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Greg Russell: Women's basketball announcer says he's 'fortunate' to have spent his career in Detroit

By Curtis Pulliam
On December 7, 2011

A few years ago, Greg Russell went to a high school reunion that was not his own.

"I went to U of D High School in Detroit," Russell said. "However, I go to the Detroit Pershing high school reunions because if I had gone to a public school that is where I would have gone and that is where most of the people I grew up with went. It's great to see everyone there as

It was at this reunion Russell was reminded of an interesting fact about himself.

"I met an old friend from back in the second grade," said Russell. "We were just having a normal conversation when he said that I always knew what I wanted to be since that time. While most kids switched what they wanted to do all the time, I never did. I always wanted to be in the radio and TV

After Russell graduated from high school, he came to the University of Detroit (as it was called then) to pursue a communications degree, and he never looked back.

"I graduated from Detroit in 1978," Russell said. "And before I graduated, I had a job waiting for me, so I was pretty lucky in that

That job was with a radio station in Detroit.

"The station I was with was 96.3 FM," said Russell. "At the time, it was the number five in the ratings here. But I had the mentality in which I wanted to work for the number one

In the next few years, Russell moved to another Detroit station, WOMC, which has had many famous radio hosts over the years.

However, after a stint there, Russell auditioned for a job at channel two in 1980.

"I wanted to just give it a shot," Russell said. "There were about 2,500 people trying for the new reporter job and I thought to myself ‘you never

According to Russell, the audition included giving a one-minute story related to Detroit. 

"There were people telling stories about hand gliding over Lake St. Clair and diving into the Detroit River," Russell said. "My story was about how to make a Boston Cooler, which was originally made in Detroit first. I just read my story and did my

The next day, Russell received a phone call and got the job. 

In addition to channel two, Russell has worked for channel 50 and, more recently, channel 20, where he produces and hosts his own syndicated show, "Movie Show

"I have been fortunate and lucky enough too have been able to stay in Detroit for my whole career," Russell said. "It feels good to have stayed in your

Russell also considers himself fortunate because his job has allowed him to meet his childhood idol, Paul McCartney.

"Growing up, I loved the Beatles," Russell said. "About a year ago at the 2010 Critics Choice Awards, I had the great opportunity to meet with him. He was a very nice man and I got to take a picture with him. That is something I will always

Besides doing the show for My TV 20, Russell serves as public-service announcer for UDM women's basketball.

"I have been on and off for the last 15 years with it," said Russell. "I have made a lot of friends over the years and I'm still in touch with them to this

Sophomore Anthony Shepherd said Russell is great at what he does.

"Russell's style is better than many university announcers and he makes the games more exciting," said Shepherd.

Fellow sophomore Kyle Moore agrees with Shepherd.

"Russell's enthusiasm adds to the excitement and the atmosphere of the games," Moore said.

Russell also teaches at Specs Howard in Southfield. He gives advice to all students going into the communication field.

"Just do your own thing," Russell said. "I got started by doing my own thing... It will help you for the

 

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