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Mitch's Media Musings - June 2021

Mitch's Media Musings

May 16 - June 15, 2021


Congrats to WABE's Lisa Hagen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize this year for Audio Reporting! More:

DragonCon is coming back live to Atlanta this fall! If you've never been, you must make a plan to watch the parade and then check out some great panels, presentation, cosplay, etc. When? Sept. 2 - 6, 2021. (Dan Carroll: Please refer to this post when you get my media access application!)


  • "Sports Across the Board" - Gary McKillips, former head of corporate and sports PR for Turner Broadcasting and currently a correspondent for AP Radio Sports and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, has launched a new podcast, “Sports Across the Board.” As the name suggests, he interviews a variety of sports personalities. His third episode will focus on the burgeoning sports program at Georgia State with GSU play-by-play broadcaster Dave Cohen. It’s available on Apple or wherever you find your podcasts.

  • "The Jason Durden Show" - Jason Durden has launched a conversational podcast. Each week, he'll feature guests with interesting stories to tell. Durden work for many years at Total Traffic & Weather Network and as a reporter for Cox Radio.

Around the Rings - ATR has been sold. More details to come.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Arts & Entertainment editor Nicole Smith departs. She's now the Editorial Audience Director for the Harvard Business Review. Shane Harrison is interim Arts & Entertainment editor.

  • Sometimes I run across an article that I just have to share. This opinion piece from the AJC Nedra Rhone is one of those. Link.

  • Former assistant metro editor Virginia Lynne Anderson is now editor of The Daily Progress newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia. Link to story.

  • Music writer Melissa Ruggieri departs for a position with USA Today.

(The) Current - This Savannah-based nonprofit nonpartisan investigative news organization has received grants that will enable it to fund a full-time reporter to cover environmental issues along the Georgia coast. Click for details. Their staff includes Margaret Coker, Donnell Suggs, Jim Walls, Ann Woolner, Nancy Badertscher, and Bert Roughton.

Daily Report

  • Editor Jonathan Ringel departs for a position with Posten PR. His last day was May 21. The paper will be hiring a new person to be their "Brand Editor" in Atlanta.

  • Meredith Hobbs has departed the paper. For any attorney news or law firm news in Georgia or elsewhere, email:


  • Rickey Bevington, who anchors NPR’s All Things Considered on GPB, has been named a French-American Foundation young leader for 2020. Details from Global Atlanta. As the article notes "Bevington’s grandmother and great-grandmother were killed in the 1962 plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris that claimed the lives of more than 100 Atlanta arts patrons."

  • Virginia Prescott departs. She says she's going to launch a podcast unit for a boutique TV & Film production house in Atlanta.

  • La'Raven Taylor departs. She now an Entertainment Social Media Specialist at the E.W. Scripps Company.

Marietta Daily Journal

  • Katy Ruth Kamp depart for position as Director of Marketing and PR for MUST Ministries

Reporter Newspapers - Amy Wenk joins as Editor on May 24. Amy is a former Atlanta Business Chronicle reporter. She joins from CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm.

Saporta Report - John Ruch joins as writer. He was previously the editor of the Reporter Newspapers. (He will continue as a contributor there.) John will be covering regional governments, regional planning, local elections, urban issues, and historic preservation.



  • Congrats to anchor/reporter Kaitlyn Pratt and husband Tim Andrews (WSB Radio) on birth of their son Gilbert! Link:

  • Meteorologist Ryan Beesley welcomes a new baby girl to the family, Maren James Beesley!

  • Sports anchor Ken Rodriguez is retiring this month.

  • Natalie McCann (formerly Fultz) replaces Katie Beasley on Good Day Atlanta, anchoring and covering traffic.


WSB Radio

  • Congrats to Tim Andrews and wife Fox5 anchor/reporter Kaitlyn Pratt on birth of their son Gilbert! Link:

  • Mark Alewine, who retired from WSB Radio last year, is launching a new voiceover career!


  • Former WSB TV reporter Lauren Pozen is now working for Spectrum News 1 in Los Angeles.

  • Reporter Nicole Carr starts her new job with ProPublica.


  • Former anchor/reporter Melissa Long is now with Delta Air Lines

  • Former MMJ, Assistant News Director, and social media strategist, Julie Wolfe is departing her News Director position in Louisville, TN for a News Director job at KING TV in Seattle.

  • The station has shuffled three of its anchors. Shiba Russell moves from Morning Rush and is now anchoring the 5 p.m. show in WXIA and the 7 and 8 p.m. shows on WATL. Aisha Howard moves to the morning anchor position. Jennifer Bellamy moves to an anchor role on the 11 p.m. show.

  • Matt Pearl departs after 12 years with the station. He's now a national correspondent for The E.W. Scripps Company, reporting for their 60 TV stations in 40 cities.

News from the PR Dept.

  • From Creaxion, a bit of news: The agency celebrated 23 years in business in May and is currently handling PR and Media Relations for what they think may be their most successful project yet: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at Pullman Yards. So far, just under 225,000 tickets have been sold to the experience—which runs through the end of the year. Also, founder Mark Pettit says "So that I can focus more on my acting and producing career, I’ve repositioned Creaxion from being a full-service agency to being a highly specialized brand marketing consultancy that only focuses on three clients at a time. In addition to Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Creaxion represents online payment processor, Segpay and PXP Financial. On the acting and producing front, I will appear in Jamie Foxx’s new movie, “They Cloned Tyrone,” the new ABC Series “Women of The Movement” and we’ve just completed production on the horror film “LA PATASOLA.” I served as executive producer and will also appear in the movie. Our film will be sold to distributors from around the world at the Cannes Film Market in early July."

  • Bill Marks, a senior practitioner and former corporate communications executive with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and The Coca-Cola Company, now has offices in Decatur. Marks, who continues work as a senior counsellor with Porter Novelli, has formed a partnership with Bill Crane of CSI Crane, Inc. (also in Decatur), Marks and Crane call the new entity BSquared Public Relations. Marks will own a slight majority of the new enterprise. The two have several clients and assignments at present including the Morehouse School of Medicine, Stone Mountain Memorial Association and Kenny Leon's True Color Theatre Company. They first worked together during Atlanta's Olympic years, and then later for a long run with the GCI Group. Marks led the GCI Group Technology Practice and Atlanta office for much of the 2000s.

  • Cheryl Mayerik has been promoted to Manager of External Relations at the Atlanta Regional Commission, where she leads a team responsible for strategic events, local government relations, strategic partnerships, and sponsorship marketing.

  • PRSA Georgia's June Chapter Champion is Karten Burgstahler, account manager at Weber Shandwick!

  • PRSA Georgia's Phoenix Awards are now open for entries! Enter by July 16 at

  • Poston Communications welcomes Jonathan Ringel, Carisa Turner, and Leslie Valenza to its growing team. The additions come as part of the firm’s continued growth strategy and commitment to expanding its roster of senior-level professionals. More career opportunities here:



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