He was more than a TV news anchor although that’s one of the reasons he reigned number one and regarded as the King of the news here. No he was much more, Bill Bonds was hard-core journalist at its finest. Old school reporting, he wanted the what were and always should be the basic rules of the profession.
The Who, What, When, Where and Why.
He demanded the answers, from those he interviewed and from the reporters on the street working at the station. We all grew up in Detroit watching all three channels 2,4 & 7 and in the end it would always lead back to WXYZ for only one reason, Bill Bonds.
A powerhouse reporter who got down to the grit of a story and there was none better for not letting anyone off the hook until he gained the answers and what was the truth.
To me journalism has lost some of its pertinent basics over the years both in newspapers and TV news whether local or on the national levels. So many times those 5 W’s are left out there in the atmosphere never to be answered. A story started but never ever finished with a follow-up, so it leaves the public wondering.
Yes there was always commentary and again that is what Bonds excelled in. He was hard-nosed yet compassionate and most of all he belonged with the rankings of the national news anchors. Bill bonds was among the best not only in Detroit but nationwide. The Emmy list is long and every single one of them earned.
I’ll never forget when that plane went down at Metro in 87′, the news actually hit us at work on that Sunday night with a voice coming over the loudspeaker at the Detroit Race Course. Avoid Middlebelt and I-94 as there has been a major plane crash. I never heard that track so momentarily silent in my life, friends just looked at each other with a horrible eerie feeling. We went numb.
All the stations covering it yet it was channel 7 we tuned to when we got home. In the midst of the next 48 hours a miracle was found alive and the tough Bonds breaking down in tears describing the nail polish on the little girl’s fingers who had survived.
Yeah he was real alright, telling off politicians, challenging them into the ring…LOL. I remember watching that night too.
Bill Bonds was as real as they came and I was always sorry that his demons ended up getting the best of him and off the air for good. WXYZ and all the stations will pay their homages but as a viewer and fan who watched expecting the unexpected, I knew i was watching and hearing the best in journalism. A man you could trust to give you the truth.
After all wasn’t that what the news stood for? In those days anyway. Something that has been lost.
Now if you advertise on the news no matter what wrong doings that go on like the businesses of Casinos, DTE Energy, etc..etc.. you’ll get away with anything and the reporters will leave you alone, as they seem to avoid it.
Bill Bonds would have demanded answers and got that truth, he wouldn’t have cared whose money floated the boat.
Yes hard-fisted, hard-drinking but he knew his trade in his sleep. Today Detroit and the profession of journalism lost a legend that this city will never see again. Not in my life time anyway.
Any reunion that came over the years and more recently with many retirements at channel 7 if his name was even mentioned, you wanted to watch. Just to see and hear him again. That was “Our” reporter, the epitome of what the profession stood for.
Bill Bonds was Detroit News and all of us will miss him immensely forever.
Here’s to you Bill, forever remembered with Love, Your Detroit Fans.
and to keep that song going…….