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Mitch's Media Musings Feb. 2021

Mitch's Media Musings

Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 2021


A shoutout this month to two member of the Leff & Associates team, Kim Speece and Nicole Sage! You've probably seen their names on emails and talked to them about some of our clients. I'm sure when you see their emails pop up, you'll give them the same love you give me!

We're sad to report the passing of Atlanta freelance writer David Ibata. David was a great reporter, founder of the Asian American Journalists Association's Chicago chapter, and a long-time writer for the Chicago Tribune and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There was a memorial service on February 6. Link: More about David in this story:

We also mark the death due to the coronavirus of former Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports writer Sekou Smith. Smith covered the Hawks for many years and was mostly recently with the NBA. More at

Former Atlanta reporter Gabrielle Ware is now reporting for WALB TV in Albany.

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" - Look for features this month Josh Green with Urbanize Atlanta and with Tammy Joyner and Sean Keenan with Atlanta Civic Circle.

Deleted Publications

  • Atlanta Chinese News

  • Crossroads News

  • Inside Gwinnett

New Publications

  • Atlanta Civic Circle

  • Urbanize Atlanta

  • Tucker Observer

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles - Gina Christman is now longer with the magazine.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Political writer Greg Bluestein will be writing a book on the 2020-21 political campaigns, "How the Peach State Turned Purple." I'm not sure yet who'll be playing Bluestein in the movie version, but my money's on Matthew McConaughey.

  • Former AJC writer Sekou Smith died this month at the age of 48. Smith covered the Hawks beat for the paper from 2005 - 2009 before "joining NBA Digital as a multimedia reporter and analyst." (AJC) More on how the Hawks are honoring him:

  • (correction, misspelled name) Gracie Bonds Staples is retiring in January. I'm told the paper is looking for a new lifestyle columnist to replace her.

Crossroads News - This publication seems to be defunct.

Gainesville Times - Thomas Hartwell has moved from the Marietta Daily Journal to the Times where he's their Digital Editor.

Georgia News Network - The National Association of State Radio Networks, representing 30 commercial news networks across the U.S., has selected John Clark to be President of their News and Affiliate Relations group. Clark is iHeart’s Director of the Georgia News Network, the nation’s largest state radio network, where he manages operations and programming and covers state news stories. He also manages administration and affiliate relations for other iHeart networks in Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina and serves as an NBC News Radio National Correspondent. He was the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Broadcaster of the Year in 2018.

Gwinnett magazine - Dana Urrutia has retired from the magazine.

Patch - Marcus Garner is now Southeast Deputy Regional Editor - Georgia and North Carolina. Garner is a former writer for the AJC.

Reporter Newspapers

Tucker Observer - Check out the new publication from the founder of Decaturish. Here's a link to the site:

WABE Radio

  • (correction) Jasmine Robinson joins as a staff reporter. We'd mistakenly reported last month that she was with GPB.

WAGA / Fox5

  • I'm told Fox5 is changing all their emails to a format. Not sure how long the old format - - will still work.


  • Former CBS46 reporter Kim Passoth has moved to Las Vegas where she'll be anchoring the 4p news Monday - Friday. She started Jan. 18.

  • Tori Cooper joins as a general assignment reporter. She comes from Bakersfield, CA. Before that she worked in Kennewick, Washington.

  • Brittany Miller has departed the station. She's now at News12 in New Jersey. I believe that leaves only one Brittany at the station.

  • Bobeth Yates has left the station. She's now with the CBS affiliate in Miami.

WSB Radio - Scott Slade marks 30 years with the station

WSB TV - A cool Augmented Reality (AR) piece by Brad Nitz. Link:

News from the PR Department

  • Look for Leff's Atlanta Media as a sponsor of PRSA Georgia's Annual Conference in February. Special offer if you attend the conference and want to subscribe. Details at

  • Leff & Associates has completed a massive renovation of its global headquarters. The new offices include a refreshing new color scheme, an updated cafeteria for staff, and new technology for streaming connections with journalists and clients.

  • Former AJC editor Charles Gay moves from his job at Delta Air Lines to a position with Amazon as Senior Managing Editor, Operations Internal Communications

  • Congrats to the five Georgia PR agencies named by Forbes among "America's Best PR Agencies." They include BRAVE Public Relations, Jackson Spalding, the Nebo Agency, 360 Media, and Cookerly PR.

  • Laura Brennan is PRSA Georgia's January "Chapter Champion." Brennan is the Culture Communications Specialist for Fiserv.



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