TV/radio briefs: Wendy Saltzman’s cancer, Omar Butcher talks about CNN lawsuit, Atlantan featured on ‘Battle of the Ex Besties’

wendy-saltzman

This was posted by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog on Monday, February 13, 2017

Wendy Saltzman, a former CBS46 reporter who now works as an investigative reporter at the ABC station in Philadelphia, announced on Facebook she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After the diagnosis, she wrote,  “I cried every day for about a month. Some days I was mad at the world, I didn’t understand why this happened to me. I felt emotionally shattered, but I didn’t feel sick, I couldn’t believe it, I thought I was too healthy, I thought I was too tough!”

In mid December she had a surgery called an excisional biopsy, otherwise known as a lumpectomy, which diagnosed the lump on my chest wall as cancer. She chose to a a bilateral mastectomy to “hopefully avoid a reoccurence, radiation and possibly hormone therapy. I have picked a cutting edge surgical team and I plan on a quick and successful recovery. The one thing I want to say to my women friends is go get a mammogram, and don’t ignore follow-up visits. Early detection was key for me.”

Doug Richards, Wendy Saltzman and Dale Russell at a Southeastern Emmy party. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ rho@ajc.com

Doug Richards, Wendy Saltzman and Dale Russell at a Southeastern Emmy party. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ rho@ajc.com

“I look forward to the day I can put the “C” word behind me, and consider myself among the survivors,” Saltzman wrote. “It’s times like this I’ve also learned I don’t always have to be so strong, it’s okay to be weak. I couldn’t do this without you all. I ask for your prayers, and appreciate your support during this time.”

She worked at CBS46 from 2005 to 2012 as an investigative reporter.

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omar-butcher-photo

My colleague Gracie Bond Staples talked to Omar Butcher, a former CNN employee who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Atlanta-based cable company last fall and could be part of a CNN/Turner/Time Warner class-action racial discrimination lawsuit filed a few weeks ago if a judge allows it to go forward.

Read her entire column here.

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Oxygen has decided to take folks who used to be best friends and place them in a house together. Then they compete for money in a series of competition to test their abilities to work together. Called “The Battle of the Ex Besties,” it’s ripe for conflict and debuts on Valentine’s Day at 9 p.m.

Atlanta resident and “Bad Girls Club” alum Judi Jackson (nicknamed “Voodoo Vixen”) took part. She had no idea what she was getting into until her former best friend appeared.

“Yes, I knew it was going to be crazy,” Jackson said. “I didn’t know what the angle this was going going to go in. When I showed up, it was completely surprising. It was literally a surprise for everyone.”

She was paired up with fellow “Bad Girls Club” alum Danni Victor.  They have been jabbing each other on social media since the show ended. “I’m the type of person who talks a lot of crap on line,” Judi admits. “But you never really expect to meet them again. She lives in Boston. I live in Atlanta now so I never expected to meet her again. We showed up together on his show. ‘Oh my God! What’s about to happen?’ ”

dani-gabi

This his how Oxygen framed it:

Dani Victor & Judi Jackson

“Bad Girls Club” alums Danni and Judi met on the tumultuous series that found them in drunken brawls and made for a rocky friendship. Because the course of their relationship played out on-screen, the pressure on these two social media-savvy BFFs was much higher. Unable to restrain their twitter fingers, these frenemies drew a hard line when Judi coined herself the best Bad Girl of all time and Danni felt it necessary to correct her and reclaim the title for herself. What began as a Twitter war soon led to prank phone calls and a she said-she said battle for all their followers to see.

The first challenge involved a lot of scurrying about looking for suitcases. “The running was absolutely insane,” Judi said. “It put into perspective that I need to get myself on a treadmill!”

And she couldn’t escape Danni if she wanted to win the prize, which was $50,000 split between the two. “We shared a room together. We had to learn to live together and accept our partner just for the challenges. I wanted to win.”

Sure, she said, win or lose, the money isn’t quite life changing but she did get a nice trip to Los Angeles.

Born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, 27-year-old Judi said both her parents died and decided to move to Atlanta for a change of scenery in 2015. “It’s been a wonderful move, a wonderful transition,” she said. She’s been able to network and meet stars such as Stevie J, Yung Joc and Gucci Mane. To pay the bills, she works as a receptionist at Lash Spa Studios in Stockbridge. She also enrolled back in college with hopes of getting into broadcast TV. She hosts the occasional event as a “Bad Girls Club” alum, sells hot sauce and wrote a book, too.


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