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Mitch's Media Musings, Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 2018

Mitch's Media Musings

Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 2018


Atlanta Press Club - Dawn Lasusky joins as the APC's new Executive Director. Details here:

Georgia Association of Broadcasters - GAB inducted four members into its Hall of Fame this month:

Media Musings

We've got a number of Atlanta media in South Korea covering the Winter Olympics. We're working to keep track, but let us know if we're missing anyone!

  • Around the Rings – The ATR team is in South Korea this week with eight team members! They’ve been covering the Olympic movement for more than 25 years and you can connect with them at

  • Olympic Rings and Other Things – PR guy by day, Olympic blogger by … well, day and night! Nicholas Wolaver is in South Korea this month covering the Winter Olympic games. Following his coverage at

  • TeamUSA - Writer Karen Rosen is covering the games for

  • WXIA/11Alive - Cheryl Preheim is in South Korea working the Games.

Freelance writer Carolyn Cunningham (who writes a bit for the AJC and Go Tell Ministries among other clients) recently authored a book about her father, who would have turned 100 last year. "Go, Get 'Em, Gizmo! WWII Sgt. L.J. Wildes 1917 - 99" covers Wildes' upbringing in southeast Georgia, his work on the team that searched for Amelia Earhart, and World War II experiences in the 2nd Armored Division. He fought all through the war, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. She published it as an ebook through

Around the Rings – The ATR team in South Korea this week with eight team members! They’ve been covering the Olympic movement for more than 25 years and you can connect with them at

Associated Press - An addition to AP Georgia's legislative team this year. RJ Rico has been hired for what is termed an "Atlanta Legislative Relief Position."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Managing Editor and Senior Editorial Director Bert Roughton announced his retirement this month. He started at the AJC in 1981 and departs at the end of February. Over the decades, he's written about the Olympics, worked in Cox's London bureau, and oh, so much more. I had the pleasure of working him initially as Atlanta won the Olympics and in the years afterward. Bert penned this opinion piece in January that's very much worth reading: I've included the full message from AJC editor Kevin Riley at the bottom of this post.

  • Reporter Josh Sharpe was seriously injured in a traffic accident this month. Click here for more information and a fundraiser page:

  • The Reporter Newspapers reports that the AJC will move its newsroom to WSB TV's building in midtown. AJC reporters I've talked with aren't confirming that, and it's likely it would be some time (perhaps years) before they moved.

Cobb County Courier - A new logo for this online paper. Look for more changes in the coming months.

GPB Radio - Drew Dawson now Station Manager (Augusta), Anchor and Reporter. He joined from a Boston station before coming south to Georgia.

Neighbor Newspapers - Brent Barron departs the papers.

Olympic Rings and Other Things – PR guy by day, Olympic blogger by … well, day and night! Nicholas Wolaver is in South Korea this month covering the Winter Olympic games. Following his coverage at

V-103 - Ryan Cameron is leaving the station. Details from the AJC's Rodney Ho at

WABE Radio - The station launches two new podcasts.

  • "Buried Truths" "explores the mysteries and injustices of history through civil rights cases that few have seen. It’s hosted by Hank Klibanoff, who is a veteran journalist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a professor at Emory University and a son of the South. “Buried Truths” tells the story of three black farmers who, in 1948, decided they’d had enough. Episodes begin in March.

  • "Political Breakfast with Denis O'Hayer" takes the popular conversations that “Morning Edition” host Denis O’Hayer has been having with political strategists Tharon Johnson and Brian Robinson, and releases them full-length as a podcast.

  • Eboni Lemon and Fenly Foxen are no longer with the station.

  • Emilia Leroy joins as a producer working on the Closer Look show.



WYAY - The station has adjusted its branding. It's now "The Talk" rather than "NewsRadio 106.7."


  • Joe Floccari has a new role. He's now a Digital Field Producer.

Your Life After 25 - New blog focusing on lifestyle, fashion, food, more. Check it out at

News from the PR Dept

  • Courtney Rogers with Denim PR is the chairperson of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association's Young Professionals group.

  • Georgia Independent PR Pros - If you're in an independent PR professional, check out this new Facebook group. Search "Georgia Independent PR Pros Group."

  • Leslie Gamwell joins the Roundtree Group.


Note from Kevin Riley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Here’s a note I knew I’d write some day, but I kept hoping that day would never come.

Managing Editor and Senior Editorial Director Bert Roughton, who started at the AJC in 1981, documented some of metro Atlanta’s most important moments and whose byline appeared on the iconic “It’s Atlanta” story announcing the city’s winning Olympic bid, is retiring. His last day will be March 1.

Bert’s first assignment was covering DeKalb County, which was then led by Manuel Maloof. He went on to cover transportation, uncovering that the state’s Department of Transportation was manipulating traffic data to justify extension of freeways through the heart of historic in-town neighborhoods. This contributed heavily to the DOT’s decision to abandon the project in favor of what became Freedom Park and Freedom Parkway.

In the late ‘80s he covered a series of plane crashes, Hurricane Gilbert’s devastation of Jamaica and the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta.

In 1989, Bert received one of his signature assignments: chronicling Atlanta’s bid for the 1996 Olympics, which included trips to about a dozen countries covering the organizing committee’s lobbying of the International Olympic Committee. He accurately predicted that Atlanta would win. And he was the primary writer in Tokyo for the “It’s Atlanta” story documenting the city’s win in September 1990.

He later led the reporting of our city’s preparation for the Games.

Bert was assigned to Cox’s London bureau in 1998. Among his first stories was an unsurprising and extensive piece on the troubled single malt scotch industry in Scotland. He covered the war in Kosovo off and on for three years and shared a Best of Cox award in 2000 for that coverage. He also produced a series on AIDs orphans in Africa that won a second place in the National Headliners Awards.

Bert returned to Atlanta in 2001 and was soon assigned to lead the newspaper’s coverage of the post 9/11 world. In 2005, he was named Metro Editor, a post from which he would lead coverage of the Brian Nichols courthouse shooting that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

In 2011, I expanded Bert’s leadership role as Managing Editor by adding Senior Editorial Director to his title. He led a reorganization of the newsroom into a topic-focused structure, continued to lead coverage of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, helped launch Personal Journeys, the Breakdown podcast series and Politically Georgia. He also oversaw the Doctors and Sex Abuse project, another Pulitzer finalist.

Bert is a tremendous force in this newsroom, and an irreplaceable leader. I’ve convinced him to maintain a relationship with the AJC, so we won’t lose access to him, although he will be able to spend much more of his time on St. Simon’s with his wife, Melinda, and his two boys, Bert III and Christian, when they can visit. We’re working out the details, but his voice and input won’t disappear as we continue to navigate the demanding media environment.

I’m giving thought to how the leadership team will be organized with his departure. I will let you know as soon as I decide.


Kevin G. Riley Editor The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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