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Mitch's Media Musings - Dec 2021

Mitch's Media Musings

Nov. 16 - Dec. 15, 2021


4 Questions Journalist Spotlight - Check out our latest interviews with Donnell Suggs with the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Brooks Baptiste with CBS46. You can watch in video format or listen to audio: You can also find our podcasts on just about any podcast platform (Apple, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc.).

Atlanta Press Club - The APC inducted five journalists into its Hall of Fame. Click here for all the details.

  • Billye Aaron blazed a trail as co-host of WSB-TV’s Today in Georgia, becoming the first African-American woman in the southeast to host a daily talk show in 1968

  • Rebecca Burns covered Atlanta for more than 20 years as a journalist, editor, and author of three books on Atlanta history. She served as editor-in-chief of Atlanta magazine from 2002-2009 and worked as director of digital strategy for Emmis Publishing

  • Jim Galloway had been an editor and writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1979 until his retirement this year

  • Paul Hemphill, who died in 2009, had a career that spanned journalism, novels, and essays. A sportswriter from the start, Hemphill wrote about many of the things he loved including country music, minor league baseball, and NASCAR

  • Marshall Latimore was the executive editor of the Atlanta Voice from 2017 until his death in March 2021. Leader, mentor, and friend, Latimore left his mark on the newspaper helping transform it into a multimedia company.

Atlanta Business Chronicle

  • Editor David Allison will be leaving the paper at the end of December. He's been at the Chronicle for 37 years, the last 22 years as Editor-in-Chief. The Chronicle says they've started a national search for his successor. In the meantime, Senior Editors Doug Sams and Jessica Saunders will serve as interim Editors-in-Chief until a permanent editor is selected.

  • Donnell Suggs moves to the sports and entertainment beat in the new year.

  • Tyler Wilkins joins from the AJC, covering the development beat for the Chronicle.

  • Publisher David Rubinger says the paper will be adding another new reporter soon as well. Name and beat not yet available.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Brian Eason joins covering Cobb County government. He joins after work with the Colorado Sun, the Denver Post, and the Indianapolis Star.

  • Reporter Alia Malik is now covering Gwinnett government

  • Reporter Josh Reyes takes over the Gwinnett schools beat

  • Congrats to Tia Mitchell, Ernie Suggs, and Tamar Hallerman for winning an NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for their work on a series about the life and death of John Lewis.

  • Ligaya Figueras is now Senior Editor for Food, Dining and Living. She have overall responsibility for features and arts & entertainment coverage

  • Susan Hogan is now Education Editor

  • Cassidy Alexander joins as an education writer, coving Cobb and DeKalb counties

  • Matt Bruce joins the "Atlanta Now" team

  • The AJC will be adding two more Report for America journalists in the coming months. No details yet on names or beats.

  • Janel Davis departs for the Washington Post.

The Atlanta Voice has a new website! Check it out at

Axios - Kayla Sharpe joins as Associate Editor. She covers Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington DC.

Georgia Hollywood Review - This entertainment industry focused magazine is now available on the streets of Los Angeles!

Georgia Public Broadcasting

  • Tiffany Griffith departs for CNN HLN TV. She'll be producing for their morning coverage.

  • Natalie Mendenhall joins as Senior Producer, Politics.

  • Benjamin Payne joins as reporter in Savannah. He's moving to the coast from Washington State, so he's going to need some restaurant recommendations!

  • Rickey Bevington departs to become president of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. She starts Jan. 1, 2022. Link from the Saporta Report.

In Tucker - We've added this magazine from the City of Tucker to our database. In September, the magazine won the 2021 Savvy Award for best municipal magazine in America!

Neighbor Newspapers

  • Isiah Singleton joins as staff writer

Our Town Gwinnett - The magazine has added a new weekly TV show, the OUR TOWN COMMUNITY SHOW.

Shows begin airing January 8, 2022 at 11:30 am each Saturday. Find it on WATC TV 57 WATC TOO Roku and other place to be announced.

