NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Host Keke Palmer speaks onstage during the 10th Annual Shorty Awards at PlayStation Theater on April 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Shorty Awards)
Atlanta actress Keke Palmer will be spending a lot more time in New York thanks to a new gig with "Good Morning America," joining the third hour with Michael Strahan and Sara Haines.
Palmer had been filling in while Haines has been on maternity leave and ABC liked her so much, she has been added to the crew.
"It's been a blast having Keke co-host this summer. She brings a unique and spontaneous energy viewers love," said Rory Albanese, the program's executive producer, in a statement. " She's a multi-talented artist, and I'm thrilled to have her join Michael and Sara every day."
The show airs in Atlanta on WSB-TV at 1 p.m. daily. The new title will be “Strahan, Sara and Keke.”
Clearly, ABC is worried about the show which began last fall as “GMA Day.” It was already revamped once in January with a new name “Strahan and Sara.”
Palmer is also set to star with Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B in the September film film "Hustlers."
Jaclyn Schultz, a Fox 5 reporter in Atlanta for five years, recently left Atlanta to work for Fox 5 in Las Vegas.
She said she left Atlanta for Vegas “100 percent family reasons. We really needed to be close to family. Most of my husband's family is here.”
Former on-air staff at 96rock during that time had nothing but good things to say about him.
"Never micro-managed," said Steve Mitchell, a jock at 96rock during its heyday. "Liked to have fun with the staff. He knew he had a juggernaut and respected that. He was smart enough to let us do our thing. Don't ever remember him interfering. His sales staff loved him."
Added then-morning host Christopher Rude: "He understood the importance of a fun work environment as long as you were doing your job."
Jeff Hullinger, a current 11Alive anchor who worked side by side with Rude for a decade with huge ratings, said Connolly "understood the culture and the music of his Atlanta and Southern audience." He said Connolly knew 96 Rock was "the station of working men and women. The heart and soul of the greatness of the south. Beer and wings."
"Connolly was the Pied Piper of Molly Hatchett, The Black Crowes, Drivin' and Cryin', Skynyrd," Hullinger added. "My wife refused to walk into Home Depot or grocery stores with me because so many people would be shouting, 'Yeah c'mon,' 'Hell yeah,' 'To Heck with the Hullman.' Athletes would connect with me because of 96 Rock."
"Southside" Steve Rickman, now morning co host at Rock 100.5, said he and then program director Michael Hughes gave him his start in radio. "He was awesome to me and all his sons interned under me during the summers," he wrote in a text.
Hughes, on the dignitymemorial.com website, wrote:
Tom was a terrific, supportive manager and brought out the best in people. I'll never forget one night in March of 2003 we were eating dinner at the Buckhead Diner when news broke that the US just bombed Iraq. I said to Tom, Gay and my wife, I should head to the radio station to cover this and Tom said, "I'm going to have another drink!"
By the time Connolly was let go in 1998, he was market manager for not just 96rock but then light pop station Peach 94.9 and news/talk 640/105.7 WGST.
He and his wife Gay retired in St. Simon's Island in 2002.
Here’s a history of the early years of 96rock which includes Connolly:
About the Author
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.