Rashad Richey on set of his daily show on 1380/WAOK-AM.

Briefs: Rashad Richey mornings on WAOK, Adam Harding leaving CBS, Fox 5 becomes Falcons partner

Originally posted Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Rashad Richey this week has been moved to mornings on talk station 1380/WAOK-AM, taking over for F. Keith Slaughter.

Richey, an educator at Beulah Heights University, also regularly contributes political insights on CBS46 and V-103. He is also finishing his second doctorate at Clark Atlanta University. 

In his first two days on mornings, he’s gotten interviews with his friend Mo’Nique, founder of Slutty Vegan ATL Pinky Cole, Rep. Hank Johnson and DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.
Richey, who has been working with WAOK for six years, said he is open to all sorts of topics: business, entertainment, local politics, national politics, social issues. 

He added that he is excited to go mornings and provide “an organic flow, entertainment elements, intelligent argumentation and a connectiveness to the community second to none.”

The departed Slaughter said he was told his ratings were not up to par though he was never given direct evidence of that. “They terminated me because they could,” he wrote in a Facebook Messenger note. 

Juandolyn Stokes has taken over Richey’s former 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot.

“Juandolyn Stokes is a leader in our community and embodies the WAOK mission, which serves as an informative, empowering, engaging and entertaining voice of Atlanta," said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Atlanta, in a press release. "It is our goal to provide our city with everything they need to navigate their world and I believe the addition of Juandolyn, as well as our new weekday lineup, will benefit our audience on all platforms."

Stokes is the founding pastor of Deeper Life In Christ Ministries in Conyers. 

Caffey did not respond to an email requesting comment about Slaughter’s departure and giving Richey the morning slot. 

***

Reporter Adam Harding is leaving CBS46 after five years for WNBC-TV in New York. 

“This feels like a great career opportunity and a chance to be a little closer to home,” Harding said in an interview today. 

He said he will genuinely miss his time in Atlanta. 

“We have an amazing team over there,” Harding said. “I’m genuinely sad to be saying goodbye to them.”
He will stay with CBS46 (WGCL-TV) through the end of February sweeps and start in New York in mid March. 

Harding, like a lot of reporters at CBS46, kept his head down and ignored all the anchor-related drama the past few years by the likes of Sharon Reed, Ben Swann and Paul Ossmann. “I just focus on my job and don’t get bogged down by anything around me,” he said.

Instead, he learned to improve his storytelling and writing skills, crediting photojournalists such as Eric Sander, the producers and the assignment desk. 

“I came from a station [in Boston] that was very much focused on energetic live shots,” Harding said. “Down here, it was much more focused on crafting a well-told story. I was hopefully able to blend the two.”

Even with stories that all the stations were covering, he tried to find a different angle, to let the story breath when need be. 

“Hopefully in my time here,” Harding said, “I will have left an impression on the people at the station. They left a huge impression on me,” 

Steve Doerr, who recently left CBS46 as news director to become a general manager for a group of stations in New England, called Harding “a gifted writer and storyteller. People forget how important writing is in television and Adam is among the best I’ve ever seen. H’s also a go-to guy live in the field, particularly on big, breaking news.”

He loved doing stories about the Super Bowl in Atlanta last year since his hometown team, the New England Patriots, was competing. He also spent 18 to 20 hour days with the likes of photojournalists Charles Olmstead and Richard Breaden covering various hurricanes and natural disasters.

And he said it’s hard to forget the I-285 highway collapse of 2017. 

“I’m a sucker for TV news,” said Harding. “My dad [Ed] is an anchor in Boston. I grew up around the business. I’m a huge news nerd. Amanda Davis was the morning anchor back then [for CBS46]. For me, getting to work with her was a treat. I watched her take command and lead the team. It was really cool to see that first hand.” (She passed later that year.)

***

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) warms up before the start of the final home game of the season Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

Fox 5 (WAGA-TV) will become the new home for Atlanta Falcons football, taking over for the CW after six years.

The partnership begins March 2020. While Fox 5 will air a majority of Falcons games starting later this year, some games are contractually required to go to, say, ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” or NBC’s “Thursday Night Football.”

In all, the local Fox affiliate serves “as additional storytellers for the Falcons brand,” the Falcons said in a press release. Fox 5  will air two hours of additional Falcons-related programming on weekends during the season and do long-form pieces on the team off the field. 

WAGA-TV has significantly more news resources than the local CW69 affiliate and airs more than 60 hours of local news a week. The opportunities for cross-pollination are far greater. 

“We are really excited about this new partnership,” said Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay in a press release. “The Atlanta Falcons and Fox 5 are both ingrained in the city of Atlanta and have a common goal of bringing people together. This partnership allows both organizations to tell stories at a higher level and brings more and more fans closer to Atlanta’s team. The possibilities are endless and we couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity.”

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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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