Calling his firing ‘shameful,’ new Metro Times owners bring back veteran reporter Curt Guyette

Curt Guyette at his ACLU office in Detroit.

Clarification: In an early version, the headline incorrectly stated Guyette was rehired; he is providing content thanks to a grant supporting reports on emergency management and open government. 

By Dave Mesrey
Motor City Muckraker

Seven months after being fired by the Metro Times, investigative reporter Curt Guyette has returned to the pages of the alternative newsweekly where he worked for 18 years.

And to make his return all the more satisfying, the alt-weekly’s new owner, Cleveland-based Euclid Media, called his termination “shameful.”

Now employed by the ACLU of Michigan, Guyette reached a deal with Euclid Media to write for the paper once again, though not as frequently.

“It definitely feels very good to see my byline back in the Metro Times,” says Guyette, 57. “I was always very proud of the Metro Times and what it stood for.”

The decision to bring back Guyette, an award-winning watchdog journalist, offers some insight into the philosophy of the new owner, Cleveland-based Euclid Media, which bought the weekly in December for an undisclosed sum. Pledging to reclaim the weekly’s investigative prowess and “powerful voice,” Metro Times interim editor Vince Grzegorek said he’s enthusiastic about Guyette’s return.
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“Thankfully, Curt has no ill will toward those that remain at MT, is excited by the efforts of the new ownership to return the paper to its previous form as a powerful voice in the city, and was more than willing to contribute to that effort,” said Grzegorek, an affable, passionate journalist who splits duties between the Metro Times and his main employer, Euclid’s Cleveland Scene.

Former Metro Times owner Times-Shamrock, of Scranton, Penn., fired Guyette last September for spilling the beans that the paper was up for sale.

In the wake of Guyette’s firing, Times-Shamrock never hired anyone to take his place. In February, Euclid hired investigative reporter Ryan Felton and plans to bring in more journalists.

In this week’s Metro Times, which hits newsstands today, Guyette has penned an exhaustive cover story on Detroit’s contentious emergency manager appointment and the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the largest bankruptcy filing in American history.

“The only thing that would’ve been more perfect,” Guyette said of his story, “is if it came out on April 1 instead of April 2 because some people might think it’s an April Fools’ joke.”

But this is no joke.

“Curt’s obviously a tremendous reporter and an important, inquisitive voice in Detroit,” Grzegorek said. “How his long and storied tenure ended at the MT under previous ownership was shameful, but he’s landed in a perfect position with the ACLU.” 

Grzegorek said Guyette’s “insightful and authoritative piece on the emergency manager one year later” is just the beginning for an alt-weekly that will regain its former glory. 

Some notable stories by Guyette include “Just Go,” which called for then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to resign, and “The Big Burn,” a thorough examination of Detroit’s waste incinerator.

Times-Shamrock publisher Scott Lynett could not be reached for comment.

Dave Mesrey

Dave Mesrey is a veteran copy editor who’s worked for the Metro Times, Hour Detroit, and ESPN’s The editor of Willie Horton’s autobiography, “The People’s Champion,” Mesrey was also an associate producer of the 2013 Tiger Stadium documentary “Stealing Home.”

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