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December 28, 2006 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-12-28

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With beats including Detroit's schools and the Arab American community,
Noah Ovshinsky reports for public radio.

Suzanne Chessler

Special to the Jewish News


oah Ovshinsky likes to corn-
municate about issues to large
numbers of people, but he
prefers to do it on a personal level. To that
end, he's building a career in radio.
Ovshinsky, 28, recently joined the
reporting team of WDET-FM (101.9),
Detroit's public radio station, and produc-
es two or three 50-second segments per
day. He came to the station after produc-
ing morning news segments in Chicago
and specialized videos for HKO Media,
a firm developed by his father, Harvey
"I cover a variety of beats, but news
related to the Detroit Public Schools is of
particular interest," says the son, whose
own schooling brought him through
Grosse Pointe schools and Kalamazoo

"It's been a very interesting year on
the schools beat in terms of the teacher
contract negotiations and the strike. It was
very interesting talking to teachers and
learning about their problems with the
district and talking to representatives of
the district about their needs. It was a very
complex situation with no easy answers:"
Ovshinsky, who had his religious train-
ing at the Jewish Parents Institute, regular-
ly reports on events in the Arab American
community, where the issues also are
complex. In a different direction, he has
covered arts and culture news.
"Radio is a very intimate form of com-
munication because people often listen
to us in their cars, and there's generally
nobody in the car but the driver and
our voices," Ovshinsky explains. "That's
much more intimate than sitting in a liv-
ing room watching television with things
going on in the home."
Ovshinsky traces his interest in broad-

casting to his own
home; his dad
built a career in
local radio and
television before
forming his pro-
duction company
and becoming a
teacher of screen-
writing and docu-
mentary filmmak-
Noah Ovshinsky:
ing at Wayne State
"I always knew I
University and
wanted to work in
other venues.
public radio."
Although the
younger Ovshins
knew he wanted a broadcasting career, he
did not major in journalism.
"I happen to believe that the best kinds
of journalists, especially in public radio,
are those with liberal arts degrees and a
wide knowledge of things that are going
on," he says. "I got a liberal arts degree

with a major in political science.
"My first real job in broadcasting was
with Chicago's WGN radio, which has a
huge listening audience. I started as an
intern and then got hired as a weekend
morning news producer. Then, I got hired
as a news producer for weekday mornings,
putting together newscasts for the anchor."
Ovshinsky chose to start his career in
Chicago because his family is well known
in Michigan, and he wanted to fend for
himself for a time. The reporter's grandfa-
ther is Stanford Ovshinsky, a well-known
energy scientist, award-winning inven-
tor and founder of a firm that developed
amorphous semiconductor materials used
in many applications in the field of mate-
rial engineering.
"I was very fortunate to have some very
good mentors in Chicago," the reporter
says. "I learned a lot getting into the stu-
dio at 3:30 in the morning."
Ovshinsky believes he also was pre-



Nate Bloom
Special to the Jewish News

Good Luck, Jonathan
Jonathan Silverman, 40, co-stars
in the new ABC series In Case of
Emergency, about a group of high-
school buddies
who meet up 20
years later. David
Arquette, 36, whose
late mother was
Jewish, co-stars.
The show debuts
Wednesday, Jan. 3,
at 9:30 p.m.
Silverman grew
up in Beverly
Hills and is the grandson of Rabbi
Morris Silverman, a leading light of
Conservative Judaism.
Jonathan's film career began in

1986 with a starring role in Neil
Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs. He
played Eugene, a character based on
Simon as a teenager.
Silverman was competent in the
role but didn't bring the infectious
energy Matthew Broderick — whose
late mother was Jewish — exhibited as
Eugene in the original stage version of
Brighton Beach and in the film version
of Biloxi Blues, a sequel to Brighton.
Silverman went on to appear in a
ton of so-so film comedies and a cou-
ple of short-lived TV shows. His only
real hit since Brighton Beach has been
1989's Weekend at Bernie's, a black
film comedy.
Maybe his new series will be good,
but so far Silverman hasn't lucked into
a great role (unlike his boyhood friend
David Schwimmer of Cheers), and he
just doesn't have the star power to

overcome a lackluster script.

Film Notes

Alan Abrams, who penned many
articles in his career for the Detroit
Jewish News, is the author of a new
book, Waking the Dreamgirls: The
Complete Motown Press Releases,
1964-1966, to be published this month
by U.K. publisher Bank House Books.
It will be available in the States in late
January at a cost of $30
(www.bankhousebooks.com ). Abrams
bills himself as "Motown's founding
publicist and first employee."
The book is tied in to the recent
film release of Dreamgirls, the musi-
cal about a group clearly modeled
after the famous Supremes singing
group. Mary Wilson, one of the origi-
nal Supremes, wrote the forward for
Abrams' book, which includes a wealth

of information about
Motown artists,
both in the old press
releases and in extra
material Abrams has
added to give con-
text to the releases.
Actress Natasha Natasha
Lyonne (American
Pie) appears to be
much healthier than
a year ago when
she was reported to
be near death from
hepatitis and a heart
infection (published
reports said drug
use was a factor).
Not long before she Adam Pascal
became ill, Lyonne
was arrested for harassing a neighbor.
On Dec.15, Lyonne, 27, appeared

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December 28 o 2006

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