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Mitch's Media Musings, June 16 - July 15, 2018

Mitch's Media Musings

June 16 - July 15, 2018

Editor's Note: From time to time, a local journalist will request to be removed from our Mitch's Media Musings monthly distribution. I abide by those requests, but I also want their info to remain in the Leff's Atlanta Media database. So what we do is add an "x" to the end of their emails. Instead of ".com" it becomes ".comx" and the email doesn't get to them. But that does mean that you'll get an email bounceback. There are just a few of those in the database, so check for that "x" first if you get an email error.


The Society of Professional Journalists hosts an event on July 21 focused on women in journalism. Info here:

Atlanta Press Club - the APC's Loudermilk-Young Debate series airs in July. Details at

PRSA Georgia

  • Aug. 9 is the annual media panel: Pitch Tank 3.0. PR pros will pitch stories to journalists for real time feedback. Journalists include Janelle Cogan (AP), Holly Beilin (Hypepotamus), Christopher Daniel (NBCBLK). Details and registration at

  • Aug. 9 will also feature a special seminar with Tom Smith, professor at Emory's Goizueta Business School. He'll be providing important insight on financial literacy for PR professionals, info that'll help anyone working with clients in the financial space. Details and registration:


Great news this month: Our colleague Jennifer Grizzle has been named to the Public Relations Society of America's College of Fellows! This is an incredible honor that is bestowed only on the top PR professionals in the industry. Jennifer was instrumental in creating PRSA's Independent Counselors Special Interest Group and was a founding member of our new Georgia Entertainment PR Alliance ( Details at

Max Blau's story about the late boxer O'Neil Bell earned third place in the Society of Features Journalism Awards for Best Sports Feature of 2017.

Georgia Press Association - GPA awards for excellence in newspapers were recently awarded. Here's a link to the full list:

A few highlights:

  • The Champion - General Excellence

  • Emerging Journalist Award - Shaddi Abusaid, Marietta Daily Journal

  • Best Photo Gallery - Rockdale Citizen

  • Business Writing - Marietta Daily Journal, Jon Gargis, Ross Williams, Ricky Leroux

  • Lifestyle/Feature Column - Marietta Daily Journal, Katy Ruth Camp

  • Sports Coverage - Gwinnett Daily Post, Will Hammock

Georgia Associated Press Awards (Highlights)

  • Best Reporter - Joe Henke, WXIA-TV

  • Best Anchor - Leah Fleming, Georgia Public Radio

  • Best Feature Writing, Story of the Year - Katy Ruth Camp, Marietta Daily Journal

  • Best Portfolio and Photo of the Year, Kelly Huff, Marietta Daily Journal

  • Pacemaker, Best Spot News, Best Series Reporting, Best Feature Reporting, Best Investigative Reporting, Best Documentary or News Special Programming, Georgia Public Radio

Murrow Awards - Several local winners of national Edward R. Murrow Awards. Link to all the Winners:

  • Excellence in Innovation, Atticus, WXIA-TV

  • Newscast, Interstate Collapse, WSB-TV

SE Emmys

  • The Emmys were awarded this month and Atlanta media outlets were among the winners! NATAs SE President Jeremy Campbell said: “Now is the time for us to work harder at being great journalists. The fact that you’re in this ballroom tonight, among our industry’s most acclaimed creators, proves you’re already fighting the good fight."

  • Here's a link to the full list of winners:

  • A few highlights:

Individual honors included WGCL’s Adam Harding (General Assignment Reporter, News Reporter-Live), WXIA’s Cheryl Preheim (News Anchor) and WXIA’s Erin Peterson (News Producer).

The Governors’ Award was given to Wilbur Fitzgerald, Shay Bentley-Griffin, Melissa Goodman and Ric Reitz. This group was instrumental in securing the 2008 Entertainment Tax Incentive that propelled Georgia to a leading position for network television production. Because of their vision, Hollywood has come to Georgia and brought with it thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact.

The NATAS Southeast President’s Award was presented at this year’s gala. To commemorate the SCAD - The University for Creative Careers (SCAD) on its forthcoming 40th Anniversary, it was presented to SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace in honor of her vision in preparing a new generation of television professionals.

Atlanta Jewish Times - Kaylene Ladinsky named Managing Publisher.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • David Gibson and Rhonda Cook have retired from the paper.

  • Sportswriters Jeff Schultz and David O'Brien have left the paper. They're now writing for a new online sports site called "The Athletic" (

Atlanta Pet Life - Joanne Hayes, publisher and founder of ValueStream Media Group, including Simply Buckhead and 17th South magazines, and the online news website BuckheadView, has acquired Atlanta Pet Life magazine.

  • Stacy Wright has been named Editor and Andi Counts has assumed the Creative Director’s role, with Helen Cauley taking on the Copy Editor duties, in addition to her same role with both Simply Buckhead and 17th South magazines.

  • Editorial topics include health and animal welfare, nutrition, lif estyle, products, local pet heroes, events, breeds, small businesses, pet rescues, pet friendly retailers and restaurants, DIY pet projects, and more.

  • Atlanta Pet Life, due to relaunch mid-August, will be printed 4 times annually, with 68,000 copies distributed in over 200 locations.

Milton Herald - Joe Parker is now the editor.

Saporta Report - Maria Saporta has received the inaugural "Atlanta Hero" award from Rotary International.

TravelGirl - The magazine celebrated its 15th anniversary this month! Congrats to Stephanie Osward and Robin Werbin!


  • Elly Yu has left the station. She's now reporting for WAMU, the NPR station in D.C.


  • The station is launching a new entertainment-focused weekly show. "Georgia Scene" will be a 30-minute program on Friday's. It'll be hosted by Alyse Eadey, Paul Milliken and Sharon Lawson. It begins July 20.

WDUN Radio - John Weatherbee joins the station as meteorologist. You may remember him from WGCLTV.


  • Reporter Keith Whitney has been named Director of Communications for the City of Atlanta.


  • Michael Seiden joins as general assignment reporter. He was most recently with WPLG TV in Miami.

  • Tracey Christensen is now local director of local programming.

News from the PR Dept


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