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Atlanta

Brenda Wood’s Commentary on Coke Ad Sparks Debate

wxia america the beautiful

WXIA anchor Brenda Wood‘s commentary about the Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad has sparked controversy in the company’s hometown and beyond. On Monday, the Atlanta anchor discussed the commercial as part of her regular “Last Word” segment, calling the outrage over the ad — which features  “America the Beautiful” sung in seven different languages  — “outrageous itself.”

“The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say ‘Give me your English-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses.’ It says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, Tempest-tossed,’” Wood said. “…What makes America different than everyone else is that we are a melting pot. We are not homogenous. It is our diversity that built this country. How dare there be indignation over the very thing that makes us great? And why not honor the beauty of that in song?”

The video of Wood’s commentary has been viewed more than 200,000 times and has elicited a strong response from viewers, with thousands of people posting opinions on WXIA’s Facebook page. Wood has been both praised for “speaking the truth” and panned as “another liberal, sensational journalist.” Several commenters have suggested newscasters “should report the NEWS and keep their opinions to themselves.” Read more

From a 14-Box to a 25-Box

With Atlanta still in crisis mode after yesterday’s winter storm, ABC affiliate WSB has added even more reporters to its coverage. At the top of the 4 p.m. newscast today, WSB debuted a 25-box. Most impressively, the station was able to get all 25 reporters on the screen at once:

WSB 24 box

For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 11 reporters more than WSB had yesterday and 15 more than CNBC’s infamous ‘decabox.’

Atlanta Stations Balance State of the Union and Weather Coverage

Atlanta stations balanced two major stories — the President’s fifth State of the Union address and a winter storm blanketing the Deep South — during primetime Tuesday night.

CBS affiliate WGCL stayed in local coverage until immediately before the President was announced, opting out of Scott Pelley‘s national broadcast until 9:14 p.m. The station kept up a lower-third with school closings and other weather-related information during the speech. Scott Light and Stephany Fisher took over with storm coverage at the conclusion of the CBS special report around 10:45 p.m.

NBC affiliate WXIA took Brian Williams‘ national coverage on its main channel beginning at 9pmET. The station kept up a banner informing viewers that storm coverage continued on its subchannel. WXIA went back to local coverage at 10:50 p.m., with Brenda Wood and Jeff Hullinger anchoring.

Fox owned WAGA broadcast Shepard Smith‘s report beginning at 9pmET. Cynne Simpson and Russ Spencer took over with local coverage at the conclusion of Smith’s national broadcast at 10:44 p.m.

ABC affiliate WSB also took ABC’s national coverage with Diane Sawyer and and George Stephanopoulos beginning at 9pmET. Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore took over at 10:42 p.m., immediately after the conclusion of the GOP response.

Atlanta Station Finds 14 Ways to Talk About Snow

Viewers of Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB can’t say the station wasn’t ready for the snow fall in the South.

WSB told viewers at the top of its 5:00 p.m. news they were covering the storm with “Our reporters in place well ahead of the storm.”

The above tweet from media blogger Matthew Keys shows 14 reporters standing by to hit the story from at least 14 angles.

Mike Francis Out at Atlanta NBC Affiliate

francis_wxiaMike Francis, chief meteorologist for Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, is no longer with the station.

When viewers asked about Francis on the station facebook page, WXIA responded to more than one posting, “Thanks for writing. Mike Francis is no longer at 11Alive. Veteran meteorologist Chris Holcomb 11Alive will be taking over the weeknight weather duties. We’re currently doing a nationwide search for a world class meteorologist to join Chris, Chesley McNeil 11Alive and Allison Chinchar 11Alive to ensure you’ll always have the weather information you need to keep you informed and safe.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution media reporter Rodney Ho, who first reported the news said, “When I reached him by phone today, Francis said, “Everything is fine. My wife is calling me. I need to call you back.” (He didn’t call me back.)”

Francis has worked at WXIA since July 2011. Before coming to Atlanta, Francis worked at KARK in Little Rock, AR. He has also worked at KSWO in Lawton, OK.

WAGA Executive Producer Saves Family From Burning Home

houseonfire_WagaAmy Oates, executive producer for Atlanta FOX owned station WAGA, has quite the morning commute tale to tell.

She said she was on her way to work at 5:00 a.m. when, “I noticed the back of this house was on fire and I had to react.”

“I stopped, called 911, then thought I have to go get this family out,” said Oates. She said another driver soon stopped to help out and the two ran towards the burning house.

She told WAGA, “Both of us started banging on the doors and windows, it felt like it took forever.” She said a man answered the door and the family of three, along with Oates and the driver who stopped to help, rushed to safety.

“We could hear constant explosions as we ran from the home,” said Oates, who said she offered her car as shelter for the family until emergency crews arrived.

WAGA said fire officials haven’t commented on the cause of the fire. Oates said she thought the home was a “total loss.”

Atlanta Man Makes Grand Entrance into WAGA Live Shot

The internet is talking about what happened during a live report on Atlanta FOX owned station WAGA‘s Noon news yesterday.

WAGA employees will be relieved to know no one did anything wrong, unless being fabulous is a crime.

A Reddit user noticed that at the tail end of a live report about a convenience store that was hit by a smash and grab robbery, a man stood in the doorway behind reporter Aungelique Proctor and waited until he knew he was on live before making his big entrance. Check out the video at around 2:09.

Click here to see the .gif.

WSB Replacing ‘Katie’ With ‘Dr. Oz’

katie syndicatedAtlanta ABC affiliate WSB will replace “Katie” with “The Dr. Oz Show” next fall, Access Atlanta reports. “Katie” will come to an end in June as Katie Couric transitions into her new role as global anchor for Yahoo!.

Mehmet Oz‘s show will move to WSB from WAGA, the Fox owned station in Atlanta. Fox has not yet announced what will replace “The Dr. Oz Show,” Access Atlanta reports.

With its move to WSB, “The Dr. Oz Show” will have aired on three stations in the Atlanta market: it first debuted on NBC affiliate WXIA in 2009, then moved to WAGA in 2011.

Elle Duncan Joins NESN From WXIA

elle duncanElle Duncan is joining NESN as an anchor, host and reporter in February 2014.

“Elle’s incredible sports knowledge, relatable personality and quick wit stood out as best-in-class during a nationwide search for top new talent in sports television. We are very excited to bring her skills and personality to New England fans,” NESN vice president of programming and production/executive producer Joseph Maar said in a statement.

Duncan comes from Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, where she has been a traffic reporter since May 2012. She also currently works as a sideline reporter for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Frank Wiley Named Morning Anchor at WGCL

frank wileyFrank Wiley is joining WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, as morning anchor. He will begin at the station in mid-January.

“I am very happy that after ten months and multiple interviews, CBS Atlanta has found the right morning anchor,” news director Lane Michaelsen said in a statement. “Frank’s skills and personality make him the perfect fit for CBS Atlanta 4:30-7am.”

Wiley comes from Tulsa, where he was the weekend evening anchor at Fox affiliate KOKI. Before that, he worked at KSDK in St. Louis, KFSM in Fayetteville, Ark. and KSWO in Lawton, Okla.

Wiley replaces Brandon Rudat, who left WGCL earlier this year.

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