Hour Detroit: What does it take to stay on top of the news for your job at WDIV?
Devin Scillian: The most critical requirement of any reporter is an insatiable curiosity. I really am fascinated by a million different things, whether it’s politics, art history, geography, geopolitical conflict. There’s a fascinating story in everybody you meet.
What are some of the most memorable assignments you’ve had at the station?
I could not believe it when I was sitting in the stadium for the Olympics in Sydney, Australia in 2000. I think back to that first Red Wings Stanley Cup parade and what an extraordinary thing that was to watch. Of course, you also cover terrible things, unfortunately. I got to become a pretty good friend of John Dingell and covered his funeral. I’ve been getting paid all this time to work, but I feel like I’m the one who’s been enriched by the experience.
Why explore news topics in-depth on your Flashpoint segment?
Flashpoint is such a luxury to me — to spend a half hour on a Sunday morning on a topic that may only get 30 seconds in a newscast. I want the show to enlighten, so I’ve tried to get away from people barking talking points at each other. We’ve become a place in America where I’m not sure a lot of people are listening to viewpoints that are different from their own, and that’s dangerous. In this day and age, where we’ve become so polarized, we have to find a way to talk to each other.
What’s next for your projects outside your work at WDIV?
The band and I keep playing music. I don’t know that Nashville is going to call (laughs), but I’m still going to play the guitar every day. The children’s books have been such a revelation for me. I’m working on my 20th book, which will be out this summer.
How does it feel to see the positive reaction to the satirical news spots you record for The Ellen DeGeneres Show?
I can work for months on a documentary on the Catholic church, and it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as a 20-second spot (laughs). It’s a blast.