DETROIT – Organizers of a new Detroit Press Club plan to host the club’s first event Oct. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Anchor Bar, 450 W. Fort St., Detroit.
Journalists and those who work in related areas of the media are invited to stop by to meet the organizers and learn more about the benefits of membership in the new Detroit Press Club.
Guests at the event will hear about the two membership categories, Journalist (for working press and related fields) and Associate (students and educators).
Anchor Bar owner Vaughn Derderian is pleased that the Detroit Press Club has selected his spot for the launch. “The Anchor Bar has a long history of hosting some of the great names in Motor City journalism. Our walls are plastered with photos of these journalism giants from the past. All were patrons of the Anchor. Unfortunately, the price of posting your photo on the wall behind our bar is your own funeral.”
Steve Purdy, Vice President of the Individual Communicators Network (ICN), the group initiating the comeback of the club, commented: “We think that by re-establishing the Detroit Press Club we can demonstrate there’s still plenty of life in the city. Who better to tell that story than our very best communicators?”
Bob Giles, an active member of the old Detroit Press Club and a member of ICN adds, “The true value of the new Press Club is that it includes all aspects of journalism without focusing on any one means of communication. It’s all about making connections and sharing great ideas.”
Purdy is Detroit editor of TheAutoChannel. Giles, former director of news operations at ABC’s WXYZ-TV channel 7 in Detroit, is currently editor of NewCarNews.TV.
Dave Smith, a former Detroit Press Club president, applauded the effort. “The old club was based on comradeship among the media – a place where you could talk shop with your pals, contacts, and competitors.”
Organizers also plan to quickly re-institute the popular Detroit Press Club International Wheels Awards honoring excellence in automotive journalism. The awards were last offered in 2008.
The original Detroit Press Club was formed in 1958 and had peak membership exceeding 500. Its first location was at the Detroit Leland Hotel. Soon after, it purchased its own building on Howard Street at First Street near the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News. When the federal government purchased that site for a parking structure, the club moved to the Renaissance Center on the Detroit River in the early ’90s. Like scores of other press clubs around the nation, the club progressively lost members as media and lifestyles changed with the times and interest waned. It closed its doors for good in 1994.
About ICN: The Individual Communicators Network (http://www.icnpr.net) is a nonprofit corporation of experienced communicators who work as a team on major projects, including the International Wheels Awards and the Michigan Excellence in Journalism Competition for the Detroit Press Club Foundation, which continued after the Press Club closed.