Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

11 Alive’s Jaye Watson chronicles her MS scare

  • 1:31 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jaye Watson thought for a few days earlier this month that she had MS. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Jaye Watson, a veteran 11 Alive news reporter, considers herself a healthy person who takes care of herself. She is teased at work for eating “tree bark and dirt.”

But her left leg had that dreaded “pins and needles” feel for a few weeks. Then it spread to her left hand. One morning, she felt general weakness and could barely type. A medical expert then gave her a bombshell early diagnosis: ” You have a high chance of having MS.”

Multiple schlerosis is, as WebMD describes it, “a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in [More]

Pebbles sues TLC over VH1 biopic for $40 million

  • 8:45 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Perri "Pebbles" Reid at a charity event in Atlanta in 2009. She is suing TLC for defamation based on the VH1 film "CrazySexyCool." CREDIT: Getty Images

Perri “Pebbles” Reid is still angry about her negative portrayal as TLC’s boss in the popular VH1 biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” which debuted a year ago and has been repeated numerous times since on the network.

She sued VH1 owner Viacom for defamation in April in federal court, asking for $40 million in damages. (That case is still pending and is in discovery.) This week, she filed a new state lawsuit against surviving members of TLC and executive producers Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas for the same $40 million amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

Pebbles, in the lawsuit [More]

WSB anchor Erin Coleman enjoying first baby; Craig Lucie takes John Bachman’s spot

  • 12:00 pm Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Craig Lucie Erin Coleman Glenn Burns

I’m three weeks behind on this news. My apologies!

Erin Coleman, the Channel 2 Action News anchor at 4 p.m., had a son last month. Her son weighed in at 7 pounds 8 ounces at birth.

The boy is the first child for Erin and her husband.

She joined the station five years ago this month.

“Yes, it’s hard to believe the baby will be a month old on Sunday!” she wrote me early this morning. “Not sure of the exact date I’m coming back–probably the last week of December, but again, not sure.”

In early October on  her public Facebook page, she posted:

10 days [More]

CBS46 boots GM Trey Fabacher, hires new news director Larry Perret

  • 10:46 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
CBS 46 logo

Poor CBS46.

Another GM (in this case Trey Fabacher) has been booted today, two sources informed me.

On the bright side, the station did announce a new news director Larry Perret, who came from Kansas City. He takes over for Lane Michaelsen, who left in July and now works with Sinclair in Maryland.

Parent company Meredith runs through management like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. Since it purchased the station in 1998, Meredith has been unable to extricate WGCL-TV from fourth place out of four local news operations.

And the length of tenure for both news director and general manager seems to be getting [More]

Is Fox 5’s Cynne Simpson dating Chris Tucker? She may even be engaged!

  • 12:13 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Cynne Simpson and Chris Tucker: are they an item? CREDIT: Getty Images

There is evidence online via photos and video that Fox 5 anchor Cynne Simpson is dating actor and comedian Chris Tucker and two sources say they are even engaged.

A source inside the newsroom said she was showing her ring around.

As for her being married? Despite rumors, I’m told that is not the case.

A Puerto Vallarta online publication in July posted a photo of Tucker and Simpson together and identified Simpson as his girlfriend. The story led with this:

Popular actor and comedian Chris Tucker, known for his role in the “Rush Hour” trilogy, and other blockbuster films like “Friday,” “Money [More]

CBS 46 brings back noon news program Sept. 15

  • 5:16 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jocelyn Connell will anchor the CBS46 new noon program starting Sept. 15. CREDIT: CBS46

CBS 46 (WGCL-TV) is bringing back a noon news program on Monday Sept. 15 after dumping it three years ago.

At the time, in a press release, then news director Eric Ludgood  (now at Fox 5) said CBS 46 management chose to drop the noon newscast because they believe people mid-days are more likely to be checking news online.

At the same time, it got rid of its 9 a.m. “Better Mornings” show, replacing it with the national “The Better Show” lifestyle show that had aired at noon.

Jocelyn Connell, who reports in the late afternoon and evening newscasts, will anchor and [More]

Channel 2’s Zach Klein goes viral with Robin Williams tribute

  • 5:02 pm Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Zach Klein of WSB-TV has been a sports anchor there for six years. CREDIT: WSB-TV

Certainly, the staff at Channel 2 Action News will deem sportscaster Zach Klein viral video man of the year thanks to his Monday night broadcast where he paid tribute to Robin Williams by weaving 23 references to the legendary actor via 21 movie titles, a TV show and a quote from “Dead Poet’s Society” over two and a half minutes.

The video was acknowledged by USA Today, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Deadspin, to name a few.

Klein said he was hooked by Williams from “Mork & Mindy” on and wanted [More]

Channel 2’s John Bachman bids Atlanta farewell today, off to Jacksonville

  • 4:10 pm Friday, August 8th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
John Bachman on his last day at Channel 2 Action News today with some parting beach-related gifts. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

John Bachman’s Channel 2 Action News colleagues sent the anchor off today with a heartfelt farewell video and a cooler packed with beach-related gear to acclimate him to the breezy, salt-air environs of Jacksonville, Fla.

Bachman spent seven years at WSB-TV and has anchored the 4 p.m. news program the past three. (His final anchoring gig with WSB will be the 6 p.m. news this evening.)

Cox Media Group, which runs WSB, recently began overseeing a duel CBS/Fox news operation in Jacksonville and the bosses asked Bachman to anchor the evening news there in an effort to boost its ratings.

He was flattered [More]

Paul Crawley retires from 11 Alive after 36 years

  • 9:34 am Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Paul Crawley was a steady presence on 11 Alive going back to 1978. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Last week was busy and I was terribly remiss not including this bit of news about a veteran news reporter: 11 Alive’s Paul Crawley retired last week after 36 years with the NBC affiliate, an impressively long run.

As Doug Richards, his colleague at 11 Alive, posted on his blog “Live Apartment Fire,” he said Crawley was incredibly prepared every morning “with the best array of story ideas.”

“His anecdotes from our industry, told during slow moments at trials, stakeouts, legislative hearings and in the newsroom, nearly always came with wry insight or a belly laugh or both,” Richards wrote. “His [More]

Exclusive: 11Alive lets go Sam Crenshaw after nearly 16 years

  • 3:50 pm Friday, August 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Sam Crenshaw has spent nearly 16 years at 11 Alive. His final day is August 2, 2014. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Sam Crenshaw, sports anchor and reporter for 11 Alive (WXIA-TV) for the past 16 years, is leaving the station. His final day, I’m told by two sources, is tomorrow, Saturday, August 2.

Crenshaw has been on a month-to-month situation and without a long-term contract for quite awhile.

“Sammy is much loved out in the community especially among high school coaches and families and players,” said Randy Waters, a former 11 Alive sports anchor who retired last year after 29 years and is now in banking. “You can’t express what a great person he is. One of the best friends I’ll ever [More]