Radio and TV Talk 

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

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]

Mike Francis, former 11 Alive chief meteorologist, leaving TV for real estate

  • 5:37 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Mike Francis has been chief meteorologist at 11 Alive for about two and a half years. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Mike Francis, who left 11 Alive earlier this year as chief meteorologist under murky circumstances, wrote a Facebook post last Friday that suggests he is done with TV news:

A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to get back into TV or if I am done with it….. Here is a “prime” example of why I am done with the insanity known as TV news…..

He still plans to chase tornadoes in the plains, he wrote. “Who knows, I might land back on the air in Atlanta because I will not be leaving this city anytime soon. You [More]

Michelle Burdo of CBS46 apologizes for saying ‘colored woman’

  • 10:47 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Michelle Burdo has been a host on CBS Atlanta for just under a year. CREDIT; CBS Atlanta

CBS46 morning show host Michelle Burdo used the dated term “colored woman” during a segment about summer hair tips Monday morning during the 9 a.m. CBS Better Mornings Atlanta program.

“Let me tell you something,” Burdo said during a live segment to an African-American woman who appears to be the hair expert. “I’m not a colored woman but I have kinky hair just like her and when you straighten it every day, it’s…” She pauses.

The woman filled the empty air by saying, “healthier.”

Here’s a 12-second portion of the segment:

On Tuesday’s show, at 9:57 a.m., Burdo apologized for her utterance. “Yesterday, I [More]

Ken Cook, long-time Fox 5 meteorologist, is retiring after 35 years in Atlanta

  • 10:43 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Ken Cook headshot

Ken Cook, the longest-running meteorologist on Atlanta television, is retiring, he announced Monday during Fox 5’s 10 o’clock news.

He will be leaving the airwaves during the middle of the summer.

Here’s what Fox 5 posted on its website and the station created a hashtag #thanksken

Here is his statement:

Ladies & Gentlemen:

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you some news.

I am happy to tell you that I will be retiring at the middle of this Summer.

This was not a decision done in haste or taken lightly, but one that my wife, Susie, and I, along with FOX-5, have been working [More]

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]