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Mitch's Media Musings - June 2020

Mitch's Media Musings

May 16 - June 15, 2020


4 Questions Journalist Spotlight - Check out our new format! We're using Zoom to talk with journalists more personally about how their reporting has changed in recent months. Go to Our latest interview is with the AJC's Arts & Entertainment editor, Nicole Smith.

We also talked with freelance writer Haisten Willis, who was briefly arrested during one of the recent protests in Atlanta. Coming later this week, we'll feature Matt Hennie with ProjectQ.

In the last few weeks, we've talked with WSB TV's Mike Petchenik, Robin Kemp with the (new) Clayton Crescent, GPB's Virginia Prescott, and Decaturish's Dan Whisenhunt. If you'd like to be our next Spotlight, give me a call or shoot me an email.

CNN Reliable Sources Podcast - Several local and formerly local journalists were a part of this podcast, including Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th News, and Haisten Willis, a freelance writer who was briefly arrested this week while on assignment for the Washington Post:

Atlanta Business Chronicle - The Chronicle has launched a new weekly podcast hosted by Crystal Edmondson. It's called "It's Complicated" and focuses on doing business during the pandemic. Listen:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Canopy Atlanta - We've added this new media outlet to our Leff's Atlanta Media database. Canopy Atlanta is a new media group whose goal is to get stories from everyone, not just journalists. They plan to train residents of neighborhoods to publish their own stories. They're planning to pay and train people to provide stories that they will publish. They plan to launch officially next fall with a feature on the West End.Click here for more info:

Clayton Crescent - If you haven't already spent time on this new news site, you should! Robin Kemp is the editor.

Covington News - Tom Spigolon joins as news editor.

Decaturish - Decaturish is looking for someone to do an equity review of its coverage. Editor Dan Whisenhunt says "The end goal of the project would be to help us develop new editorial policies that will make our coverage more inclusive and equitable." Details:

FoxNews Atlanta

  • Jayla Whitfield joins as a multimedia reporter in the Atlanta Bureau. She was previously with WGXA TV in Macon, GA. Jayla is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

Gay Good News - Former on-air journalist Thomas Roberts (CBS46, MSNBC, CNN) has launched a new 30 minute show on Facebook. Check it out at


  • Ellen Eldridge scored an exclusive interview with Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, talking about 26 years of sobriety and his efforts to erase the stigma of addiction. Read the full interview here:

  • Oh, and Ellen was promoted to Senior Healthcare Reporter this month too!

Gwinnett Forum - Congrats to this online pub for hitting 20 years of news this year!

Jewel Wicker - Jewel has a new newsletter called "As Told To." Check it out at

Reporter Newspapers

  • Erin Schilling joins as a reporter, mostly covering Brookhaven and Dunwoody. She's a 2020 graduate of the University of Georgia where she was editor of the Red & Black.

  • Bob Pepalis is also now reporting part-time for the papers. He's been around town for a long time, including time spent with the Appen papers and


  • Congrats to Natalie Fultz who announced her engagement this month!

  • Check out Paul Milliken's daily segments on Good Day Atlanta. He's still "out and about" on location but he's often from his living room!

  • Thanks to Buck Lanford who tipped us off to the Mammoth Burger at the Tucker Meat Market.


  • Departures: Jonathan Carlson, Mike Dunston, Phil Landeros

  • The AJC's Rodney Ho reports that General Manager Lyle Banks has departed. He's replaced by Deborah Collura, who joins from WCNC TV in Charlotte, NC.

  • Matt King joins as News Director.

WSB Radio

  • The Monica Matthews Show is no longer on the station's weekend schedule. WSB Radio said on Twitter "She no longer works for or has any affiliation with the station." I reached out to Monica for details, but she says she's not able to talk about it right now and asks folks to check her website: for updates. The AJC's Rodney Ho wrote this article:


  • Meteorologist Katie Walls is leaving the station for job with Spectrum News North Carolina in Charlotte. Rodney Ho from the AJC has the details:

WXIA TV / 11Alive

  • It looks like Atlanta & Co. is back on the air in a fashion.

  • Ryan Kruger will soon be departing the station. He's moving to Charlotte. Rodney Ho from the AJC has the details:

  • Tracey Amick Peer joins the station as a general assignment reporter. She comes most recently from WCSC TV in South Carolina and is a Mississippi State University grad.

News from the PR Dept

  • Congrats to Tara Murphy, owner of 360 Media, for being named one of Atlanta magazine's "Women Making A Mark!"

  • Bob Godlewski has retired from Kennesaw State University after ten years there. Bob is an a great PR guy who spent 14 years in PR for UPS and before that in journalism with the AJC, WSB TV and CNN.

  • Leadership Atlanta named its next class, including Anne Isenhower of Anne Isenhower Communications, Whittney Ott of Jackson Spalding, and Melissa Taylor of Porter Novelli.

  • PRSA Georgia has announced that the submission window for Phoenix Awards is now open. There's a new category for COVID entries. Deadline is July 17. Details at

  • Maggie McDaniel is the recipient of PRSA Georgia's Chapter Champion Award for June. Details:


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