WABE - Coming soon! WABE is working with Report for America on a new position, a reporter who will cover traditionally underreported issues and communities South if I-20 in metro Atlanta.

WAGA TV / Fox5

  • Reporter Angelique Proctor announces she is battling stomach cancer. She discusses her treatment with medical reporter Beth Galvin here.

  • Sports reporter Bill Hartman says he's retiring for good. The AJC's Rodney Ho has a good overview of his career here and Fox5 has a piece here. Bill's been working at Fox5 since 1970. An amazing career and I have to say Bill was always one of the nicest guys in news to work with over the years.


  • Gray TV officially took over CBS46 and Peachtree TV as of Dec. 1. Details here (CBS46) and here (AJC).

  • Anchor/Reporter Ashley Thompson departs

  • News Director Matt King departs

  • Erik Schrader joins as Vice President and General Manager. He's previously been GM at WOIO in Cleveland, WIAT in Birmingham, and KSNW in Wichita, KS.

  • Rachel Polansky joins as investigative reporter. She's worked previously at WKYC TV in Cleveland, NBC2 in Ft. Meyers, FL, and WSYR in Syracuse, NY.

  • The station announced this month that "Legendary Atlanta news anchor and journalist Monica Kaufman Pearson has signed a two-year deal to host two programs at CBS46/WGCL-TV and Peachtree TV/WPCH-TV, now owned by Atlanta-based Gray Television. One of the programs will be an interview-themed series launching in February 2022." After Gray Television completed its acquisition of CBS46 and Peachtree TV along with 15 other Meredith stations on December 1, it immediately executed a plan to expand programming on both of its Atlanta stations.


  • From retired meteorologist Karen Minton: "Today I completed all of my radiation treatments! Dr Adam Nowlan and his staff at Piedmont Radiation Oncology are wonderful. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and care. They truly treat each patient as family, not only treating the cancer, but caring about our wellbeing."

  • Laura Reed retires

WXIA TV / 11Alive

  • Karys Belger joins as general assignment reporter. She joins from WGRZ TV in Buffalo and has also spent time at WFTX in Ft. Meyers, FL, and with the Medill News Service in Washington DC. Belger is a Spelman grad with a Masters from Northwestern.

  • Shawn Shepard has been named Executive Producer

  • Dawn White joins as a general assignment reporter. She was previously with First Coast News in Jacksonville, WBAL Radio in Baltimore, WHTM in Harrisburg, PA, and WHAG TV in Hagerstown, Maryland. She's a University of Maryland grad.

News from the PR Dept

This was a great month for our Leff & Associates PR team (MItch Leff and Kimberly Woodcock Speece) and three of our clients! At PRSA Georgia's annual Phoenix Awards Dinner, our team brought home three awards, for the Goizueta Business School (Most Effective Independent Counselors Campaign), the Construction Education of Georgia (Best Facebook Engagement Campaign), and for Newnan Family Medicine (Most Effective Campaign on a Shoe String Budget).

  • Our entry for the Goizueta Business School was also a finalist for the "Best of Covid" PR award, but we didn't win that one.

  • As a bonus, we presented an award for our client from Serta Simmons Bedding ... their Phoenix Award from 2019!

  • Thanks to WSB TV's Wendy Corona and Dave Huddleston who presented the awards, to Denise Grant who's retired as Executive Director of PRSA Georgia after 40 years running it, and to John Walker, who was inducted into the Order of the Phoenix.

Congrats to Em Fergusson who's been selected as the Marketing and Communications Board Chair for Georgia Production Partnership! Georgia Production Partnership (GPP) is a not-for-profit coalition of companies and individuals who are active in Georgia's film, television, and digital media industries:

Stefanie Schupska has been named PRSA Georgia's Chapter Champion for December. Stefanie spends her work days directing communications and marketing for UGA’s Morehead Honors College and Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO).



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