Cash Michaels is the award-winning editor, chief reporter/photographer and columnist for The Carolinian Newspaper, the twice-weekly African-American publication that has been covering Raleigh and the state of North Carolina for over 70 years.
Michaels also serves as staff writer and award-winning columnist for the Wilmington Journal newspaper in Wilmington, NC, and a frequent contributing writer to the Amsterdam News in New York. Many of his stories are also carried across the nation via the 200-member National Newspaper Publishers Association.
When he is not reporting or providing commentary, Michaels produces a wide range of video and documentary projects through his CashWorks HD Productions, based out of Cary, NC.
His latest, and most ambitious production ever is the highly acclaimed feature-length documentary, “Obama in NC: The Path to History,” (www.ObamaInNC.com) which debuted in Raleigh on Jan. 16, 2010, and made its first theatrical debut on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary.
On Feb. 21, 2010, the film was voted Second Best Feature Film at the 16th Annual Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham.
On Feb. 27, 2010, a deal was signed with Thunderball Films LLC in Los Angeles, CA to market distribution of the film worldwide.
Some of Michaels’ other filmworks focusing on public policy include “The CSI Story” for the nonprofit group Community Success Initiative; “NCNAACP July 20th Mobilization” for the NCNAACP; “Child Support and the Courts” for Wake Count District Court Judge Honorable Kristin Ruth; and 2010’s “Costs and Consequences: What’s at Stake in Wake,” for the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, a pro student diversity group.
“The CSI Story” was featured during the 2011 Hayti Heritage Film Festival.
CashWorks latest production in the 2011 documentary short, "Stephon Ferguson: The King Experience."
Among Michaels’ special community service accomplishments is volunteering as media coordinator for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 50th Anniversary Conference at Shaw University in April 2010; the Oct. 2008 partnership with the NC NAACP in coordinating the massive “Millions Voting March,” a nonpartisan effort to mobilize and maximize the African-American vote in North Carolina during the 2008 presidential elections.
That effort was formerly acknowledged and endorsed by national NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Jealous.
In April 2008, Michaels, working on behalf of the NC Black Press Association, coordinated back-to-back “NC Black Press Presidential Roundtables” with Democratic presidential primary candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Barack Obama, exclusive interview sessions between the candidates and 10 of North Carolina’s top African-American newspapers and magazines.
Michaels later produced a video of the historic sessions titled, “Obama: Black Issues and the President.”
On the television side since January 2008, Michaels has served as a regular panelist on WRAL-TV’s “NC Spin,” the weekly public affairs program which airs statewide.
From Sept. 1999 to Sept. 2007, Michaels co-hosted NBC 17 News “At Issue” with Donna Martinez and weekend anchor Verna Collins.
In Oct. 2003, Michaels and Martinez provided live commentary for NBC 17 News live coverage of the verdict in the nationally televised Michael Peterson murder trial in Durham. He has also been a part of NBC-17’s live Election night coverage from 2004 to 2007.
Michaels also wrote, produced and reported two five-part series for NBC-17 News at 6 p.m. - "And Still They Rise" in February 2000, about outstanding black leaders who are making history today; and "Why Johnny's Got a Gun," in May 2000, examining the reasons behind youth gun violence in schools.
During that report, Michaels scored an exclusive interview with a 17 year-old teen serving a life sentence in prison for fatally shooting a Raleigh police detective in 1997.
In the 2006 Duke Lacrosse alleged rape case, Michaels’ coverage from the African-American perspective was carried by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, an organization of 200-plus Black newspapers across the nation.
That coverage attracted the attention of major news outlets across the country. As a result, Michaels was interviewed by, or provided analysis for CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now,” ABC News Law & Justice Unit; Byron Pitt for “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”; CBS ”48 Hours” segment on “The Early Show;” Court TV’s “Nancy Grace’s Closing Arguments” and “Bloom & Politan;” Catherine Herridge of Fox News; Juan Williams of NPR; “Keepin’ It Real with the Rev. Al Sharpton; ”’The Tom Pope syndicated radio show; WNYC-AM in New York, Imhotep Gary Byrd on WBLS-FM/WLIB-AM in New York; Armstrong Williams on WWRL-AM in New York, among others.
Throughout his over thirty-year career, Michaels has covered many of the top stories in Black America, including the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., the Amadou Diallo case in Bronx, N.Y., the Megan Williams torture/rape case in West Virginia; the 2008 presidential election; and the Miss Collegiate African-American Pageant in Hollywood, Calif.
He has also interviewed notables like Ms. Coretta Scott King, Min. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Muhammad Ali, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, actress Alfre Woodard, Sen. Joe Biden and many others.
Michaels April 8, 2008 interview with Michelle Obama has been seen by over 21,000 people on YouTube.
Michaels even directed comedian Bill Cosby in 1987 for a "Jesse Jackson for President" radio commercial, part of which is featured in his film, Obama in NC: The Path to History.”
In 1998, Michaels was one of 22 contributing writers to "Keeping America’s Promise to North Carolina’s Children," published by the N.C. Child Advocacy Institute, and hailed by such luminaries as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, writer Maya Angelou, and former UNC President William Friday.
During his career, Michaels has received numerous awards for his work and community service, most notably the North Carolina Black Publishers Association’s Excellence in Journalism Award in August 1997; the Triangle Association of Black Journalists in March, 2003; in June 2007, the National Newspaper Publishers Association chose Michaels’ “Cash in the Apple,” carried by both The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal, as the Best Column Writing of 2006; and in June 2010, Michaels’ three-part series on the death of singer Michael Jackson, gained him the NNPA Award for Best Features Story of 2009.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, Michaels was writing for The Carolinian from his mother's home in Brooklyn, N.Y. when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists across the river in Manhattan.
With most phone lines jammed in New York, television stations knocked off the air and bridges, tunnels and highways shutdown by order of NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Michaels not only succeeded in developing the paper's front page coverage as the true scope of the tragedy was unfolding around him, but he was also able to get pictures and stories back to Raleigh by deadline that night despite daunting telephone line problems, producing one of The Carolinian's most historic editions.
The next day, Michaels reported live via telephone what the mood in New York was like in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on NBC-17 News at Six with Bill Gaines and Sharon Delaney.
Michaels is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where he attended Brooklyn College for two years. In August 1981, after working at several small radio stations in New York and New Jersey, Michaels moved to Durham, N.C. to do the morning drive program on WSRC-AM.
Before he left there in 1983, Michaels served as WSRC program director, news director and production manager. Michaels holds the distinction of giving popular national radio and television personality Bo Griffin her first job straight out of broadcasting school.
Griffin died on Feb. 16, 2010 of a long-term illness.
In March 1984, he joined WLLE-AM in Raleigh as a morning drive personality, and eventually becoming program director, news director, and host/producer of his own evening talk show called "Hotline P.M."
Michaels took a leave of absence from 1988-90 to work with students as program director at WAUG-AM, the commercial radio station of St. Augustine’s College. He returned to WLLE in 1990, and then took over as editor/chief reporter of The Carolinian in January 1993.
Michaels stayed with WLLE-AM until August 1997 when the station was sold and changed formats.
From February 1998 until April 2001, Michaels served as morning news anchor for WAUG-AM in Raleigh.
Michaels is happily married to his wife of eight years, Markita. They are the proud parents of their daughter, KaLa, born Feb. 14, 2003. Cash's oldest daughter by a previous marriage, Tiffany, is a 2005 graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, and earned her MBA from the UM School of Business in 2008. Currently Tiffany is employed as an account executive for a major media company in Maryland.
The family currently lives in Cary, NC.