News and Announcements
Wayne State celebrates the life of Sonny Eliot, 12/6...
Detroit Free Press, WWJ-AM, WDIV-TV, 12/6; WJBK Fox 2, 12/7
Event celebrates life of broadcaster Sonny Eliot
Longtime fans, old-school friends, close media companions and academic associates came together Thursday to celebrate the colorful life and more than 60-year career of hall-of-fame broadcaster Sonny Eliot. “The evening was a special way to pay tribute to this one-of-a-kind Detroiter, a true cultural icon who touched so many people with his wonderful personality,” said Matthew Seeger, Wayne State University professor and dean, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. Held at WSU’s Community Arts Auditorium, “Always Sonny” was an intimate and light-hearted two-hour public memorial for Eliot, who died after a long illness at his home in Farmington Hills on Nov. 16 at the age of 91. An audience of about 225 people attended the free event held at the radio-and-TV broadcaster’s alma mater.
Always Sonny: Detroit Celebrates A Legend
WWJ news anchor Jayne Bower, who worked with Sonny Eliot for many years, reminisced with WDET's Pat Batcheller about his life. Bower talked about her first impression when she met him and shared stories about his more than 60-year career in broadcasting. Bower also offered a preview about tonight’s “Always Sonny!” event at Wayne State University.
Observer & Eccentric, 12/5; The Oakland Press, WWJ-AM, 12/6
The late Sonny Eliot to be honored at WSU
In honor of the late veteran TV and radio weatherman Sonny Eliot’s remarkable life, Wayne State University will host “Always Sonny!” from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in WSU’s Community Arts Auditorium. In 1959, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State with a major in speech communication. During the celebration friends and colleagues of Sonny Eliot will share their memories. Scheduled participants include: Jayne Bower, WWJ-950 afternoon anchor; Jim Brandstatter (emcee), radio broadcast voice of the Detroit Lions and the University of Michigan Wolverines; Rob Davidek: WWJ-950 news and program director; Joe Donovan, WWJ-950 morning anchor; John Finley, Sonny Eliot’s close friend and former doctor for the Detroit Red Wings; Chuck Gaidica, WDIV-TV weathercaster; Jerry Hodak, former weathercaster, health and science reporter, anchor, WJBK-TV, WXYZ-TV (1965-2010); Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television; Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoo executive director and CEO; Tim Kiska, longtime Detroit journalist and University of Michigan professor; Ray Lane, former WJBK-TV sports director, broadcaster for the Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, Lions and Pistons; Jack Lessenberry, veteran journalist and Wayne State University interim director of journalism.
The Macomb Daily, 12/4
Celebrating the life of Sonny Eliot
A celebration of the life of longtime Detroit broadcaster Sonny Eliot — “Always Sonny!” — will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday in the Wayne State University Community Arts Auditorium. “Sonny Eliot was an example of the quintessential Wayne State University student of the 1950s,” said Matthew Seeger, professor and dean, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. “He was one of the thousands of veterans who returned from service in World War II and found that Wayne State was there to help them build their careers. Sonny was a member of the Greatest Generation, and he and other returning veterans helped to make Wayne State University great.”
Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills Patch, West Bloomfield Patch, 12/3
Wayne State hosts Dec. 6 tribute to Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot
In honor of his remarkable life, Wayne State University is hosting “Always Sonny!” from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Dec. 6, in WSU’s Community Arts Auditorium. Sonny Eliot, who brought his unique brand of entertainment and information into living rooms for more than 60 years, died at his Farmington Hills home on Nov. 16, at age 91.
Farmington/Farmington Hills Patch, 12/3; Ferndale Patch, 12/2
Wayne State hosts Dec. 6 tribute to Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot
For numerous Detroiters, the centerpiece of entertainment was a local weatherman who offered a fast-paced, comedic and yet informative look at the weather. Sonny Eliot, who brought his unique brand of entertainment and information into living rooms for more than 60 years, died at his Farmington Hills home on Nov. 16, at age 91. In honor of his remarkable life, Wayne State University is hosting “Always Sonny!” from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Dec. 6, in WSU’s Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall, Detroit.
Detroit Free Press, WJBK Fox 2, The Detroit News, WWMT-TV (Grand Rapids), WLNS-TV (Lansing), CBS Detroit, Mlive, Crain’s Detroit Business, WWJ-AM, 11/29
Wayne State to host Sonny Eliot memorial on Dec. 6
Wayne State University has announced it will host a memorial service next week for the late broadcaster Sonny Eliot. The well-known media personality and longtime broadcaster on WWJ-AM (950) radio died Nov. 16 at age 91. In his honor, Wayne State announced Thursday that it is putting on an event Dec. 6 called "Always Sonny!" at the Community Arts Auditorium. A dozen friends and colleagues are scheduled to speak at the celebration, including local football broadcaster Jim Brandstatter and Detroit Zoo executive director and CEO Ron Kagan. Eliot hosted movies on local TV and voiced countless commercials. But his longest-lasting gig was as a weathercaster, a job he held for well into the 21st Century.
CBS Detroit, WWJ-AM, 11/16
Beloved Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot dies
Sonny Eliot, Detroit weatherman for more than 60 years, has died at age 91. Eliot’s college education at Wayne State University was interrupted by World War II, where he served as a B-24 pilot. A plane Eliot was flying was shot down during a bombing mission over Germany and he was captured. He spent 18 months in the Stalagluft I prison camp before being freed by the Russians when the war ended. After returning home from the war, Eliot earned a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in mass communications at WSU. Then, Eliot’s Broadcast career took off on the radio and on television. Jack Lessenberry, head of the journalism program at Wayne State University and a longtime friend of Sonny’s, said he was definitely unique. “He was one of a kind, I don’t think there was anybody else like him in the country. And in Michigan when he was doing the weather on Channel 4, which he did for decades, he had a 50 percent share. I don’t know of anybody who had a 50 percent share, with half of all the tv sets in Detroit tuned in to watch Sonny Eliot do his kind of unique, funny, cornball delivery. Some people loved it and some people hated it, but everybody watched him,” said Lessenberry.
Crain's Detroit Business, 11/16
Sonny Eliot, legendary Detroit weatherman, dead at 91
The Detroit News, 11/16
Wacky Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot 'oozed personality'
The Michigan Chronicle, 11/16
Beloved Detroit Weatherman Sonny Eliot Dies
Endearing Detroit weatherman Sonny Eliot dies 'peacefully' at 91