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

Justin Farmer takes over 5 p.m. from John Pruitt at WSB-TV

justin FarmerJustin Farmer is taking over for John Pruitt co-anchoring the 5 p.m. news on WSB-TV. starting Jan. 4, 2010.

He has been effectively anointed the heir apparent to Pruitt, much like his future 5 p.m. co-anchor Jovita Moore has been Monica Pearson’s likely replacement for years.

Atlanta native Justin Farmer is the son of Don Farmer, a former veteran newscaster in Atlanta who worked with Pearson many years ago. He arrived in Atlanta in June 2008, coming from Dallas.

General Manager Bill Hoffman praised Farmer for his journalistic experience and his love for Atlanta. “He’s well rounded,” Hoffman said. “He’s a great writer and a quick study. He’s most importantly a great collaborator and team player. He’s a leader. He’s constantly bringing in story ideas and he’s delivered high quality reporting. He was the choice and he’s ready.”  

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Hoffman even spoke to Justin’s dad Don, who he said was naturally proud of his son.

“He has not come across to me as a strong journalist/anchor I’d expect a major market television station to have,” said Michael Castengera,a broadcast news consultant and lecturer at the Universtiy of Georgia. “I’m not sure he has the same chops as his father. John was the perfect foil for Monica. He’s solid and reliable. WSB has a huge heritage. They should be rightfully proud of that. They do a lot of things right besides having very good talent. But talent is a huge issue and how you hand that baton off is critical to their future.”

Pruitt has been in Atlanta TV for a whopping 42 years, both at WXIA-TV and WSB-TV. He has not stated when he plans to retire. Pearson has rumbled about retiring in years past but hasn’t made the move yet.

Pruitt will continue to anchor the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news with Pearson.

WSB has operated the top-rated evening newscasts in Atlanta for many years.

WSB-TV is part of Cox Enterprises, which also owns ajc.com.

33 comments Add your comment

lee lee

November 25th, 2009
1:41 pm

No, he’s getting this position because he is Don Farmer’s son. He boggles the news stories quite a bit, and has not done works in the trenches like others seem to have to go through before accelarating to the anchor position.

Paula

November 25th, 2009
2:19 pm

Justin Farmer? Really? He’s not very strong at all. Bad choice by WSB.

MAD-DONNA

November 25th, 2009
2:40 pm

Proving once again, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”

Michael

November 25th, 2009
2:48 pm

Moore is in for a long wait. Monica’s been talking about retirement as long as most people have been working. I suspect the only way she’s leaving that place is feet first.

Atl Resident

November 25th, 2009
2:52 pm

Amazing how when these guys lose one gig, they are so quick to find another one and dont be unemployed long.

GrammAr LoveR

November 25th, 2009
3:04 pm

Where is Ryan Young?

GT10

November 25th, 2009
3:23 pm

Personally, I would rather John Bachman get the job. I think he is much better and much more handsome.

IAmMe

November 25th, 2009
3:43 pm

Why is my Ryan Young not sitting at the desk yet?!?!

The ghost of Russ Minschew

November 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

Why no followup coverage of the bizarre WSB explosion after the live truck ran into some power lines? OSHA investigation — a Cox coverup?

ATL Tele Watcher

November 25th, 2009
4:00 pm

I agree that he isn’t ready for prime time. I have not been impressed with him since he arrived. I agree with MAD-DONNA that its not what you know but who you know.

dumb-woody

November 25th, 2009
4:14 pm

He was an arrogant jerk in high school and I ran into him a month ago and nothing had changed. Hello Fox 5.

Wayne

November 25th, 2009
4:25 pm

John Bachman is much better.

Kevin

November 25th, 2009
5:51 pm

THIS IS RACIST!

Erik

November 25th, 2009
6:13 pm

I really don’t see what everyone’s issue is… He’s extremely well spoken and very intellegent. I have full confidence in his ability and look forward to his segments.

DamntheButcher

November 25th, 2009
7:35 pm

Great choice WSB. Justin is smooth and I could see this 6 months ago in the making. This guy has what it takes and I see him and Jovita as a team for a long time.

atlBOY

November 25th, 2009
7:50 pm

yes ryan young is certainly smooth, but he’s not a good match with monica pearson, think about it. he’d be much better with jovita moore, but she’s ‘in-waiting’ i guess. justin farmer, i always thought, was a bit of a lightweight, we’ll see how he does on his own. john bachman, yes he’s a handsome one, but his personality just isn’t very strong. he’s an EXCELLENT match with linda stouffer, for real. maybe they’ll be a more regular team. that is all. happy thanksgiving to all!

jimmyjohn

November 25th, 2009
8:42 pm

Makes no sense.

