Jeff Hullinger, Jerry Carnes, Randy Travis honored by NATAS

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Saturday, August 29, 2015

On Friday night, Jeff Hullinger, Jerry Carnes and Randy Travis were among the veteran broadcasters awarded special Silver Circle awards by the The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast chapter.

Inductees for the Silver Circle have at least 25 years of TV broadcast experience in the Southeast.

- Hullinger, a reporter and anchor for 11 Alive since 2010, spent 18 years at WAGA-TV through 2002 mostly coverings sports. He returned to Atlanta in 2006 as a news anchor for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB for three years before he returned to Atlanta TV at the NBC affiliate.

He texted me to say he is "deeply appreciative to all of my colleagues at 11 Alive for making it possible." Indeed before WXIA-TV picked him up in 2010, he was wondering to himself if he'd ever get back on local TV again. So gratitude is certainly the emotion that carries the day.

The station released this video of him in tribute to his time in the market:

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Carnes is a true Atlanta native, born at Emory Hospital, married another local and graduated UGA.

He has been a general assignment reporter most of his quarter century at 11 Alive but signed on two years ago to be the Commuter Dude. What was going to be a temporary gig has become permanent - or however long permanent can be in this business.

Winning the Silver Circle, Carnes texted me, "I think it's a tribute to God, my family and the people I work with. Without the strength and peace I receive from God and without a supportive, loving wife, I couldn't have lasted in this business. I've been incredibly blessed to work with talented people who are just like family."

He said the reward "has me reflecting and focusing on those times when I've taken advantage of the God-given opportunities to touch people in a positive and perhaps a healing way. Although I've made some bone-headed mistakes along the way, I wouldn't change a thing."

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Travis joined what was then the CBS affiliate WAGA-TV in 1990. He became part of the new investigative "I-team" in 1994 and has been there for the past 21 years.

He focuses on consumer rip-offs, criminal wrongdoing and government mismanagement and has won many Emmys and two Edward R. Morrow awards.

Like Carnes, Travis is a UGA grad. In fact, they were in the graduating class.

"We worked together on a documentary about the death penalty our senior year," Carnes said, going back 33 years. "We've been good friends for over 30 years. I think Randy is one of the best reporters in Atlanta. A good friend and solid journalist."

Travis also said his desk neighbor at Fox 5 was Hullinger at one point.

He has also run in every Peachtree Road Race since 1993.

Fox 5 passed on this statement from Travis:

“I grew up watching WAGA as a kid and then studying journalism at UGA. I never dared to dream I’d be working there for going on 25 years now. I’ve been very fortunate to work in a place that allowed me to grow and learn from some heavy hitters. Being part of the FOX 5 I-Team is still one of the best jobs in local television in the country.”

Check out this cool video Fox 5, which features Travis through the years.


Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Others honored include:

Greg Stone, WSB Atlanta, vice president and general manager

Evelyn Mims, Mims Media Group, formerly a long-time community relations specialist at 11 Alive who recently retired

Bob Neal

, Bob Neal Media,

Explorelong-time Turner sportscaster

Jeff Reid

, WXIA Atlanta, manager of enterprise content