CBS Executive Producer of Community Impact Amyre Makupson visited the Franco office for our first Media Matters event since the pandemic. These events support our team’s continued development of media relations skills while staying connected to the ever-evolving media landscape.
Since our last Media Matters, much has changed in the metro Detroit media scene – most recently, with the launch of CBS News Detroit, a television and streaming news platform with a focus on hyper-local reporting.
Amyre, a Detroit native, joined the CBS News Detroit team in the summer of 2022 prior to the platform’s January 2023 launch.
By joining CBS, Amyre continues the legacy started by her mother of the same name. Amyre’s mother worked as a news anchor at CBS’ WKBD-TV station from 1975 to 2002, and she cemented herself as a Detroit media icon during her tenure.
Amyre (the daughter) has been frequently mistaken for Amyre (the mother) since she’s made her homecoming.
“I didn’t know you were still on the news,” she often hears from her viewers. The confusion even resulted in Detroit Pistons broadcaster George Blaha turning down an interview with her, thinking he was being pranked by an Amyre Makupson impersonator.
The mix-up is easy to understand, given the insightful and personable storytelling they both bring to the table. This makes Amyre a perfect fit for CBS News Detroit’s new vision of community-centric reporting.
“TV news can be so ego- or sales-driven,” Amyre said while at the Franco office. She referenced the common “if it bleeds, it leads” motto that results in an abundance of crime coverage by the typical TV news station. This is where CBS News Detroit aims to set itself apart from the pack.
Instead, Amyre and CBS are reporting the news with a focus on communities. The station has assigned a team of reporters to different areas within metro Detroit, as a way to let them “hone in on” the stories and people they’re reporting about. They pay particular attention to the stories that matter most to these communities – the good and the bad. Overall, CBS News Detroit aims to be “a community resource to spread information.”
For Amyre, this means listening to her community about the stories they want to see. And between the phone tips, the media advisories and the word-of-mouth leads she receives, there’s no shortage of story ideas. The stories she gravitates toward most are the ones that are often difficult to tell – whether that’s because of hard-to-stomach subject matter or because they involve the questions that are hard to get answers to. Still, she puts on her investigative journalism hat and gets to work.
At the end of the day, Amyre says her job boils down to one question: “Who wants to tell the story versus who wants to be on TV?”
Lucas Polack is an Integrated Communications Coordinator at Franco. Connect with him on LinkedIn.