Radio and TV Talk 

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

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]

CBS46’s latest news director Lane Michaelsen leaves after 15 months

  • 1:00 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Lane Michaelsen spent 15 months at WGCL-TV, the CBS46 Atlanta affiliate.

CBS46’s news director Lane Michaelsen has left the station abruptly after just 15 months for a new job.

Two sources tell me he wasn’t happy with the resources Michaelsen was given to try to lift the station’s ratings. The station is frequently in fourth place outside of the 11 p.m. telecast.

Managerial turnover at CBS46 has been chronic since WGCL-TV came into existence two decades ago.

At the time Michaelsen was hired, his boss Trey Fabacher sent these comments via email to staffers: “Michaelsen has built a solid reputation of leading quality newscasts and storytelling. Rating increases have been seen very quickly at [More]

John Bachman leaving Channel 2 Action News for Jacksonville sister stations

  • 2:04 pm Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
John Bachman is leaving Channel 2 Action News for a new job in Jacksonville, FL. CREDIT: WSB-TV

Channel 2 Action News anchor John Bachman is leaving for a main evening anchor job at a Jacksonville TV station also operated by Cox Media.

He will work for the combo CBS/Fox Action News operations WTEV and WAWS.

Bachman joined WSB-TV in 2007 working as a reporter as well as the anchor for the weekend early evening newscast. In 2011, he joined Monica Pearson as co-anchor of the 4 p.m. news. He continues to co-anchor with Erin Coleman since Pearson retired in 2012.

With Justin Farmer as the main male evening anchor at WSB, Bachman didn’t have much room at the station to [More]

Vinnie Politan will lead new 11 Alive 5 a.m.-7 a.m. show; Karyn Greer’s job shifts

  • 9:59 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Vinnie Politan is hosting a new "Atlanta Alive" morning show August 4, 2014 from 5 to 7 a.m. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Former HLN anchor Vinnie Politan officially joins 11 Alive on air August 4 on a new morning show from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. dubbed “Atlanta Alive.” He will be the primary anchor.

Morning anchor Karyn Greer’s role will shift. She will anchor the noon telecast, do stories for the evening shows and provide more digital content, according to a story posted on 11 Alive.

Chesley McNeil will still anchor the 4:30 a.m. news with Tracy Humphrey.  McNeil will continue to do the weather from 5 to 7 a.m.

“Commuter Dude” Jerry Carnes, education reporter Donna Lowry and “Ways to Save” reporter [More]

Departing Fox 5 meteorologist Ken Cook decided two years ago to retire in 2014

  • 9:05 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Ken Cook headshot

For the first time since Jimmy Carter was president, Ken Cook next week won’t be gracing WAGA-TV with his now gray but still identifiable mustache and his confident, reliable weather forecasts.

Instead, the veteran meteorologist will likely be on his boat near his home on Lake Lanier, literally gone fishin’.

“I don’t fish a lot,” Cook said in an exclusive interview three days before his final time in front of Fox 5 cameras Friday night. “The reason? I usually don’t catch a lot. Now I’ll have time to work on it.”

Cook said he decided two years ago that this would be his [More]

Chris Holcomb becomes 11 Alive’s chief meteorologist

  • 4:17 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Chris Holcomb has been named chief meteorologist at 11 Alive. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Georgia native Chris Holcomb has been named 11 Alive’s chief meteorologist, a job he has been seeking for many years.

The NBC affiliate announced his promotion today via Tweet: Help us congratulate Chris Holcomb 11Alive on his new job as chief meteorologist at 11Alive! http://on.11alive.com/U4oIjL

He replaces Mike Francis, who left in January and has since gone into real estate. Before Francis, Paul Ossmann was the long-time chief there and is now at CBS Atlanta as weekend meteorologist.

On Facebook, Holcomb this afternoon posted this:

I am truly humbled and honored! Ever since I [More]

David Chandley says he plans to leave Channel 2 Action News after more than 25 years

  • 4:47 pm Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
David Chandley head shot

David Chandley, a meteorologist with Channel 2 Action News for 25 years, announced in a staff meeting Wednesday he plans to leave the station at the end of his contract July 11.

News director Mike Dreaden confirmed Chandley’s intentions but declined to comment further.

A University of Georgia graduate, Chandley joined WSB-TV in November 1988. He appears on the daily 5 p.m. newscast.

Chandley has won five Southeast Emmy Awards and taken home the Associated Press Best Weather Reporting Award 11 times, most recently in 2012, according to his biography on the WSB website (which was taken down later in the afternoon.)

UPDATE: [More]