Mitch’s Media Musings – Oct 2016 – The Wedding Edition!


The AJC’s Jennifer Brett

To: All Atlanta Media, Freelancers, Leff’s Atlanta Media Subscribers, Mitch’s Media Match Subscribers

Wedding bells are in the air this month! October’s a big month to tie the knot (my anniversary is this week) and we saw at least three local (or formerly local) journalists take the plunge:

  • WSB Radio’s Veronica Waters married Beck
  • WXIA’s Blayne Alexander married Jay
  • Former WGCL reporter Mike Paluska married Lauren (he’s now with WFTS in Tampa)

Yvette Caslin, Rolling Out

Recent offerings from our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” features with Atlanta Daybook include: Rolling Out editor Yvette Caslin, AJC-DeKalb reporter Joshua Sharpe, WSB-TV anchor/reporter Wendy Corona, and AJC multimedia journalist Jennifer Brett. You can read them all at

(Editor’s Note: We’re always looking for journalists for our “4 Questions” feature, so contact me if you’re interested!?


Veronica Waters, WSB Radio, ties the knot!

Mitch’s Media Match Selections: Every month we highlight for local media a selection of experts from our Mitch’s Media Match database ( Here are four for this month.

  • Health Care Expert: John Miller runs the health care division at Sterling Risk Advisors. This month he released his firm’s first-ever Risk Sentiment Index of the health care industry, a new tool that examines how health care professionals manage the risk inherent in their businesses.


    Joshua Sharpe, AJC

  • Automotive Expert: Ernie Garcia Jr. President and Founder, Carvana. A disruptive new voice in the auto industry, Carvana is the first complete online auto retailer from search to finance to delivery, Garcia is focused on bringing a new energy to the antiquated dealership model. Under his leadership, Carvana is seeking to disrupt the brick and mortar dealer model with direct-to-consumer sales.
  • Banking Expert: Matthew Shephard is SVP, Marketing and Member Service for Delta Community Credit Union, one of the largest financial institutions in Georgia. The bank serves the entire metro Atlanta area, including residents and employees of top businesses, such as Delta Air Lines, UPS, Chick-fil-A and Racetrac.
  • Marketing Expert: Craig McLaughlin is President, CEO and Founder of Bridge2 Solutions, a marketing solutions platform providing innovative loyalty program solutions to some of the largest Fortune 500 companies. Bridge2Solutions partners with retailers to bring the most innovative user experience to market.

Got changes? Working a new beat? Additions or departures? Great stories you want to brag about? Let me know and I’ll put it in the blog.

Mitch Leff

Leff’s Atlanta Media, Mitch’s Media Match, Leff & Associates Public Relations


Mitch’s Media Musings

Sept. 16 – Oct. 15, 2016


Check out this info on the upcoming SPJ conference, Oct. 29. “Medi@tlanta: The Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Conference – Region 3”

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 29
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Hyatt Regency Atlanta (Downtown), 265 Peachtree Street, NE
  • Register:
  • Cost: Just $25!
  • Questions:

The SPJ 2016 Conference was built for pro journalists looking to get their hands dirty. In just a few hours, for just a few bucks, and with just a few classmates, you can learn practical skills you can actually use on the job. Conference Sessions (click for details:

Special congratulations to Jaye Watson and Brendan Keefe of WXIA/11 Alive News. Both won national Edward R. Murrow from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

  • Continuing Coverage: Brendan Keefe for “911: Lost on the Line”
  • Investigative Reporting: Brendan Keefe for “Smart ALEC: The Backroom Where Laws Are Born”
  • Writing: Jaye Watson won for a compilation of several of her stories, including one about a “rapid prompting method,” a simple alphabet board that’s giving a voice to nonverbal children with autism.

Congrats to the following media figures and outlets for their selection in Creative Loafing’s Reader’s Picks for their Best of Atlanta 2016 issue.

  • Best Radio Personality: Bert Weiss
  • Best Radio Station: WABE (90.1-FM)
  • Best Non-Commercial Radio Station: WABE (90.1-FM)
  • Best Morning Drive-Time Radio Show: “The Bert Show
  • Best Rock Radio Station: 105.7 (WRDA-FM)
  • Best Urban Radio Station: OG 97.9 (WWWQ-FM)
  • Best Country Radio Station: 94.9 the Bull (WUBL-FM)
  • Best Talk Radio Station: 90.1 (WABE-FM)
  • Best Internet Radio: Album 88
  • Best Local TV Anchor: Jovita Moore
  • Best Local Weather Guy/Gal: Chesley McNeil
  • Best Local Journalist: Dan Whisenhunt
  • Best Local Blogger: Dan Whisenhunt
  • Best Local Blog: Decaturish
  • Best Local Sports Radio Show: “Dukes & Bell” 92.9 (WZGC-FM)
  • Best Local Arts Website:  ArtsATL

The Loaf also had a special “Critics Pick” shout-out for the AJC’s Bill Torpy, naming him Best Thorn in the Mayor’s Side. We’re sure he wouldn’t have it any other way!

