Fred Kalil, the veteran Atlanta TV sports broadcaster, is going to retire on April 3 after 40-plus years in the business when the March Madness tournament ends.
WANF-TV general manager Erik Schrader confirmed his pending departure Tuesday. “He’s moving to Arizona to be closer to family,” Schrader said.
An Indiana native and Indiana University graduate, 64-year-old Kalil joined 11Alive (WXIA-TV), the NBC affiliate in 1992 after sports anchoring and reporting jobs at stations in Huntington, West Virginia; Phoenix, and Indianapolis.
He spent 23 years at 11Alive, winning multiple Southeast Emmy awards. While there, Kalil overcame a brain cyst and for a period of time in the mid-2010s, had trouble reading from a teleprompter. He has since recuperated.
Surprisingly, 11Alive, after letting him go in 2015, waived his non-compete clause and let him join CBS46 immediately. (CBS46 is now Atlanta News First.)
His former 11Alive sports broadcasting colleague Sam Crenshaw called Kalil fearless and said viewers saw how much he cared about the community.
Brenda Wood, the former 11Alive evening anchor who retired in 2017, lauded his “affable personality, his smile, his genuine kindness, his sports knowledge... Freddie is without a doubt an ATL icon, a true legend. His popularity and longevity speak volumes. I’m honored to have been a colleague.”
Randy Waters, who also worked on the sports broadcasting team with Kalil at 11Alive, said Kalil was an exceptionally supportive colleague. “Freddy did great, great work and when he deserved accolades, I’d joke and say, ‘Not bad for a stupid Hoosier!’ He’d be the first guy to carry the gear for the photographers. He was very creative with a great sense of humor.”
Frank Volpicella, a former CBS46 news director, said he never saw Kalil “get angry or say anything bad about anyone. Just a genuine human being. The industry is going to miss him.”
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Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com