WDIV’s morning team talk about their instant rapport, stifling laughs and being a different kind of newscast.
t’s 4:30 a.m., and most of Detroit is still in bed. But for Evrod Cassimy and Rhonda Walker, it’s showtime.
“We’ve really only been anchoring together for three years,” Cassimy says.
“But it feels like we’ve been really good friends for a long time,” Walker adds.
Walker, a native Detroiter, has been on-air since 1998-first at WJBK, then hopping over to WDIV in 2003. During this time, Walker formed The Rhonda Walker Foundation, a mentoring organization that aims to empower inner city teen girls.
Cassimy joined the WDIV team in 2013. He was born in Berrien Springs on the west side of the state, but worked in five other cities across the country before landing in Detroit.
The pair already has a handful of memorable on-air moments, like the time they toured a local haunted house or their moments trying not to laugh during a story.
“When we have a story that we just cannot keep it together, it makes me nervous because anything could happen,” Cassimy says. “We’ve only known each other for three years, but our laughter and our sense of humor is in sync.”
The pair’s on-air chemistry is undeniable, making them an ideal anchor team. In major television markets like Detroit, it’s rare to have a Black team leading a newscast, something Cassimy and Walker say they don’t think about much.
“I’m proud that we work in a community and we work for management where it doesn’t matter what we look like,” Walker says.
“It does come with a little bit of responsibility,” Cassimy adds. “I usually only think about it when people come up to me and tell me they’re proud to see a Black face on television. You don’t think about it in the moment, but its very humbling and you want to take that responsibility seriously.”
In addition to the faces you see on air every morning, Local 4 News Morning has a team of producers, directors, writers and other technical staff that play an integral role in bringing Detroit its news. Serious and breaking news stories are key components to WDIV’s newscasts, but the pair agrees that their show is different than others.
“People always say they don’t watch the news because it’s depressing. At least that’s what we hear from people who are not regular TV news viewers,” Cassimy says. “That’s not our show.”
The Local 4 News morning team strives to keep their newscasts informative and fun.
“We give variety to our newscast. We try to give a little energy and laughter as you’re trying to get up in the morning,” Walker says.
“And not every show can say that,” Cassimy adds. “No shade.”