Atlanta Media Group has added several hyperlocal lifestyle titles: My Alpharetta, My Buckhead, My East Cobb, My Johns Creek, My Midtown, and My Sandy Springs. Stacy Moser and Katherine Michalak share managing editor duties.

365 Atlanta Family – Sue Rodman of Field Trips with Sue is joining the outlet as a partner.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

  • Reporter Leon Stafford has made a switch, moving from the business desk to now covering Atlanta City Hall.
  • Transportation reporter Andria Simmons has moved to a new role at Cox Media. Editor Richard Halicks is coordinating those stories for now.
  • Lane Holman has been added to the Leff’s Atlanta Media database as Special Projects Editor.  This month the AJC launched a new bonus section, “Aging in Atlanta.”  The first edition was composed of content from other newspapers and wire services, but we’re checking to see if they’ll be producing original content as well.
  • Janel Davis is switching from covering higher education to working with a team of writers who’ll focus on hyperlocal news. She’ll be the “Team Coach.” Education editor Chris Quinn says they’ll replace her on the Higher Ed beat by the end of the year.
  • We’ve added reporter Lauren Foreman to our database. She covers breaking news and weather.

Atlanta Magazine – Senior editor Steve Fennessy informs us that Julia Bainbridge is joining the publication as food editor next month. She’s previously worked for Conde Nast and Bon Appetit. 

Atlanta Senior News – Reporter Newspapers publisher Steve Levene has acquired Senior News of Georgia and is relaunching it as Atlanta Senior News, with Kathy Dean as contributing editor. The first issue will be out in October. You can see it online at

Cherokee Tribune and Ledger-News – We’ve added reporter Emily Selby to our database.

Creative Loafing – Editor Debbie Michaud is departing for a job creating and executing digital content strategy at CARE International. She’s been with the outlet for 10 years. News editor Thomas Wheatley will be interim editor.

Georgia News Network

  • GNN’s afternoon anchor Doug Nodine is retiring at the end of September after 37 years.
  • John Clark marks nine years with the network.

HLN – Bill Dobilas will be the Senior Producer for the new Ashleigh Banfield show on HLN, “Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield.” The show launches Oct. 17. HLN says “On this new program, Banfield will tackle the day’s most pressing legal and social issues, trials and hot topic debates with her own passionate point of view. Also featured on the program will be expert guests who can contribute to the conversation.”

Hypepotamus – Editor Kiki Roeder is leaving the outlet, but will be staying on as Editor-in-Chief until November when she will transition into an advisory role at Hypepotamus (and maybe contribute an article or two). She is moving on to Atlanta start-up, Sifted.

Insightful Accountant — Local editor Michael Pallerino has added this title to his stable. He says the pub is an independent news and information source written specifically for the small business advisor who needs to stay current on the latest news and offerings in accounting technology, including updates from Intuit, Xero, Sage and the hundreds of Add On products serving the small business.

Their web site notes “With news and insight specifically written to help the Advisor better serve his/her clients, Insightful Accountant is unlike any other news source serving this space.” Pallerino says he’s looking for content, including “everything from ABC type of content on running and building a business, dealing with clients, more technical-oriented articles surrounding innovations, etc. Also looking for payroll experts (think ADP, Paychex, etc.).”

Simply Buckhead – The magazine has acquired BuckheadView, an online news service owned by John Schaffner. Schaffner will continue to contribute articles to the site for the next 12 – 18 months. He and his wife will be moving to Amelia Island, FL.

Voice of the Arts/AM 1690 – We’ve added radio host Neha Negandhi to our database. Her “Seen from the Inside” is focused on celebrities creating social good. You can read more at She kicked off her show with first guest CeeLo Green discussing his GreenHouse Foundation. The 30-minute program airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

WABE/90.1Michelle Eloy is leaving the station for a job with KCRW in Los Angeles

WSB-TV/Channel 2

  • Photographer Rick Nelson retired in September. He’s been shooting for WSB for almost 38 years.
  • Karen Minton marks 30 years with the station.
  • Wendy Corona will MC Mundo Hispanico’s “Personajes Destacados” (Outstanding Individuals) awards. The awards are given to those who use their talents, hard work and resources to make a difference and benefit the community.

WXIA/11 Alive News – The 11Alive investigative team has added exec producer Jeff Reid and photographers David Brooks and VidiLuke Carter.

News from the PR Dept:

  • Chadwick Boyd’s new food short series “Reel Food” debuts on more than 12,000 movie screens across the country. The specialized content was created and executive produced by Screenvision Media’s in-house content studio 40 Foot Solutions, with production strategy provided by media specialists Gail Yancosek Consulting. The segment is the first installment of Screenvision Media’s “Reel Content” original lifestyle programming and will run nationally within its 14,000 screen network during the Front + Center preshow.
  • Hope Beckham’s Bob Hope has been named to the Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame.



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