager Michael Brown. Snyder pokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said the state will appeal the ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
 

State Supreme Court to hear Oakland County Board of Commissioners case

The Michigan Supreme Court is getting ready to hear oral arguments over who has the power to redraw lines for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners' districts. Lawyers for the Republican-controlled board and Oakland County Democrats will argue the case at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Justice. The justices will decide at a later date whether they'll take up the case on appeal. The Court of Appeals and a lower court already have ruled that a law passed last year by the GOP-controlled Legislature to give redistricting power to the commission rather than a bipartisan apportionment committee was a local act affecting only one government. The courts said the measure didn't meet constitutional requirements because it didn't pass with the necessary two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.
 

Interlochen Arts Academy celebrates 50th anniversary

The Interlochen Arts Academy is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a national concert tour. The academy's orchestra, band and choir are set to play Chicago's Harris Theater on Wednesday. They'll be at Orchestra Hall in Detroit on Thursday. The tour wraps up with shows in Washington on Saturday and New York on Monday. The students, faculty and staff will travel 2,200 miles by bus, transport 992 pieces of luggage and gobble up 6,750 boxed lunches along the way. Founded in 1962, the boarding fine arts high school has produced dozens of Grammy winners and Presidential Scholars. In 2006, the Interlochen Arts Academy was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for an arts organization. The school sits on a 1,200-acre campus in northwestern Michigan near Traverse City.

Politics
5:45 am
Mon March 19, 2012

In this morning's news...

Foggy roads in SE Michigan

Authorities are urging motorists to drive more cautiously in southeast Michigan because of heavy fog that's
blanketing the area. The National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory for Monday morning for Detroit, Ann Arbor, Pontiac, Lapeer, Port Huron, Monroe, Adrian and other area communities. In places, visibility was greatly reduced because of the fog. It comes as the state faces another day of unseasonably warm weather.
 

Reviewing life without parole for juveniles

Read more
Offbeat
11:34 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Garrison Keillor sticks a big “Obama” sign on the lawn of Lake Wobegon

 “Well it’s been a quiet a week in my hometown…”

Fans of A Prairie Home Companion will recognize those words as the opening to Garrison Keillor’s weekly monologue about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon. But this week the real life of Garrison Keillor was probably more exciting than the tales from “the little town that time forgot,” because this week, Garrison Keillor hosted a fundraising event for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Read more
Morning News Roundup
7:44 am
Mon February 20, 2012

In this morning's news...

Archbishop says he'll discuss parish closing plan

The leader of 1.3 million Roman Catholics in southeastern Michigan says he's releasing the results of a review of a proposal to merge or close dozens of parishes in the face of population shifts within the Archdiocese of Detroit.     

The archdiocese says that Archbishop Allen Vigneron will talk at 4 p.m. today about the plans for the realignment of the 267 parishes. 

On Dec. 1, Vigneron said the archdiocese would review a plan to close nine parishes and merge 60 others into 21. A committee of lay leaders helped draft that plan. The archdiocese says Vigneron  completed the plan earlier this month, and its results were mailed out this week to priests and lay members.

Santorum to speak at Kent County Republican dinner 

Rick Santorum is scheduled to bring his presidential campaign to West Michigan on Monday with a speech to Kent County Republicans. Santorum's staff said Sunday that the ex-Pennsylvania U.S. senator will address the Kent County Lincoln Day Dinner. It's set for 7 p.m. at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. 

Santorum has been surging in the Republican presidential polls nationwide and in Michigan, which holds its primary Feb. 28. A Feb. 11-13 poll of 500 likely Michigan GOP primary voters found 34 percent backing Santorum and 30 percent backing Michigan native and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mott Romney. The 4 percentage point difference is within the 4.4 point margin of sampling error. Glengariff Group Inc. did the polling for The Detroit News, WDIV-TV and WZZM-TV.

Snyder to sign Michigan road commission bills

Legislation that will allow county boards of commissioners to take over duties of county road commissions is expected to be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder is scheduled to sign the legislation Tuesday at the state
Capitol. 

The bills were approved by the Michigan Legislature earlier this month. Supporters say the measures would save money by eliminating duplicative administrative costs. Appointed county road commissions could be dissolved by a majority vote of a county's board of commissioners.

