Radio and TV Talk 

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

Judge Hatchett, Kevin Gillespie help raise $210K for KIPP Schools

  • 3:23 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

A recent fundraiser for KIPP open enrollment schools raised $210,000 using an “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”-style twist.

The second annual event at Buckhead Theatre featured celebrity adults “Top Chef” finalist and Gun Show restaurant owner Kevin Gillespie, former TV judge Glenda Hatchett, Falcons defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, Central Atlanta Progress President A.J. Robinson and Morehouse president Dr. John Wilson Jr. pitted against select middle school and high school KIPP students.

Jeff Foxworthy, former host of the original Fox show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” was also supposed to be there, but he had recent neck surgery and [More]

Channel 2 Action News reporter Jeff Dore retiring after 30 years at station

  • 3:45 pm Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jeff Dore's final day on Channel 2 Action News is Friday, March 28, 2014 after 30-plus years on the air. CREDIT: Carol Sbarge/WSB-TV

Channel 2 Action News reporter Jeff Dore is retiring this Friday after more than 30 years at the station.

“After the two winter storms and sleeping on an air mattress in a Channel 2 office, I realized it was time, ” Dore said today while on the road covering a fire that burned up 17 police motorcycles.

Dore came to WSB-TV in January, 1984, when reporters were still pounding out stories on electronic typewriters at the old building dubbed “White Columns.”

At age 61, Dore said only Diana Davis has been reporting at the station longer than he has – and she [More]

CBS Atlanta rebrands itself (again) as CBS46

  • 4:27 pm Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

CBS Atlanta five years ago dropped its name CBS46, figuring people didn’t identify with channel numbers as much anymore.

But new general manager Trey Fabacher said research shows that the number 46 still has power so he brought it back.  Today, starting at the 4 p.m. news, the new logo and name CBS46 was unveiled.

“CBS Atlanta did not resonate like it was intended,” Fabacher said. “As we talked to people about our station, they refer to us as 46. The station is a local news station. It’s known in this market as 46.”

He said most stations in the country still use [More]

Jennifer Mayerle bids CBS Atlanta adieu after eight years

  • 6:51 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Jennifer Mayerle tonight on Facebook announced her pending departure from CBS Atlanta as a reporter after eight years. She is giving the world two months notice so we’ll continue to see her on air until April.

She’s joining a CBS affiliate WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.

CBS Atlanta is not known for stability. Among its reporting crew, Mayerle was one of the veterans. (Rebekka Schramm is the veteran at 14 years, followed by Adam Murphy at 11 years.)

Here’s Mayerle’s note:

Well friends, my time in Atlanta is coming to a close. It’s been an incredible 8 years working at CBS Atlanta. I’ve been given opportunities [More]

All hands on deck! Local TV, Weather Channel ready for huge storm

  • 3:44 pm Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

While things are not quite crazy yet, the local TV news stations and the Weather Channel are prepping for the worst, with anchors and meteorologists using words like potentially “catastrophic” and “devastating” for the forthcoming ice storm.

The massive ice/snow traffic jam of two weeks ago made for compelling visuals in terms of absurd tie ups and was relatively unexpected, which made for great TV. Plus, people didn’t lose power so everyone got to watch if they weren’t stuck on the roads.

This time around, no matter how severe it becomes, coverage will be more conventional. We’ve had plenty of forewarning. People [More]

Amanda Davis found not guilty of DUI

  • 1:41 pm Friday, February 7th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

After being charged with DUI and reckless driving in November, 2012, former Fox 5 anchor Amanda Davis was cleared of those charges Friday in Fulton County court today.

Channel 2 Action News was there.

On November 11, 2012, Davis was allegedly driving southbound in the northbound lane and her vehicle crashed into another vehicle, injuring that driver. She was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.

Today, she was found guilty only of failure to maintain lane. She was fined $200 and told to do 20 hours of community service.

Davis, who was at WAGA-TV for 26 years, [More]

Accuweather taunts Weather Channel in its own backyard with billboard

  • 9:46 am Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Fox News had a billboard in front CNN headquarters for years to tweak the competitor.

Now AccuWeather, ready to launch a cable station to compete against Atlanta-based the Weather Channel later this year, is doing the same. With the American Meteorological Society coincidentally in town this week for its annual conference, Accuweather placed this billboard in the heart of downtown:

AccuWeather made the announcement about its new network last month right after DirecTV removed the Weather Channel from the air while the two are in dispute over retransmission fees.

According to the Centre Daily, State College, Pa.-based AccuWeather provides forecasting services [More]

Mike Francis is out at 11 Alive

  • 12:51 pm Monday, January 27th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Mike Francis, chief meteorologist at the NBC affiliate 11 Alive here since the summer of 2011, has left the station.

Why? I am not 100% sure but I’m told he was taken off air before his contract was up. He has not found a new gig that I know of so this was not a voluntary departure.

I first reported this news Monday afternoon. Later in the day, the 11 Alive Facebook page confirmed the news when someone inquired:

Thanks for writing. Mike Francis is no longer at 11Alive. Veteran meteorologist Chris Holcomb 11Alive will be taking over the weeknight [More]

Brandon Rudat, former CBS Atlanta morning host, gets gig in Phoenix

  • 11:41 am Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Brandon Rudat, former CBS Atlanta morning host for three years,  has landed a new job in Phoenix.

He will be working at an independent station KTVK as a reporter and 4:30 p.m. anchor. He starts Jan. 29, according to TVSpy.

Rudat worked as a host on CBS Atlanta’s “Better Mornings” from 2010 until he was let go in July of 2013. His tattoos and free-wheeling spirit marked him as different from your typical anchor.

He left Atlanta Sunday and arrived in Phoenix yesterday, according to his public Facebook page.

In Phoenix, he is going to go by Brandon [More]

Exclusive: former 11 Alive anchor Ted Hall explains why he left

  • 3:23 pm Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Former 11 alive anchor Ted Hall used to be a classic workhorse, willing to put in a double shift or come in on a weekend if need be.

But his son Keaton‘s brain tumor problems six years ago shifted his priorities.

Two years ago, he and his wife Lesa decided he would not stay when his contract was up at the end of 2013. He informed 11 Alive over the summer and publicized his departure in the fall.

“They were very nice about it,” Hall said in an exclusive interview. “We just left it wide open. A lot of this has to do [More]