Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Kelly, John

The careers of John Kelly and Marilyn Turner span the breadth of modern Detroit television. Both appeared on WJBK-TV’s (Channel 2) newscasts during the 1960s, at the height of the station’s ratings success. They moved to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in the early 1970s, where they helped the station achieve further success through their successful morning program “Kelly & Company.”

John Kelly grew up in St. Louis, getting his start in broadcasting as a program director and production manager at a television station in Rockford, Illinois. He joined WJBK-TV as a newscaster in 1965. His work with anchorman Jac Le Goff and weathercaster Jerry Hodak helped make Channel 2 the top-rated newscast in metro Detroit.

Marilyn Turner grew up in Ontario and started her career as a model and commercial spokeswoman. She made her television debut as a weathercaster – “Miss Fairweather” - on Channel 2.  She later moved to WXYZ-TV while pursuing an acting career, then went back to WJBK-TV.  In 1972, both she and Kelly moved to Channel 7 for good.

Kelly and Turner became part of the now-famous news ensemble which Channel 7 successfully promoted in a “We Got Who You Wanted” campaign. The two married in 1974 and hosted “Kelly & Company” for most of the next two decades.

“Kelly & Company,” was a personable, guest-oriented talk show taped in front of a live studio audience.  As Detroit’s premier local talk show, it became a key component of Channel 7’s image in the community.  The program later morphed into “Turner & Company” and was Detroit’s last locally-produced non-news program when it went off the air in 1995.