It’s the classic white bread male with no distinguishing characteristics. Well, that explains it. WSB – Bland is safer.

RAZ

November 25th, 2009
9:48 pm

I worked with Justin for years. He is a pro. He is passionate and qualified. Way to go WSB-TV you made a great choice!

Ron

November 25th, 2009
10:17 pm

WSB-TV made the right choice at the right time.

Justin Farmer will do a great job. He will represent the station and the community well.

Job well deserved!

Narcy

November 26th, 2009
1:44 am

Justin looks like someone who frequents Midtown Glory Holes.

I should know.

David Milton

November 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

I would think anyone could tell me about today’s apartment fire, flat screen TV theft smash and grab, and a couple of unsolved shootings.

Chuckie D

November 26th, 2009
7:27 pm

I agree—it’s not what but WHO you know (or have th bloodline). Doesn’t the Queen Bee also have a daughter? Perhaps, we could see the next generation of Farmer-Pearson on air~~~~

Dan Ronan

November 26th, 2009
10:18 pm

I’ve worked in both Atlanta and Dallas and worked with Justin at WFAA. Originally at WFAA some people were skeptical about his work ethic and hustle, but he quickly won people over by being a solid team member and working hard. When he left WFAA the numbers were going up and I felt, based on my understanding of the Atlanta market, WSB would be a natural fit. I think Channel 2 made a great choice and I know he’ll do well on the 5pm. Justin’s a good guy and I wish him well.

Jen

November 26th, 2009
10:43 pm

Justin has it and will be very good. I look forward to him taking the slot and hope he strays from “if it bleeds it leads” in order to report more viable news. Good luck Justin.

Beau Bock

November 26th, 2009
11:59 pm

He couldn’t carry my jock. None of these young reporters could.

Jimmy Barron

November 27th, 2009
7:08 am

Barnes would have been a better choice.

Rob

November 27th, 2009
5:45 pm

Justin is certainly the expected choice, He should do fine. Of course, it will be a long time before the drama queen (does she really HAVE to deliver every two bit break-in story like it’s the apocalypse?) leaves, so his co-anchor will have a long wait before getting her turn. Sorry Jovita.

I like Ryan Young, a lot, but he’s just someone I prefer to see out on the story, not being a talking head. Also keep in mind that, while some reporters live just to climb into the big chair, a lot of them would rather stay out in the field.

Kristi

November 28th, 2009
12:34 am

Geeish!!!! relax people its the news!! he does a pretty good job and has chemistry with Jovita.. Its insulting to his talent to say he mearly got this gig because of his father.. he stands on his own.. good luck Justin

Bob

November 30th, 2009
1:14 am

Justin HAS done the time in the trenches @ WSB and has paid his dues. Most of these comments
are just not called for. I like John Bachman too. But Justin Farmer has been tapped for the job

Evening News

November 30th, 2009
8:26 am

I dont know why.. but John Bachman is just easier to look at and listen to than Justin Farmer. Nothing personal.

Jaybo

November 30th, 2009
8:45 pm

I worked with Justin YEARS ago in West Palm Beach, after he arrived from Albany, GA. He’s been in the trenches and he’s worked hard — he was out of the business for a while and worked hard to get back in. He’s a hometown guy, a great talent and he is one of the few guys who REALLY cares about his craft. If you like him now, you’ll love him soon. If you don’t like him now, you will.

CeeTee

January 10th, 2010
4:53 am

I am a news anchor in Chicago and I visit ATL quite often. And in my opinion, unlike Justin, John is an attractive guy and “pleasing to the camera”. John also has talent and he’s good! WSB (ATL) is certainly NOT known for having the most attracive anchors! Not that it really matters. But it is what is is. Jovita does not come across a “pleasant” at all! In fact, she seems very arrogant and cold. Hopefully, WSB will look at other female anchors before Monica leaves. Ryan is certainly not the “anchoring” type, but Eric Phillips certainly has the talent, ability and professionalism to be at least the weekend anchor! And yes, it IS who you know……wake up people!

Denns

February 7th, 2010
9:42 am

I was also surprised that Justin was chosen over John Bachman. Now that the decision is made, Farmer and Moore should swap slots with the dinosaurs until they fade into oblivion. When Pruitt retires, Pearson should just do specials and PR and Bachman and Erin Coleman should take the 5PM slot.