SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WXYZ-TV chooses Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander as the 2011 Newsmaker of the Year. Verlander will be featured on Channel 7's weekly public affairs/information program Spotlight on the News, hosted by WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes, Sunday, February 5 at 9:30 a.m.
The program will feature an in-depth interview with Verlander who talks about his family, his role models, his game day superstitions and how his life has changed since his record-breaking season.
"In a year when political and economic stories were so critical in metro Detroit, focusing on a hero in the sporting world was a welcome change," said WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes. "Verlander captured our attention and really brought the region together like no one else did in 2011. Whenever Verlander pitched, people from all walks of life bought tickets and packed Comerica Park."
Spotlight on the News: Newsmaker of the Year recognizes individuals who have had significant impact on southeastern Michigan and the image of the region. Previous WXYZ newsmakers include Dennis Archer, Denise & Atanas Ilitch, Eleanor Josaitis, Peter Karmanos, Mitch Albom, Roger Penske, Max Fisher and Rick Snyder.
Verlander pitched his second no-hitter in the 2011 season. He was named the American League Cy Young Award winner by unanimous vote, and was voted the American League Most Valuable Player. It's a rare honor for a major league player to receive both awards in one season.
The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse, 133-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers and local news and information Web sites. The company's portfolio of locally focused media properties includes: 19 TV stations (10 ABC affiliates, three NBC affiliates, five Azteca America affiliates and one independent); daily and community newspapers in 13 markets, and the Washington, D.C. based Scripps Media Center, home of the Scripps Howard News Service. For a full listing of Scripps media companies and their associated Web sites, visit http://www.Scripps.com/.