Radio and TV Talk

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

CBS46 boots GM Trey Fabacher, hires new news director Larry Perret

Trey Fabacher joined WGCL as GM in September, 2012. He was cut today.

Poor CBS46.

Another GM (in this case Trey Fabacher) has been booted today, two sources informed me.

On the bright side, the station did announce a new news director Larry Perret, who came from Kansas City. He takes over for Lane Michaelsen, who left in July and now works with Sinclair in Maryland.

Parent company Meredith runs through management like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. Since it purchased the station in 1998, Meredith has been unable to extricate WGCL-TV from fourth place out of four local news operations.

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And the length of tenure for both news director and general manager seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

CBS 46 logo

Michaelsen, the previous news director, stayed for 15 months. Before him, Eric Ludgood was in that post for 23 months. Steve Schwaid before him survived three years and one month. Prior to him, Rick Erbach kept his job for three years and five months.

On-air stability hasn't been much better. Most of the reporters and anchors have been there less than five years. They have only four on-air personalities that have been around longer than 10 years: Rebekka Schramm, Renee Starzyk, Adam Murphy (Mr. Restaurant Report Card) and Stephany Fisher, who anchors the evening telecasts. Weather forecaster Jennifer Valdez has been their most consistent morning presence, having joined WGCL in 2008. Tracye Hutchins, who started with "Better Mornings" in 2007, is now an evening anchor.

Fabacher has made a lot of changes over the past 18 months, returning the name to CBS46 from CBS Atlanta, revamping the morning show, adding a noon newscast next week, resurrecting (to a m0dest degree) a sports department and adding a new evening anchor Scott Light. The station also retired the often-mocked slogan "we ask the tough questions" that dated back to 2008. (11 Alive has since u

CBS46 also has the smallest on-air staff of the four news operations with 28 featured on their website.

11 Alive, usually in third place, has 35, not counting its off air digital team.

Fox 5 has 33.

Channel 2 Action News? 43.

Here are some stories I've written about CBS's changes since spring, 2013:

9/9/14:  CBS 46 brings back noon news program

7/17/14 CBS46's news director Lane Michaelsen leaves after 15 months.

7/1/14: Michelle Burdo apologizes for use of the word 'colored'

2/18/14: Jennfier Mayerle leaving CBS Atlanta

1/22/14: Brandon Rudat finds a new job in Phoenix

1/9/14: Adam Murphy gets his "Restaurant Report Card" back

12/11/13: CBS Atlanta hires new morning anchor Frank Wiley

9/4/13: Scott Light hired as new evening anchor

8/13/13: Tracye Hutchins moves to evenings, replaced by Michelle Burdo

8/9/13: Two new members of CBS's "Better Mornings"

7/18/13  Anchor Brandon Rudat leaves CBS "Better Mornings"

7/18/13: Larry Smith named new sports director at CBS Atlanta

6/18/13: CBS Atlanta cuts ties with 790/The Zone

6/17/13: Meteorologist Cris Martinez leaves CBS Atlanta

6/5/13 : Anchor Jaquitta Williams is out at CBS Atlanta


About the Author

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

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