Why is Jim Basile off 11Alive?

By RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com, originally filed August 18, 2011

Jim Basile, the long-time morning traffic guy on 11Alive (WXIA-TV), is off the station after 12 years.

He was actually never an employee of 11Alive. He works for Metro Traffic Networks and continues to do so.

11Alive switched traffic vendors for more updated mapping technology and moved traffic into its own building instead of operating it out of Metro Traffic.

Nick Vavas now does Basile's work as part of what 11Alive dubs the "Traffic Jam."

Basile continues to do work for Sirius/XM's traffic feed and 1380/WAOK-AM during mid-days. "I enjoyed it," he said in an interview, of his time on 11Alive. "I'll miss it. I worked with some great people there."

Here is news director Ellen Crooke's explanation for the changes in a Facebook comment:

This is Ellen Crooke, V.P. of News for 11Alive. I want to answer your questions about our new traffic reports in the morning. One of our goals as we continue to improve our morning newscast is to provide our viewers and users with faster traffic information, clearer maps with real time speed and accident information. We are now able to send people traffic information directly to their phones via text, email or a phone call. (To read only before or after they are driving of course). 11Alive invested in a new, state of the art traffic system which is now within our own studios with our own team. Nick Vavas is an employee of that traffic company and works right out of our studios now. For years 11Alive outsourced our traffic information to a company that employed Jim Basile. Unfortunately since Jim Basile was employed by another company that meant Jim would no longer be providing traffic reports on 11Alive. In speaking with viewers of our news product in the morning they told us over and over again they wanted clearer, more interesting traffic reports with better graphics and helpful information to improve their commute. Commuter Dude is fixing your commuter problems and Traffic jam is making sure you know what's happening before you head out in the morning. Although change is hard to get used to at first ,we are absolutely confident that we are bringing you now the most sophisticated, state of the art traffic information to help you with your morning commute.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog