Stephen Clark, whose personable, on-air persona graced the airwaves of WXYZ for past 16 years, retires this week.
Clark plans to pursue his passion for music in Nashville. He’s a singer/songwriter and an active member of Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Tributes are being paid by colleagues, counterparts at other stations and dignitaries such as Oakland Sheriff Mike Bouchard who visited the station Monday.
"He's not only a top notch anchor, he's an incredible person through and through," posts stage manager Ashley McCuen. "I'll miss his humor and smile on set. I'm lucky to have worked closely with him for so many years and I will miss him dearly!"
Matt Friedman, a former news producer at WDIV who's now a founding partner at Tanner Friedman strategic communications in Farmington Hills, says in a blog post:
He'll be remembered by viewers as calm, professional, authoritative voice during some of the market’s hardest days.
But within the industry, he’ll be best remembered as “The Tweeting Anchor.” Clark was among the first TV news personalities in the country to embrace social media as an audience connection tool. He is regarded as the first to create a hashtag for his audience, #backchannel.
Here's his station bio:
Stephen Clark started out as a newspaper photographer in Colorado. Since then, his career has taken him from radio reporter and D.J. to TV photographer, reporter, and finally the anchor’s chair.
He has worked across the country in markets from KRDO in Colorado Springs to Washington D.C. to Denver’s KCNC, San Diego’s KGTV and WCBS New York.
Stephen’s covered momentous events including the conflict in Bosnia, the L.A. Riots, California wildfires and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Clark was a correspondent for CBS News at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and covered them from right there in New York. He has been back to ground zero nearly every year since, and has invited Action News viewers to follow him on his annual memorial reports from the city.
For years, Stephen’s job required him to work long and late hours, limiting the time he could spend with his wife and two daughters. He finally left his job in New York - with his family in tow - to take a four-month journey across America in a Ford SUV.
Their trek took them from coast to coast, northeast to southwest, and was "a great experience" for the family. Stephen claims that his daughters didn’t argue during the long car trip, and as those Channel 7 viewers with children know, this is a pretty amazing feat! Both Oprah and the Wall Street Journal covered the family’s travels.
Clark and his family currently reside in Oakland County in a lake home they built for themselves (with the help of a lot of subcontractors!).
Stephen Clark received his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Northern Colorado-Greeley. He grew up with a father in the Air Force, in a family that moved around quite a bit.
Off work hours, Clark keeps busy with a host of hobbies. He’s a singer/songwriter and an active member of Nashville Songwriters Association International. He performs around the Detroit area on a semi-regular basis. He’s also the author of numerous unfinished novels and screenplays…and even a couple completed ones!