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Atlanta

Gannett Bumps WXIA News Director to Corporate Office

gannett_logoEllen Crooke, news director for Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, has been named VP of News for parent company Gannett Broadcasting.

Crooke was also the and regional news executive for Gannett. She started with the station group in 2002 as VP of news for WGRZ in Buffalo. She joined WXIA in 2008.

“Ellen is a passionate and innovative leader who is committed to reinventing local journalism in this digital age,” Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting said in a statement. “We’re excited to have her on the corporate team.”

Crooke had also worked as news director at WNDU in South Bend, IN, assistant news director at WHAS in Louisville, KY, and as a producer for WOKR (now WHAM) in Rochester, NY, and WTEN in Albany.

Julie Martin Joins WXIA from The Weather Channel

Julie-Martin

Julie Martin, a meteorologist and field reporter at The Weather Channel, has decided to leave her gig for a weekend morning meteorologist position at NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta.

Martin had worked at The Weather Channel since 2006. With a two-year-old and an often traveling husband at CNN, Martin made the move to “pursue a career path that keeps her closer to home,” according to a statement by The Weather Channel’s senior director of coverage and talent, Jennifer Rigby.

Martin’s last day is September 30.

Former WSB Chopper Pilot Dies in Crash

matt wallaceMatt Wallace, a former chopper pilot for Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB, died in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuesday.

Wallace — who worked for WSB from 1997 to 2003 — was flying a helicopter contracted by Alabama Power. A passenger also died in the crash, according to the station:

Authorities say Wallace and his passenger, identified as 63-year-old David Carson, were conducting an aerial inspection of a transmission line when the crash occurred.

News Chopper 2′s Jason Durden says he’s heartbroken by the loss of Wallace, remembered as an “excellent pilot and an even better man.” Carson, Wallace’s passenger, was a senior line specialist at Alabama Power and had 44 years of service at the company, officials said.

WFTV Reporter Berndt Petersen Leaves for Atlanta

Picture 1Berndt Petersen, known as a voice of reason in an increasingly chaotic local TV world, has bolted Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV for sister station WSB in Atlanta, also an ABC affiliate.

Petersen, who worked at WFTV for ten years, departed earlier this month, according to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker:

That beaming-up to Atlanta was deserved because Petersen is a gifted journalist. In his career, he noted that has won three Edward R. Murrow Awards, six Emmys and two dozen honors from The Associated Press. He also has worked at stations in Birmingham, Charleston and Paducah, Ky.

I worked with Berndt in Orlando and in Birmingham; he’s a true gentleman, a great reporter and profoundly gifted storyteller. It’s a big loss for WFTV and a nice gain for WSB.

WSB Anchor Drops Robin Williams’ Movie Titles into Sportscast as Tribute


WSB sports director Zach Klein said goodbye to actor Robin Williams by adding the titles of more than 20 of the late actor’s movies into his sportscast on the Atlanta ABC affiliate.

“Honestly, I just wanted to do something to show my appreciating (sic) for the greatness that was Robin Williams,” Klein told Mediaite. “It was a hard day for so many and I thought a subtle tribute to a man many loved and admired was the least I could do.”

Watch the video see if you can spot the titles. We’ll give you the most obvious, “Jumanji!”

[Deadspin]

Atlanta’s WAGA Debuts New Set

WAGA 6

WAGA, the Fox-owned station in Atlanta, today unveiled a new set designed by Devlin Design Group. The set features a social media pod, a video kiosk, as well as video presentation towers. According to DDG, the most unique part of the set is the “innovative pivoting storytelling wall”:

Here is how it works: A portion of the LED video wall positions itself at a ninety degree angle from the rest of the video wall to allow the reporter or talent to set up their story, much like the opening of a book cover. After the initial story setup, the intro section of the video wall pivots mechanically and then blends back into the main video wall and becomes part of the continuing story. The storyteller now has the option to share their story while walking along the larger storytelling wall.

More pictures after the jump. Read more

Check Out a ‘Behind the Scenes’ Video of WAGA’s New Set Being Put Together


Atlanta FOX owned station WAGA put together a video showing the work that went into the building of its new set.

Designed by Devlin Design Group, the new set debuts Monday. WAGA promises a detailed tour of the set with anchor Tom Haynes and a page on the website with a photo gallery, links to the YouTube page, and other features.

But for now, take a breath and enjoy the pretty pictures and soothing music.

Lane Michaelsen No Longer with WGCL

WGCL_304WGCL news director Lane Michaelsen is no longer with the Atlanta CBS affiliate.

A Meredith spokesperson confirmed the news and wouldn’t say why or when he left but did say, “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Michaelsen started at WGCL in April 2013. His first news director job was at KTHV in Little Rock, AR. He has also worked as VP of News for Gannett where he served as ND for WTSP in Tampa and WUSA in Washington, D.C. He also worked at WTVJ in Miami and WCPO in Cincinnati.

John Bachman Set to Join WTEV-WAWS

John Bachman is making a move within Cox Media Group, joining WTEV-WAWS in Jacksonville after seven years at WSB in Atlanta:

[h/t Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Brendan Keefe to Leave WCPO for WXIA and Gannett Teaching Gig

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WCPO investigative reporter Brendan Keefe will leave Cincinnati in the fall to join Gannett-owned WXIA in Atlanta as chief investigative reporter. Keefe will also serve as a corporate trainer for the Gannett stations group. “It’s always sad to leave friends, and there are certainly mixed emotions as we prepare to say goodbye to Cincinnati, Scripps, and WCPO after seven great years,” Keefe wrote in a post on Facebook.

Here’s the full announcement:

“As part of 11Alive’s ongoing mission to hold the powerful accountable and make Metro Atlanta a better place to live, we have hired one of the most awarded and talked about investigative reporters in the country. Brendan Keefe, winner of the 2014 National Murrow Award for best Investigative Journalism, is 11Alive’s new Chief Investigative Reporter. Brendan has received two regional Murrow Awards, 38 Emmy Awards, Numerous Associated Press Awards all for Investigative and in-depth reporting. He has been embedded with our military during the Iraq War, covered Presidential campaigns, chronicled the aftermath of 9/11, documented hurricanes and exposed injustice and wrong doing of politicians and those in power.  Read more

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