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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

WSB-TV’s Justin Farmer thrilled to take over for John Pruitt at 5 p.m.

John PruittJustin Farmer and I couldn’t hook up by phone so he sent me a brief reaction note to getting the 5 p.m. co-anchor gig starting January 4, 2010 on WSB-TV. He takes over for John Pruitt (left), who will continue at 6 and 11 p.m. Farmer is the obvious heir apparent for Pruitt once Pruitt chooses to retire, probably next year when his contract is up (Monica Pearson, too, is likely to leave when her contract ends in three years). Here’s Farmer’s note to me  he wrote on Thanksgiving:

 
 
 

 

 

I hope you are set for a good holiday. I have eight people en route, so I’ll be brief.

Naturally, I am thrilled. This is my home. My colleagues are outstanding and I look forward to getting started with Jovita Moore and David Chandley.

Regarding John Pruitt. Working side-by-side with him at the convention and on a daily basis has been among the highlights of my career. He is a gentleman. I value his support immensely.

You asked what do I bring. 18 years of broadcasting experience from Albany, GA, to CNN Sports, to news anchoring in major markets like Denver, Dallas and now Atlanta. I have covered presidential elections, an inauguration and have also reported internationally.
You asked about my dad. I am very proud of him professionally and personally. He is proud to see me here.

 

 

Ron Zwerin, a friend of Justin’s, didn’t appreciate some of the negative comments about Justin in the original blog entry but couldn’t post from his work email so here are his comments:

I am writing to you directly because your website would not let me post a comment in the public forum section. I was posting from my work computer – with a valid email address and URL. (Strange for sure!)     I found many of the comments senseless, baseless and without merit.  

I have known Justin for a very long time. In fact, I worked with him in Denver. He is a true pro. He is committed, focused and dedicated to honing his craft and telling compelling stories. Anyone who calls him arrogant has never spent any real time with him – let alone went to high school with him. (see comment section)  

WSB did NOT hire Justin because his Dad was the main anchor at the station a generation earlier. That argument has zero merit. Using that logic; the Colts and the Giants drafted and start Peyton and Eli Manning because their father Archie played for the Saints a generation earlier.  

At the end of the day, WSB made a strategic decision to put Justin in the big chair for the next 20-years because research told them that was the right move. This is big-time TV. Big time executives make lucid decisions based upon facts, Q-ratings, and quantifiable research. If Justin didn’t do well in the key ratings periods as well as in research there is NO WAY he gets the job. Rule #1 in journalism: Follow the money! If WSB didn’t believe Justin would help them make money, they would move forward with another anchor.    

Lastly, to suggest that Justin lacks polish, strong writing skills and can’t tell a compelling story missed his recent series from Brazil – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/21638450/detail.html – He did an excellent job reporting on Brazil’s energy independence.   WSB made the right choice and the viewer is the true winner.   

All the best, Ron Zwerin

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9 comments Add your comment

LOL

November 27th, 2009
6:21 pm

Atlanta local nightly news is big time TV. lol

And what’s this lame Manning comparison? It’s nothing like that at all. Really bad comparison when you’re doing apples to oranges. In TV, it’s more like actor so and so got his break because his daddy was actor so and so. And there’s tons of these out there.

Maybe if he works real hard he can leave this third rate market, but there IS a reason he’s stuck on Atlanta TV.. and that’s something you can’t deny.

Dick Dastardly

November 27th, 2009
8:11 pm

Farmer is spinning because he is a jerk and those around him know it. He is always tooling around in his new Lexus around the Ansley Country Club. Pompous guy all the way. Not John Pruitt.

Phil

November 27th, 2009
10:22 pm

3rd rate market?? It’s 8th largest market last time I checked (and predicted to be #6 w/i next several years). Sure, there are bigger markets, just not very many.

newswatcher

November 27th, 2009
10:57 pm

“Follow the money! If WSB didn’t believe Justin would help them make money, they would move forward with another anchor. ”

well thank you for your honesty…it’s all about money and not about truthful reporting. I would have never guessed that he had 18yr of experience from watching him in action. I thought he was a greenhorn.

LOL

November 27th, 2009
11:53 pm

8th largest, that might be fine and well but when you compare Atlanta’s 2 million to let’s say New Yorks 7 million, or Los Angeles 6 million, then 8th looks a whole lot different than just 8 from the top. It shows in the quality of the program as well.

Dano

November 28th, 2009
12:33 am

While his skills may be impeccable, there are dozens of Justin Farmers in the broadcasting world.

Never underestimate the value of “legacy,” name recognition and loyalty!

Beau Bock

November 29th, 2009
11:51 pm

The young guys get all the breaks, while the experienced polished pro’s live on scraps.He doesn’t know this town like I do.

davis

November 30th, 2009
4:11 pm

I knew they brought him in to replace John Pruitt but as I’ve continued to watch 2, I like John Bachman better. We he was replacing Pruitt.

Interesting and irrellevant note/trivia question: What Channel 2 Anchor has braces? Hint – you can see them on closeups on an HD tv.

What does an anchor make in this markiet?

Connie

December 2nd, 2009
10:21 am

We here in the hinterlands like Farmer pretty well, He has big, big shoes to fill, tho’. I for one have always found Monica to be overly dramatic in her presentation of news.
So there!