Exclusive: 11Alive lets go Sam Crenshaw after nearly 16 years

Sam Crenshaw has spent nearly 16 years at 11 Alive. His final day is August 2, 2014. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Credit: Rodney Ho

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Sam Crenshaw has spent nearly 16 years at 11 Alive. His final day is August 2, 2014. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Sam Crenshaw, sports anchor and reporter for 11 Alive (WXIA-TV) for the past 16 years, is leaving the station. His final day, I'm told by two sources, is tomorrow, Saturday, August 2.

Crenshaw has been on a month-to-month situation and without a long-term contract for quite awhile.

"Sammy is much loved out in the community especially among high school coaches and families and players," said Randy Waters, a former 11 Alive sports anchor who retired last year after 29 years and is now in banking. "You can't express what a great person he is. One of the best friends I'll ever have." (Waters is also doing Falcons work for CW 69 and Georgia Tech radio.)

UPDATE: August 3, 2014: On his final newscast, Crenshaw had a decent-sized story to cover: the death of former Braves broadcaster Pete van Wieren. His on-air farewell was brief - about 40 seconds. Weekend anchor Keith Whitney wished Crenshaw goodbye at 11:26 p.m. last night. "If there is a nicer guy in this industry, I personally have not met him," Whitney said on air. "We love you. We're going to miss you."

"I appreciate it so much... Thanks so much," he said in very succinctly.

"End of an era," Whitney said.

The two remaining sports broadcasters are Fred Kalil (who no longer anchors) and Jeff Hullinger (who also anchor news).

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David Wilkinson starts at 11 Alive, replacing Sam Crenshaw, on August 7. CREDIT: 10TV

Credit: Rodney Ho

David Wilkinson starts at 11 Alive, replacing Sam Crenshaw, on August 7. CREDIT: 10TV

Credit: Rodney Ho

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David Wilkinson starts at 11 Alive, replacing Sam Crenshaw, on August 7. CREDIT: 10TV

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

I haven't heard back from GM John Deushane to find out if they are going to find a replacement but newsblues, an online website that covers local news, said David Wilkinson from WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio has been hired as a new sports anchor. Wilkinson, according to his Facebook page, is from Atlanta and his 10TV bio says he grew up wanting to play for the Braves. UPDATE on August 6: Wilkinson starts Thursday, August 7.

According to Crenshaw's bio, he is a graduate of University of West Georgia and lives with his wife Phyllis in Duluth.

Crenshaw has not responded to texts to his cel phone.

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