If you are one of the dozen or so people watching CBS46 the past few weeks you may have noticed the newscasts are almost unrecognizable, literally. The station’s management made some rather drastic changes in personnel. Stephany Fisher, the station’s former lead female anchor exited in early June. Atlanta Journal Constitution staff writer Rodney Ho indicated in early spring that Fisher would be leaving at the end of contract in June. However Ho didn’t get the full scoop. Fisher isn’t the only familiar face to depart the Atlanta CBS affiliate this month.
Remember Jeff Chirico, the little guy who was always getting beat up by dodgy car dealers or getting his foot caught in the door when a politician decided to flee from the cameras? Chirico risked getting a beat down to get the story, a courageous reporter, he’s out. He tweeted earlier this month,
That’s all she wrote. Thanks Atlanta! It’s been a great ride. Exciting news ahead…
According to Chirico’s latest Twitter post, he’s back home in Pennsylvania. Also out, Scott Light; he anchored in the evenings and 11 p.m. newscast. The morning and afternoon newscasts were also adjusted; Jocelyn Connell and Michelle Burdo are gone. The mornings are now anchored by Gloria Neal and Bobby Kaple and the afternoon newscast is anchored by Kim Passoth. Thankfully Tracye Hutchins is still on the air. Hutchins is the only remaining anchor to remain with the station; however exactly how her role changed is unclear. It seems that some days they have her co-anchoring the evening newscast and on a few occasions they have sent her out in the field in the sweltering Atlanta heat. The last time I watched an 11 p.m. newscast, Ben Swann and Sharon Reed anchored with Hutchins doing an in studio report.
The recent shake up at CBS6 comes after yet another regime change at the Meredith owned station. This time around the new GM is a former executive producer at WSB-TV, and was a general manager at 11 Alive. Does someone with local roots possess the secret recipe for boosting the ratings? Only time will tell if it was worth the effort. I’ve been watching Atlanta news for more than 30 years and this revamp is the most the extreme change a local station has taken in a short amount of time.
Another change the new GM has implemented a one minute daily opinion segment where former on-air Atlanta journalists give their opinions on the day’s top headline. The journalists to appear in the Just a Minute segment include Kimberly Kennedy, Sally Sears, Bill Nigut, Amanda Davis, Angela Robinson, Cynthia Tinsley, Paul Crawley, Mark Pettit, Ken Watts and Lyn Vaughn.