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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

The transition continues: Channel 2 Action News’ John Pruitt cedes 11 p.m. to Justin Farmer

14152322In one of the most gradual transitions in local broadcast TV, the sturdy duo of John Pruitt and Monica Pearson on Channel 2 Action News has been shifting to the new generation of Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore.

The latter pair already handle the 5 p.m. hour. Earlier this month, Pruitt passed the 11 p.m. torch to Farmer. Pruitt and Pearson now only anchor together during the 6 p.m. newscast.

Both Pruitt and Pearson have said they plan to retire soon, though Pearson’s departure isn’t set until 2012. Pruitt has not given an exit date yet.

Pruitt and Pearson have anchored together for 16 years, with a combined 78 years in Atlanta local news. Pearson started in 1975; Pruitt, who has worked at WSB and NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, began his career in 1967.

Channel 2 Action News is the top-rated newscast at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

News director Marian Pittman sent me this email about the shift.

After 41 years on a night shift, John wanted his evenings free.  He is an extremely valuable part of our team and we were happy to make this request. He has certainly earned evenings off.  John is anchoring the highly rated Channel 2 Action News at 6pm  and very much a part of WSB’s fabric. For example, John anchored election night and will be back from time to time on the night shift.  We are very happy with Justin Farmer’s performance at 5:00. Viewers have accepted him and this made his additional responsibilities on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat an easy decision.  Justin is a great addition to the great night side team.

Year to year, our ratings are up at 11pm.

Pruitt himself in an email repeated much of what Pittman wrote:

Thanks for asking about my new schedule.   Having worked nights for 41 years, it’s a welcome change to go home in the evenings after the 6 PM  newscast and enjoy my family.   It’s also a bit strange to have this freedom, but I am happily adapting.
I’ve been discussing coming off the 11 with [General Manager] Bill [Hoffman] and Marian for some time, and after a strong May book, the timing seemed right.   I’ll still anchor election coverage and perhaps other news events after dark from time to time.
It’s pretty obvious as I step back from first the 5 and now the 11 that my
retirement is on the horizon.    But we haven’t announced a date.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

144 comments Add your comment

Clint Efird

July 22nd, 2010
12:04 pm

I am glad John is able to cut his schedule back and all the years of great work. I really like the new “kids” WSBTV has brought on, like Justin Farmer and John Bachman, etc. More reasons I will continue watching WSB.

Uncle Tom

July 22nd, 2010
12:19 pm

Justin, eh? What about the others who have been there longer?

Steve

July 22nd, 2010
12:21 pm

A life long Atlantan…John Pruit is THE trusted face and voice of Atlanta news. A class act! We will miss JP…congrats on a great career..

martha

July 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

yes it’s good that john will be getting nights off — yes he’s at the age for retirement — as are all that have been with him from the beginning — but it’s still sad to know the new ones are younger than we are instead of the same age or older!!

anyway have always loved john and monica — it will be so different without them — but that’s the way it goes — i guess ——-

Kelly

July 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Personally, I would prefer John Bachman at 5pm. Jovita is ok but is still lacking something. After 41 years John should have the evenings off.

News Watch

July 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Why not John Bachman? I think he’s a much better anchor.

dreux

July 22nd, 2010
12:38 pm

John Bachman IS a stronger anchor than Justin “Scared Eyes” Farmer and Jovita Moore would be a welcome replacement for Monica’s increasingly childlike delivery of the news.

Big Jim

July 22nd, 2010
12:39 pm

I respected John Pruitt while I was an Atlantan. Good guy.

Wish Columbia had his talent here.

Never liked Monica “insert married name”.Just didn’t like
her.

Pryncess

July 22nd, 2010
12:42 pm

Not a big fan of Jovita. Too bad they let Jaquitta Williams go to CBS.

Pryncess

July 22nd, 2010
12:43 pm

And I agree that I like John Bachman better.

Realness

July 22nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Bring back WARREN SAVAGE!!!!

Mike

July 22nd, 2010
12:51 pm

Different anchors….same house fires.

