City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Local blogger of Live Apartment Fire goes back to TV broadcasting on WXIA-TV

For the past 18 months, dedicated followers of Atlanta TV news broadcasting have gotten an insider’s take of the business thanks to former WAGA-TV broadcast journalist Doug Richards.

The often funny, always insightful blog is dubbed Live Apartment Fire. The name is a reference to a frequent breaking news story that would often supersede whatever is going on, simply because it makes a good visual.

Richards had left the business to start his own production company and he blogged in hopes of generating buzz and some business. But these are tough times and when WXIA-TV offered him a part-time gig as a reporter again, he decided to take it. He starts back August 10, set to work three days a week.

He was genuinely surprised WXIA’s news director Ellen Crooke even called him. “I really hadn’t expected any news director to be particularly interested in my services after reading my blog,” he said.

Although he was a bit burned out with the business when he left WAGA in 2007, he said he’s looking forward to going back to TV. “There were a lot of things that drove me crazy about the TV business,” he said, “but I still have a lot of affection for it.”

Crooke arrived less than a year ago to WXIA from Buffalo.

Richards isn’t sure if Crooke’s more solutions-oriented approach will boost WXIA’s ratings. (The station is a distant third among four stations.). But he likes her and based on what he’s heard from WXIA’s staff, “she has brought a lot of personal energy to that newsroom. And the troops are behind her.”

Richards said his production company will continue. And the blog will survive, too. But as an employee of WXIA, he won’t be able to honestly slag his competitors or his own WXIA colleagues. He’ll have to show more discretion. He hopes to get some help from others such as CB Hackworth.

He said his blog has been gaining popularity in recent months. “It was never a money maker,” he said. “It was always a hobby. Having a successful hobby is kind of cute. It’s like following the Braves. They win, you clap your hands and find something meaningful to do.”

Read more here.

Will I cover an apartment fire, ever? Quite probably. I’m OK with it. I hope you’re watching when it happens.

I left a phone message with Crooke and will update this if I get a hold of her. (She seems to be on vacation.)

At a recent Atlanta Press Club event, Crooke explained why she told a journalism class a few months back that the local TV news business “stinks.”

5 comments Add your comment


July 27th, 2009
5:24 pm

It’s interesting what a blog has meant to Doug Richard’s career. A television reporter who found his voice not in broadcasting but in the new fangled world of bloggerville. Doug has been effective as a blogger because of his honesty and his non-stylized take on Atlanta media. My hope is he will not get stuck in stylized television reporting that has often made WXIA predictable to watch over the years. Their reporters play to television people and not viewers.Save those 4-second sound bites and 6-second narration into another 5-seconds of the interview.
Doug, forget your television experience and speak as you have in the blog.
As for CB Hackworth, his blog is worthless. He has very little to say that brings me back to “Certain Speculation.” A small perspective on a big wide world.

Ted Stevens

July 27th, 2009
10:33 pm

Carol, couldn’t agree more. When Doug leaves, that blog will go under. CB Hackworth is a moron and a hothead that thinks his opinion is the only one that matters.


July 28th, 2009
5:46 am

You have hit a nerve with me on CB Hackworth.
Here is his latest offering. . . .”Saturday, July 25, 2009
Chicken Little…A little vindication today from Jim Moret, one of the best newsmen on television these days.”
Jim Moret??? He is the son of actor James Darrin. A toupee wearing little entertainment reporter who has spent his entire career covering Madonna’s latest boyfriend and Lindsey Lohan’s latest meltdown. Best newsman?!?!? Doug Richards blog is worth saving. Isn’t there anyone who offers more ?? Please say yes! Just say no to CB!


July 28th, 2009
7:05 pm

I doubt Crook was on vacation. More like she was taking her fourth Gannett-forced furlough of the year…or the half year.

Just Some Guy

July 29th, 2009
2:21 pm

The troops are NOT behind Crooke. Just so you know.