Will Jones: Why I decided to come back to Detroit, Local 4

Will Jones (WDIV)

Growing up I remember making the drive up I-75 to Detroit from Cincinnati with my parents and siblings to visit my Uncle Butch, Aunt Marzella, and Cousin Lil’ Butch in the Rosedale Park neighborhood during the summers. Often times we would be greeted with the smell of a charcoal grill at work.

When it came to be news time, Local 4 was always on their television.

My uncle and aunt trusted Local 4 to let them know what was going on in their community and why it mattered. My Aunt Marzella told me frequently during my visits that I was going to work at her favorite station one day. To be honest, I didn’t think much about those declarations at the time.

In 2012 I remember their reaction when I told them that I had an interview for a reporter opening at Local 4. They were thrilled. You can imagine their response when the job was offered, and I accepted. There was a short turn around between leaving my job in Greenville, South Carolina and starting in Detroit, so my uncle and aunt suggested I move in with them until I got settled. That turned into one of my life’s greatest blessings. As my workday was wrapping up, I could always smell what my aunt was cooking in her kitchen. It brought me so much joy.

So for me Detroit has always meant love, family and good ole home cooking. My uncle, aunt and cousin were devastated, but also proud, when I went to Chicago in 2015 to further my reporting career.

Although they have all since passed, when the opportunity came to return to Local 4 as an anchor/reporter, I could only think of them. They would be so excited. In fact, I truly believe my aunt saw this opportunity coming. While here the first time, she would always question “when they gonna let you inside?” I would tell her my focus is reporting. I don’t think she liked seeing me in the cold!

Although I loved my life and job covering race, culture and social justice issues in Chicago, I felt called to return to Detroit. Before this opportunity became available, I began to encounter more people with Detroit connections. I believe those were signs on what was on the horizon for my family.

When I first arrived in Detroit, the city was on the cusp of bankruptcy. When I left, the city was on the rebound. Just as I have changed, Detroit has, too, over the past seven years. I’m thankful for the opportunity to cover Detroit’s next chapter and to reintroduce myself.

I’m excited for my wife, Monica, a New Yorker by birth, to see up-close why I have always loved Detroit and why I always will.

Fortunately, she has family in the area and so do I. But as I get back to work here, I’m going to have my Uncle Butch, Aunt Marzella and Cousin Lil’ Butch top of mind. I want to continue to make them proud. I want to make you proud, too.

I know you trust Local 4 like they did. I promise I will do my best to keep you informed.

Will Jones. (Will Jones)
Will Jones. (Will Jones)

About the Author:

Will Jones rejoined the Local 4 News team in February 2023 as a weekend anchor and reporter. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter for the station from 2012 to 2015.