Morse Diggs

July 22nd, 2010
12:53 pm

Warren Savage has absolutly nothing on me. FOX5 for LIFE!

jimmyd

July 22nd, 2010
12:53 pm

I’m guessing they’re looking ahead, and feel that, given Farmer’s history, he’s a better long term bet that Bachman, for whatever reason.

As for Monica leaving, I agree with the “childlike” comment. She seems to think that every single story she does is a fourth grade dramatic reading. Believe me Monica, nobody else is excited about most of the crap you have to read-you don’t have to pretend to be.

The ONE thing that WSB has GOT to work on is getting whoever is writing their teases to actually READ the stories before they do.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed well over a dozen (probably a lot more, but that’s how many I counted) instances where the tease leading to the commercial promised something that was simply not in the story. If the tease is “when we come back, we’ll tell you how a local woman fought off her attacker” then that NEEDS TO BE IN THE STORY. As I say, this is not once in a while, it’s happening a lot!

Savvy

July 22nd, 2010
12:55 pm

Lol’ing @Realness…STOPPIT ;)

Kitster

July 22nd, 2010
12:57 pm

I have to agree with most on here -
John Pruitt – class act. Best in town.
John Bachman – should be the replacement. Justin Farmer is getting the
gig because his father was the anchor there as well? That is what I had
heard at least.
Monica? Time to go. Jovita is the future, and her time has come. 5 bucks
that come 2012 – Monica pushes it back another two years.

K

July 22nd, 2010
1:00 pm

The best anchor they’ve had in recent years was Amanda Rosseter. She read the news like a professional, unlike Monica and all the melodrama she adds. She and Bachman would make a great team, if they could just get her back.

Jim

July 22nd, 2010
1:08 pm

I think the guy with tenure (Bachman) should have been moved into that prime news slot. But, this is america and especially in conservative america it is all in who you know, not what you know. How bout daddy Don Farmer anchoring with Monica back in the day, that could have something to do with it for sure.

But anyhoo, just get the story straight.

C

July 22nd, 2010
1:12 pm

I just want more Dagmar. Don’t care what station it’s at. More Dagmar=awsome!

Kelly

July 22nd, 2010
1:13 pm

@ Dreux…I thought that it was just me..Justin does look a bit scared at times. I loved Amanda too, she was great.

Lucy

July 22nd, 2010
1:18 pm

Maybe they should put Jovita in, now that John’s gone.
Sad to see John go – he’s always so cool and collected and smooth, not like ‘choppy’ Monica Pearson. It’s hard to believe that John and Monica read from the same script!
Can’t believe how she’s stayed on for so long, considering the way she butchers a sentence with her awkward phrasing. And that over-enunciating.. so hard to understand what she’s saying.

Kat

July 22nd, 2010
1:18 pm

Jay Leno said he was retiring and look what happened to Conan. If WSB starts airing Monica’s Closeups 5 nights a week at 10pm, Jovita is toast.

kelly&carriefan

July 22nd, 2010
1:18 pm

Well, it’s only a matter of time…but add me to the John Bachman team.

Wallyrob

July 22nd, 2010
1:31 pm

I, too, miss the good old days of Warran Savage before his crack rock binge…….I say bring him back!!!!!!

triggerman357

July 22nd, 2010
1:38 pm

I believe Justin Farmer is gonna go the way of Collins Spencer. Time for Jovita to get some of Monica’s space suits and a new ‘do’.

Josh

July 22nd, 2010
1:39 pm

I, too, think John Bachman is a much stronger personality and news deliverer in the evening. Justin sometimes get flustered too easily, and always seems to be shouting. Bachman is a trusted guy who I would much more prefer seeing during the week – maybe put HIM on the 11, and keep Justin at 5.

Lee

July 22nd, 2010
1:41 pm

Absolutely. I’m Team Bachman as well. Farmer is good but Bachman is better. Hate the politics of the profession.

Really?

July 22nd, 2010
1:42 pm

People still watch the local news? Next thing you’ll say is that people pay money to buy a newspaper!

S

July 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Monica, it’s time to pass the torch.