Voters would have the final decision on whether to dissolve road commissions in counties where road commissioners are elected. Some critics say a vote of the people should be required in all counties because each road commission was created by such a vote,
not just those with elected commissioners.

Morning News Roundup
7:29 am
Mon February 13, 2012

In this morning's news...

Brother O'Mara Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder to address Detroit Economic Club today
 

Governor Rick Snyder is set to address the Detroit Economic Club.  The speech scheduled for this afternoon comes four days after the release of his budget.  The first-term Republican unveiled a budget proposal on Thursday that includes increased money for public schools and universities, additional cash in tax revenue sharing payments for local governments and a push toward hiring more police officers.

Trial opens two years after feds break up militia
 

Read more
Offbeat
11:06 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Forget your conspiracy theories - chaos theory rules the newsroom

A random newsroom is pictured here to protect the chaotic innocents.
Alan Cleaver Flickr

It happens. Sometimes my newsroom misses a story, or we don’t staff a press conference. Every once in a while it’s because we didn’t know about it, but more often than not it’s because we have a small group of reporters to cover the state of Michigan, and we can get spread pretty thin.

Every news director or assignment editor has to pick and choose between coverage opportunities. While the occasional slow news days exist, on most days there are more stories than we can cover and choices are made.

Read more
Politics
2:51 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Governor names review team to examine Detroit's finances

Kate Sumbler Flickr

Update 4:17 pm:

Mayor Dave Bing released this statement in response to the review team's appointment: “We will continue to fully cooperate with the state review process and the newly appointed financial review team. At the same time, my staff and I have worked through the holiday break with union leadership on my plan that seeks savings of $102 million for this fiscal year and $258 million in fiscal year 2012-13. We will continue to negotiate until we reach agreement to resolve the city’s financial crisis.”

2:50 pm:

Read more
Offbeat
2:48 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Dear News Director, why do you hate Christmas?

Vincent Duffy

I always enjoy the holiday related updates I get from friends and relatives at this time of year. Some send old fashioned Christmas cards, others send elaborate newsletters highlighting the successes (usually) of each family member from the previous year, and still others just send a quick email or Facebook post to say they’re thinking about me.

It’s also the time of year when I’m frequently accused by listeners of being a soldier in the war against Christmas.

Read more
Arts/Culture
12:13 am
Sat November 26, 2011

Frederik Meijer dies at age 91

 

Frederik Meijer, the Chairman Emeritus of Meijer grocery stores has died at the age of 91.

Meijer Corp. owns more than 150 stores in Michigan and around the Midwest.

He also helped establish the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI.

Meijer and his wife Lena were major philanthropists in Western Michigan. One organization to receive a major gift was Grand Valley State University, which named its public broadcast center after him.

Read more
Politics
9:12 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

Congressman Dale Kildee denies sex abuse 50 years ago

Congressman Dale Kildee, official photo

Updated at 10:55 pm: The Flint Journal reports that Congressman Kildee WILL NOT hold a press conference on Monday. According to the newspaper, Kildee has agreed to "an in person interview with the Flint Journal and at least one other media outlet." Michigan Radio will also try to speak with Congressman Kildee on Monday.

Michigan congressman Dale Kildee (D) is denying allegations by distant relatives that he sexually abused a then-12-year-old second cousin several decades ago.

Read more
Auto/Economy
9:01 pm
Sat November 19, 2011

Former GM CEO John Smale dies at 84

In this May 1993 file photo, General Motors Chairman John G. Smale appears at the automaker's annual meeting in Oklahoma City.
Associated Press Associated Press

Former GM Chairman John Smale led the company from late 1992 until the end of 1995. He died today in Cincinnati at the age of 84. He was a board member of the automaker for more than two decades starting in  1982.

Smale also led Cincinnati based Procter & Gamble from 1981 to 1990.

The Canadian with German ancestry graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in 1949. He joined P&G in 1952, working for what was then called the toilet goods division. He rose through the company, becoming president in charge of all U.S. operations in 1974 and chief executive in 1981. He added the chairmanship in 1986.

