Ex-Rep. Rogers aims to demystify spying with CNN show

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers has been an FBI agent, state senator, chairman of the powerful U.S. House Intelligence Committee and a syndicated radio commentator.

Now the Howell native is adding television producer and host to his resume.

Ex-Rep. Mike Rogers

Rogers’ new show, “Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies,” debuts Sunday night at 10 p.m. on CNN.

The eight-part series will feature the stories of former spies with the Central Intelligence Agency who were stationed abroad, keeping close tabs on foreign countries for American interests.

Rogers has been working on the project for the past year, pulling together declassified CIA files and getting former agents to agree to recount their years in the business of espionage and foreign intelligence-gathering.

The former seven-term congressman from Michigan’s 8th Congressional District said there’s more to the life of spies than the publicized mishaps over the years or how their lives are portrayed by Hollywood.

“I just thought it painted a completely wrong picture about these individuals,” said Rogers, who spent his entire 14-year congressional career on the House Intelligence Committee.

The hour-long show will feature former spies who were stationed in Cold War-era Russia, in Cuba during the 1980s and most recently in Iran, according to CNN.

Sunday night’s first episode features Martha Peterson, the first female CIA officer stationed in Moscow in 1975 to work with Russian diplomat Aleksandr Ogorodnik to supply the U.S. with information about the Soviet Union.

“It’s all the intrigue of the KGB trying to catch them and all of the real life spy drama you could get,” said Rogers, who is both host and executive producer of the program.

In addition to the TV gig, Rogers continues to produce three daily news commentary reports dubbed “Something to Think About” for more than 220 radio stations across the country in the Westwood One network.


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Twitter: @ChadLivengood