Keith

July 22nd, 2010
1:51 pm

Please stop using Fred Blankenship for promo voiceovers. He has an annoying lisp on certain words that just drives me crazy!

Kenneth

July 22nd, 2010
1:53 pm

I just want to say thank you. You have came into my house for so many years. Good Job!

LSUTiger

July 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

John Backman is a much better anchor than Justin. Justin has those outdated sideburns and just does not come across as real. John Bachman should have been chosen hands down.

AtlMike

July 22nd, 2010
2:01 pm

I have to agree that John Bachman is much more of a professional anchor than Justin Farmer. I think it’s ok if Justin does the 5pm and John Bachman should do the 6pm and 11pm. John comes across that he really likes his job. Justin seems to be just going through the motions of reading the teleprompter.

jimmymack

July 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

john is class . but think what you could been if you monica’s hair dresser ?

Andrew

July 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

I agree with the above that Amanda Rosseter and John Bachman make the perfect co-anchors. Place me in the Team Bachman corner too. John has a much better personality and delivery style than Justin.

J-J

July 22nd, 2010
2:09 pm

John Bachman is much better than Justin. Jovita needs more grooming she will stumble on her words. But I love Karen Minton and David Chandley

Andrew

July 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

Speaking of the weather, isn’t it funny the Glen Burns does not seem to have a clue what the weather is going to do? It has become a joke in Atlanta that whatever Glen says, the weather will do the opposite. All of my neighbors just laugh at Glen. I thought David Chandley was his boss. If he is, he should get rid of Glen.

DW

July 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

Enjoy your evenings, Mr. Pruitt!

Michelle

July 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

I agree about the weather person. I think that David Chandley is the best weather person on TV. I like Karen Minton, but don’t get to see her much during the week since I work. I thouht it was funny that we also make fun of Glen Burns. If he says it is going to be clear, watch out! A thunderstorm with show up! I also think John Bachman should be the lead anchor. Besides being the best looking (don’t tell my husband), his delivery is the best!

Lichele

July 22nd, 2010
2:24 pm

I think Erin Coleman is doing a better job than all of them.

Andy in Blairsville

July 22nd, 2010
2:25 pm

Channel 2 is apparently where washed up field reporters and anchors go to die. It’s like the “Florida” of news stations in Atlanta.

Mark43

July 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

Well deserved! John Pruitt has been great and deserves this. Congrats John!

As for Justin Farmer, I’ll still take him anyday over that idiot with the spiked hair on Fox 5 News Edge.

Eraserhead

July 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm

Monica has been on WSB since I was in high school.She was certainly not washed up when she arrived. John Pruitt has been on WSB and WXIA for the last 30 years as well and is the consumate professional. The new anchors seem like they will do a good job also.

Michael

July 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

I’m an old codger who was just a kid when Monica first started threatening to retire. How can we miss her if she won’t go away?

Motocross Survivor

July 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

Unfortunately, Monica never got past the college radio delivery, which illustrates that it doesn’t necessarily take talent to succeed in TV news. Pruitt’s a bit of a PC punk, even at his age. Justin Farmer is kind of a cute little fellow. He could be my son or little bro.

Sportsmommy74

July 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

Give me Zach Klein… he’s dreamy for sure…

LS

July 22nd, 2010
2:45 pm

John Bachman instead of Justin Farmer……..much better anchor and has been there longer.

HawkeyeState

July 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm

Booo!! John Bachman wins that slot hands down. Much more professional, better delivery, and a great all around guy both on and off the camera.

CEO

July 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm

Yes, WSB made a mistake. John Bachman should have gotten the nod over Justin Farmer. Justin does look like a 1950’s guy with the sideburns.

Acworth

July 22nd, 2010
2:59 pm

John Bachman is several times better than Justin Farmer. We can look forward to seeing him land a much larger gig somewhere else .. WSB made the same mistake with Bachman that CNN made with Bill Hemmer .. Now Hemmer is killing CNN on a regular basis from his perch at FOX News .. WSB will regret the day it made this decision .. As for John Pruitt, maybe the best this city ever had .. It is nice to see someone like John conclude his career on an upswing in what is a cutthroat industry.