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]

Video: Talking FX’s ‘Partners,’ Michael Johns, 11 Alive changes

  • 3:10 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

CineStars’ Brittany Umar and I discuss Atlanta ties to FX’s new “Partners” with Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer, the passing of former “American Idol” contestant Michael Johns and a shakeup at 11 Alive.

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]

Vinnie Politan plans to bring energy to his new Atlanta Alive 11 Alive morning show starting August 4

  • 11:33 am Friday, August 1st, 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

Vinnie Politan is a ball of energy. He has a hard time sitting down. On his new 11 Alive “Atlanta Alive” morning show launching at 5 a.m. Monday morning, seats are going to be hard to find. The set will accommodate his desire to stand and move around.

The former prosecutor and attorney spent four years as a local reporter in New Jersey, then Orlando. He then spent nearly a decade with Court TV out of New York and the past five years at HLN hosting a variety of justice-related shows out of Atlanta. But with HLN changing its focus 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]

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]

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]

Video: talking Andi Dorfman, Vinnie Politan, Ken Cook

  • 1:17 pm Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

CineStars’ Brittany Umar and I discuss Bachelorette Andi Dorfman leaving the District Attorney’s Office, HLN host Vinnie Politan’s move to 11Alive and Ken Cook’s retirement.

Exclusive: Vinnie Politan leaving HLN for 11 Alive as a news anchor

  • 2:21 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Vinnie Politan will be leaving HLN July 3 for 11 Alive. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Vinnie Politan is leaving Atlanta-based HLN July 3 and joining the NBC affiliate 11 Alive as a morning anchor, I’ve learned exclusively.

WXIA-TV General Manager John Deushane confirmed the news to me but couldn’t provide any details.

11 Alive sent a memo to staff today saying he will join Karyn Greer in the mornings starting the first week of August, effectively replacing Ted Hall, who left last year to return to Knoxville.

Politan referred comments to HLN, which released a statement: “Vinnie has been a tremendous asset to HLN over the years.  We thank him and wish him only the best.”

He currently [More]