Radio and TV Talk 

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

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!

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/

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]

Southeast Emmys big winners include 11 Alive, Channel 2 Action News

  • 11:35 am Monday, June 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

At the Southeast Emmys awards this past weekend at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, Channel 2 Action News took home news and station excellence award, just like 2013.

11 Alive, the NBC affiliate, matched its Emmy total from last year, with the most of any station: 20. It won for best newscast in the major market category.

For the first time, several categories were split so Hispanic stations could be honored separately. Telemundo Atlanta won best newscast and station excellence.

Hosts Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel and Vinnie Politan of HLN co hosted an efficient show, which finished 15 minutes earlier than [More]

TV briefs: Jeff Hullinger expands role at 11 Alive; CNN reshuffling; UPtv film ‘Where’s the Love?’

  • 11:36 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jeff Hullinger will be doing sports anchoring on 11 Alive at 6 and 11. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Jeff Hullinger is returning to his sports roots: he will doing sports anchoring at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m  on top of his existing duties as 10 p.m. news anchor on WATL-TV and general news assignment reporting.

Ellen Crooke, his news director, made the announcement this morning via email.

He joined WXIA-TV, the NBC affiliate, in 2010, then started his WATL duties in 2011 along with his 11 Alive reporting job.

Hullinger has had a long history in Atlanta. He spent 18 years at WAGA-TV from 1984 to 2002 covering sports. From 2007 to 2009, he anchored at WSB Radio. For [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]

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]