Dr. Oz in Atlanta to promote new network (WSB-TV) for sixth season of his talk show

Dr. Oz and me at WSB studios Sept. 12, 2014. CREDIT: Tim Sullivan
Caption
Dr. Oz and me at WSB studios Sept. 12, 2014. CREDIT: Tim Sullivan

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Dr. Oz and me at WSB studios Sept. 12, 2014. CREDIT: Tim Sullivan
Caption
Dr. Oz and me at WSB studios Sept. 12, 2014. CREDIT: Tim Sullivan

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Dr. Mehmet Oz has been a bit of a nomad in Atlanta since he began his syndicated "Dr. Oz Show" in 2009. He started on NBC affiliate 11 Alive, then moved to Fox 5 in 2011.

When Katie Couric's show was ending, ABC affiliate WSB-TV swooped in and grabbed him for their 3 p.m. weekday slot. He started this past Monday as he enters season six.

His theme this season is a take on Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback": It's "Taking Healthy Back."

"We are trying to do something impactful, to get folks to invest resources," he said. He has some favorite topics he plans to delve into such as cancer prevention and helping people get more sleep.

He tapes his shows about a week in advance but will move quicker if something breaks, such as Sandy Hook. "I don't try to beat the news cycle," he said. "I won't beat CNN. I'm more like a magazine."

He also holds occasional weekend seminars and clinics in different affiliate cities. This past Saturday, he held a free health clinic at the Atlanta Hilton which drew thousands of fans. Hundreds had their cholesteral levels checked and others came to see if they have heartburn issues.

Sean Dickey, 46 of Lawrenceville, came to the clinic with his four sons and his wife Luz. "Watching his show is like a religion in our household," he said. Since the family began watching him five years ago, they have focused more on organic foods and following Dr. Oz's advice, Kelly has lost 40 pounds. He was thrilled to meet Dr. Oz in person, who held his 11-month-old son Donovan, who has Down's Syndrome.

Dr. Oz with 11-month-old Donovan Dickey at his health clinic Sept. 13, 2014 at the Atlanta Hilton. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Caption
Dr. Oz with 11-month-old Donovan Dickey at his health clinic Sept. 13, 2014 at the Atlanta Hilton. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Dr. Oz and several local health partners screened hundreds of metro Atlantans at the Atlanta Hilton Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Caption
Dr. Oz and several local health partners screened hundreds of metro Atlantans at the Atlanta Hilton Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Atlanta dancer Stepp Stewart, 51, is a regular on "The Dr. Oz Show." CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Caption
Atlanta dancer Stepp Stewart, 51, is a regular on "The Dr. Oz Show." CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Dr. Oz, whose sister was born here and whose father trained at Emory University, loves the south, where he says stories about spiritual issues and weight resonate. "It's where gravy is a beverage," he said.

He is also launching a new health app called askmd and is aligning with Apple. (More details here.)

He has weathered some bad publicity recently over promoting green coffee bean extract as a miracle weight-loss supplement, enabling a company to use video from his show to sell pills. In June, he faced a tough Congressional panel which criticized him for touting questionable weight-loss solutions. (The company earlier this week settled with the FTC for $3.5 million.)

Dr. Oz, suitably chagrined, said he has had to learn to be more careful about what he says because dubious companies selling questionable products are quick to jump on his comments and make it seem like he's endorsing them. "I have to police myself. I have to parse my words carefully," he said, adding that "I don't sell products." He has also disavowed green coffee bean extracts once he learned studies showing its weight-loss benefits were debunked.

To protect his brand and reputation, Dr. Oz said he has to had to hire a company, which sends out hundreds of cease-and-desist orders to companies that use his name and likeness to claim he is endorsing them. "People have made millions off my name," he said.

WSB-TV is part of the Cox Media Group, which also oversees the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

TV preview

"The Dr. Oz Show," 3 p.m. weekdays, WSB-TV/Channel 2

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