Two months into hosting "The Guy Gordon Show," on Detroit's News/Talk 760 WJR AM, Gordon, of Bloomfield Hills, said he is adjusting to the change of hosting a live, weekday radio show from his work as a television news anchor/reporter for the past three decades.
"It's totally different than doing a newscast. We build a newscast based on what we think people need to know. There may be stories that people aren't all that interested in," Gordon said about delivering the news of the day to television audiences. "In radio, we measure with a little different yardstick."
Taking the afternoon slot from 3 to 5 p.m., the show falls between "The Rush Limbaugh Show" and "The Mitch Albom Show." Gordon is tasked with bridging two distinctly different audiences, engaging listeners on national issues that he distills to the local level.
"I feel some days that I'm doing two different shows," Gordon said. "We are making sure we appeal to Rush's listeners because we want to carry them over and provide something to them. Then, about 3:45 p.m., we transition into something more local. Then we are heading into Mitch, and we start doing something a little more fun."
While television reporters and anchors are typically required to suppress their opinions on air, as a talk-radio host Gordon is encouraged to share his opinions on politics and other issues.
"That's not an entirely comfortable thing for me," Gordon said. "I will tell it like it is, but you will also get both sides of an issue, and some people may be offended by it."
Considering the current division in politics, Gordon said there is very little tolerance from listeners for wiggle room on issues – either you're in complete agreement or you're wrong.
"We were talking the other day about free trade and being anti-tariff, and that traditionally has been a boilerplate issue for Republicans. I said something about being anti-tariff, and a lady called me a liberal," Gordon said. "That tells you something about the upside-down political environment we are in here."
Gordon started the show on January 2, after spending 12 years at WDIV Local 4 as an anchor and reporter with the station. During his three decades in Detroit, Gordon has earned eight Emmy Awards. He first arrived in Detroit in 1984, when he joined the Channel 7 action news team a week after the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, and just before the most destructive Devil's Night in the city's history. In 1985, he purchased a home in Bloomfield.
"I enjoy driving home along tree-lined boulevards," he said abut living in the area. "You still feel like you're in a little piece of heaven when you come home."
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Gordon attended Central Michigan University and took up geology with the notion that he would find a career in the oil industry.
"The sciences proved to be no friend of mine," he said, explaining the eventual move into broadcast studies, where his department chair pushed him to pursue a career as an anchor or reporter.
Today, Gordon is focused on his new career, and how he can keep listeners interested in the discussions of the day.
"I don't look much farther than the day I'm working on," he said. "I'm not looking for the 'big get,' or the guest who will generate heat, but the one who will generate light on what we are talking about today."
Photo: Laurie Tennent