For 31 years, Glenn Bar has been the steady hand guiding Action News. He walked into Broadcast House in 1985 as an intern and, for the next three decades, steadily rose through the ranks. Today is his last day at WXYZ.
“Glenn bar is rock steady,” said Cheryl Chodun, a WXYZ reporter until 2013. “He is the calm before the storm, in the middle of the storm and after the storm. We could always count on Glenn.”
A station stalwart, Bar wore many hats through his decades-long career from production assistant to writer, then producer and, in 2003, he was named assistant news director.
“He’s the man we all rely on,” said longtime friend and WXYZ managing editor Ann Mullen, “who in his DNA knows immediately what needs to be done.”
His fingerprints have been on every significant story in Detroit over the last three decades, from the crash of flight 255, the attacks of 9/11 and the blackout of 2003.
“We were on the air for hours and hours doing outstanding coverage on backup power in a hot newsroom,” Bar recalled of the blackout.
In 2010, Bar launched the station’s ambitious project “Detroit 2020,” a ten-year initiative designed to confront the challenges facing Detroit and shine light on the city’s successes.
In addition to producing hundreds of Detroit 2020 stories, Bar spearheaded long-form pieces, half-hour specials and live town halls that shed light on struggling neighborhoods, race relations and the city’s historic bankruptcy.
“He’s more of a quarterback of a football team,” said photojournalist John Ciolino, who worked with Bar for years on Detroit 2020.
“You kind of give the quarterback respect but you don’t think of him as your coach. He was on the same side of the line with you, he was fighting each play with you.”
Whatever he touched at Channel 7, Glenn’s exacting standards never faltered.
“Accuracy mattered, getting the story right mattered,” said longtime friend and reporter Dave LewAllen.
“He cared as much or more than anybody about our product.”