CBS News Detroit announces first hires for new streaming service

Kaitlyn Luckoff
The Detroit News

CBS News Detroit has announced four new hires for its hyper-local streaming service that's expected to launch this fall.

Joining the CBS News Detroit team are anchors Shaina Humphries and Rachelle Graham, meteorologist Ahmad Bajjey and Amyre Makupson, who has been named executive producer of community impact, announced  Brian Watson, vice president and general manager, and Paul Pytlowany, news director of CBS News Detroit, Monday in a press release.

CBS News Detroit is a new hyper-local news department launching in late summer or early fall.

“As we move forward with this unprecedented opportunity to build the newsroom of the future from the ground up and with a streaming-first mentality, we are excited to welcome Shaina, Rachelle, Ahmad and Amyre to CBS News Detroit,” Watson said in the press release. “They are part of our growing team of grassroots journalists who will set the standard for community-focused news reporting in Detroit.”

In anticipation of the platform's launch this fall, CBS News Detroit will continue to hire reporters and other professionals to create their team of journalists across Detroit and Lansing. 

 Humphries is an Emmy Award winner and most recently worked as a co-anchor of the weekday 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts at WTXF-TV (Fox) in Philadelphia. Joining Humphries is Emmy Award-nominated and Metro Detroit native  Graham, who recently anchored and reported for the NBC, Fox and CW network affiliated stations in Flint.

Dearborn native and meteorologist Bajjey has won awards for best weathercast from the Associated Press and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He worked nearly 10 years for NBC, Fox and CW network affiliated stations in Flint. For the past 17 months, he has served as the stations’ chief meteorologist. 

Makupson, executive producer of community impact, will follow in the footsteps of her mother, who was a news anchor at WKBD-TV from 1975 until 2002. Makupson is a native Detroiter and has worked for the CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox network affiliates, as well as stations in Georgia. Recently, she was the news director at WMUB-TV with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism and a partner correspondent for WMAZ-TV in Macon.

Looking forward to reliable and strong broadcasting, Pytlowany said in a press release that these four individuals are aligned with the goals of the station.

“Credible local news coverage is more important than ever,” Pytlowany said. “Shaina, Rachelle, Ahmad and Amyre’s commitment to in-depth storytelling and weather coverage will be vital to our viewers. Their commitment is in alignment with our vision of turning neighborhoods into newsrooms and reflects their passion for creating original content for the communities we are honored to serve.”

The streaming service is being created by WWJ-TV (CBS 62) and WKBD-TV (CW50), two CBS-owned stations in Detroit. The service will provide local live news coverage Monday through Sunday from 4 a.m.-11:35 p.m., according to the press release.

Along with 137 hours of coverage per week, CBS 62 will broadcast live newscasts 40 hours per week. Since becoming a CBS-owned station in 1995, this will be the first time that WWJ will have its own full-scale local news department, said the press release.