Warren “Rhubarb” Jones was a morning host at country station Y106 and then Eagle 106.7 from 1985 to 2008. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2007. AJC FILE PHOTO 1999
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

TV/radio briefs: Rhubarb Jones, Blayne Alexander, Deborah Roberts, Rickey Smiley

Originally posted Thursday, May 2, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Rhubarb Jones, the veteran radio jock and Kennesaw State University booster who died suddenly 2017, was also a major supporter of the Mill Town Music Hall near his home in Bremen. He often hosted many musical acts there, including country vet Mickey Gilley five days before he died of a heart attack at a local Wal-Mart.

Two years after his death at age 65, Jones was recently honored by Mill Town with a special Rhubarb Jones Memorial Scholarship to support students at Kennesaw State University’s School of Communications. He taught at KSU for many years after spending more than two decades with Y106 and Eagle 106.7 as a morning host.

In addition, the artist dining room at Mill Town was named after Jones, an idea planted by Jones himself. He told owner Randall Redding: “The best way to an artist’s heart is through their stomach. If you feed them well, they will want to come back.”

After Jones died, the memorial service was held at Mill Town.


Blayne Alexander

Blayne Alexander, who was an 11Alive reporter from 2011 to 2017, is coming back to Atlanta as an NBC News correspondent after two-plus years in Washington D.C. as a correspondent for NBC’s affiliate news service.

As an affiliate news reporter, she provided localized news stories for NBC affiliates nationwide. She covered the Kavanaugh hearings, the Mueller report, the midterms and the U.S./North Korea summit in 2018.

As an NBC News correspondent, she will work for both MSNBC and NBC


ABC News’ 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts has pledged $100,000 to the University of Georgia, matched by the UGA Foundation, to establish a need-based scholarship through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program.

The Perry native and 1982 University of Georgia graduate said the monies will help out students in Middle Georgia where she grew up. 

“I feel honored, privileged and, indeed, blessed to be able to offer a student who’s dreaming of success the opportunity to make those dreams come true,” said Robertsin a press release. “Growing up in small-town Georgia, I know the value of education and embrace this opportunity to change lives and futures.”

Roberts is scheduled to deliver UGA’s spring undergraduate commencement address May 10. 


Shannon Sharpe, Laz Alonso and Rickey Smiley at Home Depot headquarters to support the Retool Your School Grant Improvement Program for HBCUs.
Photo: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Syndicated radio host and comic Rickey Smiley, NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe and actor Laz Alonso came to Home Depot headquarters last week to support the Atlanta-based retailer’s annual Retool Your School improvement grant program.

Home Depot rewarded $500,000 to 10 different HBCUs for capital improvement projects. It has given nearly $6 million over the past decade to various schools.

Alabama native Smiley, heard locally on Hot 107.9, graduated from HBCU Alabama State University in Montgomery. “It made me the man that I am,” he said in an interview before the event April 22. Alabama State’s music program drew him. He played multiple instruments and could do classical and jazz. He graduated with an English degree. 

He goes back to ASU frequently to speak and helps with fundraisers. 

Sharpe, a three-time Super Bowl winner and now a Fox Sports host, gave an impassioned speech about how Savannah State University in 1991 changed his path. He praised his teachers there who encouraged his academic pursuits and ensured he graduated. 

“I found myself sitting in the middle of the class, then moving to the front,” he said. “They gave me that type of confidence... I could be anywhere and hold my head up proud and this is what Savannah State cultivated.”

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About the Author

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