After 1 year and 10 months as the FBI spokesman in Detroit, Simon Shaykhet -- the guy with the hard to spell last name -- is returning to TV as a reporter.
“The FBI was a terrific experience and I was proud to be able to represent such a prestigious law enforcement organization,” Shaykhet told Deadline Detroit.
Shaykhet, 32, who worked for Fox2 for 5 1/2 years before joining the FBI, has joined WXYZ-TV as a general assignment and investigative reporter. He did an internship with WXYZ back in 2003.
Shaykhet, a Detroit native, was first hired at the FBI by Andy Arena, who then headed up the Detroit office. Arena was very outgoing and considered very press friendly. When Arena departed to head up the Detroit Crime Commission, he was replaced by Robert Foley III, who seemed less at ease with the press and was considerably lower profile. Foley transferred weeks ago to Florida.
Shayket insists both Arena and Foley were great to work for, acknowledging that each had a different style.
“Channel 7 was an excellent fit for me,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me to go back to journalism, and it happened to occur just as my boss at the FBI was transferring to another position. ”
Shaykhet said he liked working behind the scenes, and dealing with the press on some of the big cases in town, like city hall corruption and the “Underwear Bomber.”
“I gained a much better understanding and seem more appreciative of the difficult job the FBI is faced with,” he said.
His boss Andy Arena had nothing but praise for Shaykhet, who he said was the first person from the media to fill the spokesman job. In the past, it had been occupied by agents.
"He did a great job," Arena said. " "He knows what sells, what makes news. From a p.r. standpoint, it was a breath of fresh air."
Interestingly, after being a reporter at Fox2, Shaykhet suddenly found himself on the other side of the fence. Some people in that position develop a hostility for the press. But Shaykhet said that didn’t happen in his case.
“I had respect for the very fine journalist in this market and very proud of the fact I was able to work well with them.”
Shaykhet, an alum of Michigan State University, said going to the FBI and returning to reporting will only make him a better reporter.
“I feel the perspective I’m able to bring to stories is certainly different. I have more more knowledge that I can draw up on having had this experience.”