"We're Standing By."
Say "Al Allen" in Metro Detroit, and people smile, thinking of the cheerful reporter who greeted them through their TV screens every morning… broadcasting live from frigid freeway overpasses, crime scenes, celebrations, and just about anywhere.
Al Allen's iconic voice and face on the Fox 2 Morning Show, as well as evening and radio newscasts before that, provided big city news in a hard news town for 50 years.
He delivered firsthand accounts of history-in-the-making, including Detroit's 1975 riot and the funeral procession for Rosa Parks in Washington, DC.
"We're standing by," Al said countless times into his microphone, telling his producers back at the station that he and his cameraperson were ready to go on live TV before millions of viewers.
Now, in this unique memoir, Al reports on his own life, sharing his story with his trademark, tell-it-like-it-is style that's rooted in old school journalistic integrity.
With each chapter reading like one of his fast-paced news reports, We're Standing By offers an exclusive peek through the human lens of this iconic newsman. It reveals how he saw things, while covering big city murders and mayhem, superstars and scandals, or breaking news events. He even shares some behind-the-scenes bloopers.
Al also reveals that there's much more than the man with the microphone; he's a devoted husband and family man, father, and grandfather. And with courage and a commitment to mentoring, Al continues to help blaze new trails for African Americans and people of color in the news industry.
We're Standing By will make you laugh and cry, as you speed through the legendary life story of this Motor City icon.
After a half-century career in journalism, Al Allen is known and loved as a legend and an icon amongst viewers across Southeast Michigan.
Born Andrew Long in segregated Little Rock, Arkansas, he moved to Detroit with his family as a teenager, and attended Mumford High School. There he fell in love with journalism while reporting on trends and events for the school's internal news broadcast, Spotlight on Mumford.
He returned to Little Rock in 1969 to serve as news director at KOKY radio. Two years later, he moved back to Detroit, becoming a reporter and news director at WCXI-AM and WGPR-FM, then as news and public affairs director at WJLB-FM. Al began his 28-year career with WJBK Fox 2 News in March of 1984.
Al's commitment to high-integrity journalism earned him many local and national awards. United Press International and the Associated Press both awarded him for his reporting on "The Otto Wendell Story." UPI and AP, along with the National Association of Black Journalists, bestowed Al with awards for "Merry-Go-Round of Denial: The Black Alcoholic." His trailblazing work on "Crime by Color, Black on Black," a documentary that examined the issues surrounding black-on-black crime in Detroit, earned him the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. And his report - "Motown: Where Did Our Love Go?" - earned an Associated Press award and was nominated for an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Al retired from Fox 2 News in 2012.
He celebrates 51 years of marriage to Alfreda Long, and enjoys spending time with his son, Andrew Long, Jr.; daughter-in-law, Yolanda; and his two grandsons, Andrew III and Evan.
Chapter 1 Overworked and Underpaid
Chapter 2 Mis-cue
Chapter 3 Second Time's a Charm
Chapter 4 Showed Up and Showed Out
Chapter 5 Eighteen with a Bullet
Chapter 6 "We're Standing By"
Chapter 7 Make it Funky
Chapter 8 Livernois Riot
Chapter 9 You Own the Story… "Breaking News"
Chapter 10 Right Place at the Wrong Time
Chapter 11 Are Television Newsrooms Black and White?
Chapter 12 Never Kiss and Tell (Sources)
Chapter 13 So, You Want to Be a Journalist?
Chapter 14 Who is Al Allen?
Chapter 15 Is it Real or Fake News?
Chapter 16 Colder than a Well Digger's Ass in Montana
Chapter 17 Open the Door - Let Me In
Chapter 18 Bad News in the Big City