Briefs: ‘Forensic Files II’ on HLN, GABBY winners, new GPB VP of news MaryLynn Ryan

Originally posted Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta-based HLN for eight years has aired repeats of “Forensic Files” endlessly. Currently, it’s running from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays. 

Creator Paul Dowling had resisted bringing it back ever since it ended in 2011 after 400 episodes over 15 years. But HLN wore him down and will create 16 new episodes ready in February 2020.

The show debuted four years before “CSI” and fascination of forensic science has only blossomed since then. Nancy Duffy, executive producer, said the new episodes will reflect advances in forensic technology which has enabled hundreds of cold cases to be solved via DNA testing in recent years.

For instance, she said, DNA is now being used to help reconstruct faces

Duffy said HLN will not mess with the successful formula using the same “Forensic Files” format, title music and story types. “It’s like Coke!” Duffy said. “Why reinvent the wheel?” 

The original narrator Peter Thomas has passed so a new narrator will be announced at a later date. (They know who it is. They won’t say though it’s likely to be a familiar name.)

Some episodes are now more than two decades old yet people keep on watching. “These are well constructed stories and they hold up,” Duffy said. 

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Photo: (L-R) Pete Combs, Brad Nitz, Rickey Bevington, Craig Lucie

The Georgia Association of Broadcasters handed out several Gabby Awards over the weekend to Channel 2 Action News and its on-air personalities.

The station won Best of the Gabby’s, best team weather coverage, best meteorologist (Brad Nitz), best sports anchor (Zach Klein), best news anchor (recently departed Craig Lucie) and best station-produced promo (Mario Mendez, Corey Tatum). 

11Alive won best team political coverage, best photojournalist (Luke Carter) and best reporter (Joe Henke). CBS46 took home best feature story (Adam Murphy, Eric Sander) and best TV news story (Jonathan Carlson, Eric Carlton, Rihannon Youngbauer). 

As usual, Fox 5 didn’t win anything but they frequently choose not to bother putting in for nominees for awards of any sort.

Over on radio, 95.5 WSB, Atlanta’s news and talk won best radio station, best radio newscast, best reporter (the ailing Pete Combs), best program and best team political coverage.

Georgia Public Broadcasting also won a raft of Gabbys including best radio news story (Grant Blankenship), best mobile app, best online breaking news coverage, best sports program and best on-air personality (Rickey Bevington). 

90.1/WABE-FM won best online produced story, Star 94.1’s former program director Ron Roberts won best station-produced promo and 92.9/The Game won best sports play by play (Mike Conti, Jason Longshore, James Fairey). 

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MaryLynn Ryan, former CNN vice president and Southeast U.S. bureau chief, will become the new vice president of news at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

She took a voluntary buyout four months ago after 25 years at CNN. 

Based out of Atlanta, she was CNN regional bureau chief going back to 2014. 

The VP of news is a newly created position, an expanded job from the prior title of managing editor. 

Sara Shahriari, who had previously been managing editor, left the station in July after just 15 months.

FYI: Ryan is also chairman of the board at the Atlanta Press Club. I have been on the board of the Press Club since 2009. 

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About the Author

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