Jeff Dickerson leaving Fox 5's 'Georgia Gang'

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Posted Friday, December 29, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Long-time media consultant and public relations man Jeff Dickerson  is stepping down as a regular panelist on Fox 5's weekly talk show "The Georgia Gang."

The 30-minute program, which debuted in 1981, features four local professionals of contrasting political stripes discussing local and state politics. Dickerson taped his final show on Friday morning for airing Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Normally, Fox 5 airs a repeat of "The Georgia Gang” at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday but because it's New Year's Eve, the repeat will air at 4 a.m. instead.

"I thought it was about time to retire," Dickerson said in an interview today. "Sometimes you have to stop what you're doing to figure out what's next." He was on the show for 30 years.

Dickerson will be replaced by Tharon Johnson , a veteran Atlanta political consultant and Democratic strategist.

Dickerson, who began his career at the Detroit News, worked primarily as an editorial writer for the Atlanta Journal from 1983 to 2000. (The AJC still had morning and afternoon editions at the time with separate editorial pages.)

On "The Georgia Gang," Dickerson said he especially enjoyed the more spirited earlier years when participants included fellow journalists Rick Allen, Bill Shipp and Tom Houck .

The show has one panelist remaining from its original broadcast: Dick Williams , a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial columnist who now runs the Dunwoody Crier. The two other regular participants are conservative Phil Kent and progressive Alexis Scott , former publisher of the Atlanta Daily World who also previously worked at the AJC.

"He's one of the most thoughtful guys I've ever worked with," Williams said. "He was a terrific writer and columnist in his day. He also went from conservative to liberal over the years." He appreciated Dickerson's expertise in public housing and transportation.

Scott said she admires Dickerson for his "keen intellect, brilliant analysis and eidetic memory." She is looking forward to working regularly with Johnson, who she called 'brilliant" and has subbed in many times in recent years.

Kent called Dickerson "a passionate liberal sparring partner since 2003. I'll miss those right-left slugfests we've had. Aside from providing needed, contrasting perspectives, we both joked that they were great for ratings!"