Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

2014 flashback: Crash Clark and Fred McFarlin land at 11Alive

Originally posted January 3, 2014 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Fred McFarlin and Christopher "Crash" Clarkhave landed new jobs at 11 Alive as traffic reporters.

They are replacing Elle Duncanwho has left for a sports reporting/anchoring job in Boston at the New England Sports Network. 11 Alive is effectively replacing one person with two, which indicates an increased emphasis on traffic in the early morning show, which airs from 4:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays. They will join Jerry Carnes, the Commuter Dude.

For Clark, this was a quick turnaround. On Dec. 16, he was let go by V-103's Ryan Cameron morning show amidst ratings issues that resulted in a lineup shakeup. He and McFarlin start training on January 13 but won't officially start on air until late January. Both will have to learn the graphics system and how to work with cameras and green screens.

"I'm glad I got my teeth done in Boston," Clark joked in a text this morning. "Now back to trying on my old suits. Men's Wearhouse, here I come!"

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This will be Clark's first foray into TV since starting radio in 1989. "It's a dream come true," he said in a follow-up interview. "I never thought 25 years of radio would take me here. It's like a rebirth. My head is swirling with ideas."

McFarlin - who worked as an on-air host for "Atlanta's Greatest Hits" at 106.7 from 2010 to 2012 and traffic reporter when it became All News 106.7 in 2012 - posted the news on Facebook. Clark's agent Norm Schrutt confirmed that Clark has a deal "in principle," just needs to sign the contract. Schrutt said 11 Alive has been interested in Clark for a long time. Schrutt also was appreciative that CBS's Rick Caffey allowed Clark out of his non-compete clause, which included TV.

Clark spent much of career as a traffic guy, first with top 40 station Power 99, then alternative rock station 99X and Atlanta's first hip-hop station Hot 97.5, where he became friends with Cameron. He later helped out in the early days of Q100 in the early 2000s. After losing his job with 99X in 2005, he moved to Boston with Rich Shertenlieb and Fred Toucher  and lasted four years. He came back in 2010 to Atlanta and landed a job at CBS Radio with Dave FM and V-103. He soon joined Cameron in afternoons, then mornings.

11 Alive likes former radio people. Duncan worked at V-103, just like Clark. And so did Duncan's predecessor as a traffic reporter Nina Brown, who was a V-103 producer before her brief foray on TV. (Brown now works for Frank Ski,former V-103 morning host now working in D.C. and available to be heard on radio in Atlanta starting this week after a one-year noncompete.)

Here's what McFarlin wrote on Facebook, with a press release attached:

Well, it's official - so now I can announce what some people have known for a few weeks... After almost three years with 106.7 - first as "Atlanta's Greatest Hits" then "All News 106.7" - I am leaving to go into television, as part of the 11 Alive/NBC Morning News in Atlanta! I am THRILLED to be joining the amazing team there and looking forward to this new chapter in my life and the challenges and opportunities that go with it. As if all that wasn't enough, I will be working with the one and only Chris Crash Clark! This will definitely be the most unique and exciting Morning Traffic Team in the city.

Here is part of the Press Release:

"...starting January 13th 11Alive will begin building a brand new look and feel for traffic reports in the morning. The number one reason people turn on local news in the morning is for weather and traffic so we are going to give our viewers and users the best and most thorough traffic information in the market. We are thrilled to announce our new 11Alive morning traffic team. We are welcoming two of the most knowledgeable and well known traffic reporters in the market:

Crash Clark: a radio personality in Atlanta since 1989. He’s a three time Achievement in Radio award winner for best traffic reporter. He’s been both anchor and airborne traffic reporter for over a dozen Atlanta radio stations, as many as five simultaneously. Most recently he worked for CBS radio as traffic reporter for both The Game, and V-103.

Fred McFarlin: Known as the “Trafficologist” for All News Radio 106.7. Fred has been in the radio business for over 30 years... Fred knows Atlanta like the back of his hand and gives the most clear and informative traffic reports in the market.

Between Fred, Crash, and Jerry as Commuter Dude… there is no other team in the market that you can trust as much as 11Alive’s Traffic Jam to get you and your family to work and school safely !!!

Ellen M. Crooke

V.P. Regional News Executive

V.P. News 11Alive WXIA and MyAtl

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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