“It is clear to anyone who has seen Tracye and Stephany together that they are a powerful team,” Lane Michaelsen, news director for the Meredith owned Atlanta CBS affiliate, said in a statement. “Anyone who has watched Tracye 4:30a-7am knows that she can handle every situation and do it all with a smile.”
Hutchins has been anchoring the WGCL morning news since joining the station in 2007. Before coming to WGCL, Hutchins worked at KFMB in San Diego. She’s also worked for CNN Headline News.
The station also promised it would announce one more member of the evening anchor team soon.
Meredith’s Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL has changed the naming of its early morning news. What used to be “Better Mornings Atlanta” is now”CBS Atlanta News at 4:30 a.m.,” CBS Atlanta News at 5:00 a.m.,” and “CBS Atlanta News at 6:00 a.m.”
No reason was given for the change. The news was posted to the station’s “Better Mornings Atlanta” facebook page, “Many of you have probably noticed the changes we’ve been making to our morning show. We’re no longer calling the 4:30-7am show Better Mornings Atlanta.”
A Meredith spokesperson told TVSpy no changes have been made to the shows and the name “Better Mornings Atlanta” remains on the 9:00 a.m. show.
>UPDATE: WGCL vice president and general manager Trey Fabacher told TVSPy, “Brandon Rudat is no longer with CBS Atlanta. We wish him well in the future.”
Yesterday, Rudat replied to a tweet about the morning show by saying, “unfortunately I am no longer with the show. my former coworkers are great tho!!”
A Meredith spokesperson promised TVSpy an announcement soon about a re-tooled morning show. The spokesperson said WGCL was “retaining some current talent and adding new talent,” but did not specify who was in or out.
Trey Fabacher, WGCL general manager told Access Atlanta, the station was going in a different direction and didn’t yet have a replacement lined up. His profile has been removed from the station website.
Smith worked at CNN from 1993 to 2009 before joining Turner Sports as a host. Most recently, he worked at WCPO in Cincinnati. The hire is part of WGCL’s decision to revive its sports department after four years of outsourcing sports coverage to a local radio station.
“We are taking a more nontraditional approach to sports moving forward,” WGCL news director Trey Fabacher wrote in an email to Access Atlanta. “Larry is not just a sports anchor, but a sports reporter and producer. We envisioned this role to be very active in the field and Larry’s talents were as strong behind the camera as well as in front of the camera.”
Smith will handle “breaking stories and features” as well as anchoring a weekly Saturday night sports show starting next month.
WGCL general manager Trey Fabacher told Access Atlanta that without the “Sportline” hosts, the station plans to revive its sports department, which was dropped in 2009:
Fabacher, who arrived in Atlanta last fall, said given how big sports is in this town, he didn’t agree with this type of outsourcing. As a result, this unplanned firing at the Zone coincided with his decision to hire a new sports director in the next couple of weeks. He doesn’t have immediate plans to add more sports staff beyond the director for now.
He wasn’t ready to release details on what the sports director’s specific duties will be.
WGCL is facing anger from viewers after cutting away from the last minutes of the Tony Awards to air its late newscast Sunday evening. The Atlanta CBS affiliate went to local news at 11:00 p.m., just two minutes before the night’s final award, Best Musical, was presented. >UPDATE: WGCL has apologized. Read the statement after the jump.
WGCL, which was flooded with angry tweets and Facebook messages immediately after cutting away, tried to make amends with a fast update on the winners at the very end of the newscast (video above).
“We just checked for you Tony fans, and here are the final winners of tonight’s Tony awards,” anchor Bernard Watson said. “Cicely Tyson won her first Tony for her revival of the Horton Foote’s ‘The Trip to Beautiful Pippin’ — Bountiful Pippin, I should say. And ‘Pippin’ won for the Best Revival of a Musical. And finally, ‘Kenny Boots’ won the music — Kenny won the musical — 2013 Tony for Best Musical. That’s a mouthful.”
For the record, Tyson won for Best Actress in a Play for “The Trip to Bountiful,” “Pippin” won for Best Revival of a Musical, and “Kinky Boots” won for Best Musical.
When asked about rumors of layoffs involving newsroom staff, Fabacher said, “This week, we reallocated a few positions that were more in line with new goals going forward. We have not reduced staff count.” But would not comment further.
WGCL, Meredith’s Atlanta CBS affiliate, has announced the hiring of Lane Michaelsen as news director.
“Michaelsen has built a solid reputation of leading quality newscasts and storytelling,” WGCL general manager Trey Fabacher told staffers in an email. “Rating increases have been seen very quickly at almost every post he has held. He is also very skilled in listening and learning about newsrooms and culture and making the right adjustments to place them in the best situation to be successful.”
Michaelsen, who comes to WGCL from Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO, started his career as a photojournalist. Read more
During his time at WGCL, Ludgood served as news director and as executive producer. He is a former vice president of CNN International who has also worked at WNCN in Raleigh, WXIA in Atlanta and WTVM in Columbus, Ga.