90.1/WABE-FM "Morning Edition" local host Denis O'Hayer announced today that he is retiring after nine years at the station on June 29.
O'Hayer has been a fixture in Atlanta media for four decades, working at news/talk 640 WGST-AM, CNN as a freelancer and 11 years at 11Alive, the NBC affiliate before joining WABE in 2009.
At age 64, O'Hayer said it was simply time to take a step back. He will continue as a political contributor and a host of the podcast "Political Breakfast."
"I'm so grateful to the people of this community," he said in a brief interview. "It's so deeply moving."
O'Hayer started at WABE as afternoon host for "All Things Considered" and "Marketplace." In 2015, he launched a new mid-day program with Rose Scott called "Closer Look." Later that year, he took over for Steve Goss as "Morning Edition" local host.
"I consider Denis a mentor and a friend," Scott said in an interview today. "He meant a lot to the newsroom over the years. He is definitely among the journalists in this market who I consider blueprints of how you do this job."
Goss, who has known O'Hayer going back to the late 1970s, considers him the best political reporter in the city: "He is so knowledgable, so adept at having people be accountable for what they say and do. I'm just amazed by his ability and talent and insight. I'm going to miss him on the air."
“Denis O’Hayer is a consummate journalist who takes working hard and being prepared to a level that we all strive to match” said Wonya Lucas, CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, in a press release. “His dedication to the audience and to the story and his depth of experience show in every broadcast. I speak for all of my colleagues at WABE when I say we will miss him immensely on Morning Edition, but are very happy he will remain in the PBA family as a political contributor.”
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