Lessenberry quits Michigan Radio amid allegations

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Jack Lessenberry

Amid allegations of inappropriate behavior and comments toward women, Detroit-area journalist Jack Lessenberry has resigned from his role as a political analyst for Michigan Radio, officials said.

The news comes about a week after Lessenberry resigned as a columnist for the Detroit Metro Times and stepped away from teaching duties at Wayne State University.

Officials for the University of Michigan, which holds the license for the public radio station, announced he was resigning Wednesday. Michigan Radio is broadcast on 91.7 FM in southeast Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint and 104.1 FM in west Michigan. 

"Michigan Radio announced Wednesday that news analyst Jack Lessenberry will end his relationship with Michigan Radio," Kim Broekhuizen, a U-M spokeswoman, said in an email.

"By mutual agreement, Mr. Lessenberry’s responsibilities as a contracted contributor to Michigan Radio will end immediately," she said. "Mr. Lessenberry will officially resign from Michigan Radio effective July 31."

Lessenberry said he is resigning from the radio station to avoid distracting its listeners.

"I am saddened by the events of the last several days and admit to absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever, but have decided to resign to pursue new opportunities and avoid distracting listeners from the fine work of Michigan Radio," he said in an email. "It has been a pleasure to provide news analysis and commentary for the past thirteen years."

Lessenberry, a foreign correspondent and national editor for The Detroit News in the 1980s, is also the ombudsman and writing coach at the Toledo Blade.

He announced last week he was resigning from the Detroit Metro Times after local news website Deadline Detroit reported Lessenberry allegedly made inappropriate comments or paid undue attention to women in the early 1990s while an editor at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis and later as a journalism instructor at Wayne State University.