WDIV to air Primetime Special helping commemorate its 75th Anniversary

“Going 4 It. The Inside Story of the Rise of WDIV.” to air Friday at 9 p.m.

The first look at WDIV's 75th anniversary documentary, premiering on Nov. 4, 2022.

Local 4 continues to celebrate its 75th year in Detroit television with a two-hour documentary narrated by radio legend Dick Purtan, former WDIV Sportscaster Eli Zaret, and current WDIV Anchor Devin Scillian. “Going 4 It,” a nostalgic retrospective revealing the inside story of the rise of WDIV, airs Friday, November 4 at 9 p.m.

“The story of WDIV mirrors the story of Detroit.  Tremendous early success, followed by some difficult years, and then an epic comeback,” said Vice President and General Manager Bob Ellis. “We never take for granted being Detroit’s favorite TV station and realize that doesn’t happen without the unwavering support of our viewers.  Sharing this story reaffirms our commitment to serve this community. We’ve been in the city of Detroit for decades and will be for decades to come. This trip through time is our way of saying thank you for all the support and a way to renew our vows to do our part to make Southeast Michigan a better place for all of us to live.”

Viewers are sure to delighted by remembering the milestones that made an impact on their lives while also learning about the station’s history.

This documentary focuses specifically between the years of 1978 and 1985 and tells the inside and in-depth story of the four key ingredients that propelled the station to become the most trusted in Detroit. Viewers will relive theses memorable moments and see old film and video clips of shows, newscasts, and interviews with former anchors Mort Crim, Carmen Harlan, and others, and learn from those who were here on how they subsequently lifted WDIV from last to first place in the Detroit television market:

  1. The “Go 4 It” campaign in 1980 that delivered a message of hope, courage and challenge that caught the spirit of the city.
  2. NBC, long mired in last place, started producing iconic shows like “Cheers,” “Hill Street Blues” and “Miami Vice” which created large audiences that then stayed to watch WDIV’s news.
  3. The Detroit Tigers, who were shown exclusively on WDIV, and evolved into a championship team.
  4. Carmen Harlan, a native Detroiter, joined Mort Crim as the stations co-anchors and was the catalyst that helped viewers and earn their trust.

Zaret, former WDIV Sportscaster and host of the popular Tiger’s pregame shows, served as one the of documentary’s Executive Producers and played a key role in the months-long process of gathering and organizing footage for this special.

“I was fortunate to work at Channel 4 from 1980 to 86, an iconic period in the station’s history, said Zaret. “At the time, I was new to television. Now, to be asked all these years later to help write, produce and even be a part of this story, fills me with pride and gratitude.”

“Going 4 It” airs Friday, November 4 at 9 p.m. on Local 4, and will be streaming on Local 4+ on clickondetroit.com.