Briefs: Crash Clark’s third marriage; WSB wins Marconi Award; new CBS46 GM

Chris "Crash" Clark, long-time traffic reporter in Atlanta, got married earlier this month in Sandy Springs. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRBIUTE

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Chris "Crash" Clark, long-time traffic reporter in Atlanta, got married earlier this month in Sandy Springs. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRBIUTE

Credit: CONTRBIUTE

11Alive morning traffic reporter Christopher “Crash” Clark recently got married a third time.

He met his Argentinian bride Soledad Diaz in Disney World in March and they had a whirlwind romance. They married in Sandy Springs before 15 close friends, he said on 11Alive.

“We all jumped on a party bus and had a great day,” said Clark.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Clark said after his second divorce, he wasn’t anticipating a third marriage any time soon.

But while visiting Disney World in March, he spied a beautiful woman sitting by herself. So he sat down with her not knowing she knew zero English. But his brother Tom Clark knew Spanish and played translator.

Clark, a fixture in Atlanta media for three decades, brought her to the front of the line of a Star Wars ride although she didn’t have special access like him. So he called her his wife and convinced the employee to let her in as well. “By the time the ride was over, we had our first kiss,” he said. “If you want to use a Star Wars analogy, it moved at light speed. We were in hyper space!”

Diaz, a federal police officer in Argentina, had taken a 10-day vacation to Florida by herself. She was single and they fell in love. She eventually moved in with Clark and with the marriage, they are now trying to get her a green card, a work visa, a social security number and eventually, U.S. citizenship. (He said friends asked him if he had wanted to do the TLC show “90 Day Fiancé,” which involved Americans bringing foreigners stateside for possible marriage but he said that didn’t appeal to him at all.)

Clark said Diaz has been learning English as quickly as she could, watching a lot of Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Netflix with the English captions on. She is also using plenty of language apps.

He happened to know another Argentinian in his building and Diaz and the neighbor have become acquaintances. And she has gotten to know his friends. “We go to the Rusty Nail,” he said. “She can go off and talk to everybody. Her English is now good enough.”

Clark is 55 and his wife is 30. He acknowledged the 25-year age difference but noted that “I’m a big kid at heart. We clicked on a playful scale at Disney. I like going to the gym. She does, too. We just enjoy life and while we’ve had conversations about the age difference, it doesn’t bother me one bit.”

On a sadder note, his older sister Susie passed away Nov. 10 from an aggressive form of cancer. “From cloud nine to absolute heartbreak as we said goodbye to my sister Susie,” he wrote on his public Facebook page. “Now you and Mom can join on the next Disney adventure. I love you my sister, Rest In Peace.”

He said that she was able to die at home. “It happened fast,” he said. “It’s been a roller coaster and not the fun Disney kind.”

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WSB's current logo.

Credit: WSB

WSB's current logo.

Credit: WSB

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WSB's current logo.

Credit: WSB

Credit: WSB

News/talk WSB Atlanta was recently awarded the prestigious Marconi Legendary Station of the Year Award.

The National Association of Broadcasters handed out its radio awards last week.

Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy.

NAB identified the station as WSB-AM although a vast majority of its listeners now listen to the station on its 95.5 FM signal, not its AM750 signal. A couple of years ago, WSB even dropped the AM750 from its logo.

The station in 2015 won the Marconi best news/talk station.

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The logo CBS46 used as CBS Atlanta for seven years until today.

Credit: Rodney Ho

The logo CBS46 used as CBS Atlanta for seven years until today.

Credit: Rodney Ho

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The logo CBS46 used as CBS Atlanta for seven years until today.

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Atlanta-based Gray Television is about to take over Meredith Corp., which owns Atlanta CBS affiliate CBS46 and Peachtree TV, and is already making management changes.

Deborah Collura, who joined CBS46 as general manager in the spring of 2020, is being replaced by Erik Shrader. Shrader will take over CBS46 (WGCL-TV) and sister station Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV). He has been general manager of CBS affiliate WOIO and the CW affiliate WUAB in Cleveland since 2016.

“During his time at WOIO,” Gray said in a press release, “the station has undergone a major rebranding, seen solid increases in ratings and revenue, and has been at the forefront of OTT innovation.”

Shrader will be the seventh general manager at the station in the past 12 years. Collura was preceded by Lyle Banks, who was at the station from 2018 until 2020. Former WSB exec Mark Pimentel ran CBS46 from late 2014 to 2018. His predecessor Trey Fabacher was in that role two years. Before him, Kirk Black had the job for two years, nine months. Andy Alford prior to him was general manager for four years. In the early 2000s, Sue Schwartz oversaw the station.

Gray in a press release said it anticipates the deal, announced earlier this year, will close with regulators next month.

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