Chuck Dowdle. Bill Hartman. Amanda Rosseter. Now, add Ashley Hayes to the list of familiar faces you won’t see on WSB-TV newscasts, the most dominant in Atlanta. Updated 9/10/10: Add popular weather reader Dagmar Midcap of CBS Atlanta to the departures.
Hayes, a promising field reporter for WSB, disclosed recently that she no longer is at the station. In an e-mail to me, she explained that she had “changed careers” and is now working in marketing/communications. (Updated 7/4/2010: Hayes is now in media relations at St. Joseph Hospital, per her LinkedIn profile. There she is reunited with Rosseter.) Interesting that the changes at the dominant station in one of the top TV markets in the US aren’t confined to veterans ending their careers. Rosseter left her weekend anchor job at WSB last year for a communications job at St. Josephs Hospital in Atlanta. She won’t have to awaken at very wee hours for that, but I suspect that move was also prompted by a lack of upward mobility. Jovita Moore is the heir apparent at WSB to iconic Monica Pearson.
Hayes never achieved anchor status, but I always felt her reporting was professional, factual and concise. Remember, field reporters covering weather, smash and grabs and other assorted breaking news don’t have the luxuries of TelePrompTers as the studio folks do. Yours truly will miss Hayes’ touch.
Over at CBS Atlanta, the outsourcing continues. But I find the latest move a good one. Last week, veteran Atlanta political reporter Tom Baxter (@twombax on Twitter) and cameraperson Grayson Daughters (@spaceyg on Twitter) combined for an effective piece on Georgia House speaker David Ralston. After an Atlanta Press Club speech, Ralston held a session for working media at which he accused Georgia DOT board members of “defying the law.” Baxter turned field reporter and Daughters did effective camera work for a spot on the CBS Atlanta Web site.
Not sure whether budget considerations were a factor in Hayes’ departure, but all the network affiliates acknowledge financial pressures from the recession as well as viewers and ad dollars going online. CBS Atlanta also is outsourcing much of its sports coverage. Sympathies are due any business for minding a budget. But if quality is maintained, as it was for the Ralston piece, then it’s worth the effort.