During his tenure, Smale moved P&G businesses into new markets in huge developing countries such as China, setting the stage for P&G's rapid growth in Asia in recent years. P&G also acquired Richardson-Vicks, which broadened the P&G portfolio to include Pantene shampoo, Olay skin cream and Vicks cough medicines, which are major brands today. In a smaller acquisition, P&G obtained the CoverGirl makeup brand that also is still growing.

At GM, Smale help change the structure of the automaker's management and put a renewed focus on customers.

Politics
4:21 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Michigan Supreme Court approves public pension tax

The Michigan Supreme Court says a new law taxing public pensions does not violate the state Constitution. 

The advisory opinion released today is a major victory for Governor Rick Snyder, who signed the sweeping tax changes earlier this year. Employee unions were opposed to the new law.

State officials expect the law will generate as much as $330 million dollars in revenue in 2013.

The court did say a portion of the law doesn't pass muster. The court ruled the tax could not be administered as a graduated income tax, which is illegal under the state constitution. And that means Governor Rick Snyder will have to go back and find more revenue or more cuts to make sure the state budget remains balanced.

However, the Supreme Court says that does not stop the rest of the tax overhaul from taking effect.

The court divided along party lines, with the four Republican justices making up the majority.  

The decision means the new tax on pensions will take effect January first largely as it was designed by Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature. However, they will have to come up with a plan to make up some of the money they were counting on to balance the budget.

Offbeat
12:56 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Warning: We're about to say "sex"

Australian Broadcasting Company Flickr

I received an email last week from a listener angry enough to write the most common threat I hear from Michigan Radio listeners, “I will never donate to your station again!”

We hadn’t libeled or defamed this man. We didn’t misquote him or make an error in a story he thought was important. He wasn’t even accusing us of left-or-right wing bias.

Read more
Sports
7:25 am
Fri November 11, 2011

John U. Bacon: "You can either be a PR man or you can be a journalist... and try to tell the truth"

Anthony Gattine Flickr

Michigan Radio's Sports Commentator John U. Bacon has a new book out. It premiered at number six on The New York Times non-fiction best seller list this week. Bacon was already well-known at the University of Michigan for the book he co-wrote with Bo Schembechler. So, it wasn’t difficult for him to get access to the Wolverine football program in 2008 when the team got a new head coach Rich Rodriguez, or Rich-Rod.

Bacon's plan was to write a story on the spread offense that Rich-Rod had used so successfully at West Virginia. But Bacon quickly found himself in the middle of a new, more complex story.

"It started out being a very simple story... and, now you realize, of course, three years later, the real story is off the field: it's what it's really like to be a player, what it's really like to be a coach, NCAA investigations, pressure, losing, ultimately getting fired... I don't think you have to be much of a football fan to follow this," says Bacon.

Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with Bacon about his new book, Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football.

Transportation
3:10 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Detroit buses resume service following morning stoppage

Update 3:12PM

Today's Detroit bus shutdown has come to resolution.

From the Associated Press:

Officials say drivers have ended a work stoppage and public buses resumed running following an announcement that Detroit police officers will randomly stop and board city buses in some high-problem areas.

Mayor Dave Bing released the plan at a press conference Friday.

Read more
School Closure
7:37 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Police stand-off closes a Grand Rapids school

Grand Rapids Public Schools has closed Southwest Community Campus school today because of a police stand-off underway in the neighborhood near the school.

Police are looking for a man who they consider a "person of interest" in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman.

That incident happened around six o’clock this morning. Police have blocked off some streets near the school.

The shooting is not related to the school at all, but administrators are closing the school because the neighborhood may not be safe for students to travel through it, according to John Helmholdt, spokesman for the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Politics
6:39 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Former congressman Howard Wolpe dead at age 71

Former Michigan congressman Howard Wolpe
From his Linkedin.com page

Former Michigan Congressman and Democratic candidate for Governor Howard Wolpe died Tuesday night at the age of 71.

“Congressman Howard Wolpe was a champion for Michigan and one of the strongest Democrats I've ever known," said current Michigan Congressman Gary Peters (D-09) . "Howard was a true representative of the people and his legacy will never be forgotten. I'm deeply saddened to learn of his passing and my condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones.”

Wolpe served in the Michigan Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House in 1978. For seven terms he represented Michigan’s Third District. Redrawn district boundaries prompted him to retire in 1992.

Wolpe also served as a diplomat in  the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Pages