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Jill Becker retiring at 11 Alive in August after 23 years

CREDIT: WXIA-TV

CREDIT: WXIA-TV

Jill Becker, a fixture in the Atlanta TV market for three decades, announced today that she’s going  to retire in August when her contract is up.

“It was a surprise to the staff,” said news director Ellen Crooke. “She’s the heart of our morning news team. She will be very hard to replace.”

By giving seven months notice, Becker is giving 11 Alive plenty of time to find a replacement.

“After more than two decades, I am leaving a news team and a news show that I truly love,” Becker said in a press release. “I am however, looking forward to volunteering and to catching up on 30 years of sleep!”

In an interview later in the day, she said she had been thinking about retirement the past year but only recently told management. She wants to work more with Cure Childhood Cancer, a charity group. (She has a son who had T-Cell Lymphoma at age three. He is now 23 and cancer free.)

“I’m so incredibly grateful that I’ve had this long a run,” she said. “I don’t think people in television expect this type of run in one city.”

She’s worked side by side with several male anchors over the years, including Keith Whitney, Clarence Reynolds, Chuck Moore, Ken Watts, Dennis Douda and even Wes Sarginson for a brief time.  Her current co-host is, for the first time, a woman: Karyn Greer.

According to her bio on the WXIA-TV website, she hails from St. Louis and graduated with a bachelor’s degree on mass communications at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She began her TV career in Jacksonville, Fla. then moved to Little Rock, Ark. before coming to Atlanta in 1981 to work for Channel 2 Action News. She  joined 11 Alive in 1988.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

136 comments Add your comment

Holden Magroyne

January 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

I sure hope she wasnt forced out due to a contract non renewal. She is awesome!!! My vote is for Julie Wolfe as a replacement.

Ken

January 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

She’s great. The best on their morning team. Sad to see her go, but I’m sure getting to sleep in will be nice. Was it the snowstorm that clinched it?

Sam Sung

January 25th, 2011
5:14 pm

She is wizened and withered. Watching her in HD makes me barf.

erubi

January 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

Jill Becker is one class act…I will miss her!

erubi

January 25th, 2011
5:19 pm

And Sam Sung……you simply are barf.

Kirkwood

January 25th, 2011
5:19 pm

It’s a pleasure when people go out on top. Jill you will be missed.

Grace

January 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

Crawl back under your rock, SSung. You’re off key.

Jill’s GREAT!

Mark (another one)

January 25th, 2011
5:21 pm

Sam: Get a life. You must watch another show in the morning to have such a sour attitude.

Jill has been our wake up news person for many years, and I for one will miss her. She comes across as personable and caring, and she is a professional at her job. My wife and I have watched her for years, and hope she has a great retirement. Hopefully, 11Alive will find a way to convince her to do some part time contributions.

Marie

January 25th, 2011
5:21 pm

Yeah, Sam. Sung your meanie attitude else where!

Reginald

January 25th, 2011
5:22 pm

You are the greatest Jill. I remember the day you joined Hal Suite at the anchor desk on channel 11. You were and still is a bright light for 11Alive! I have laughed and cried with you through the years. May you continue to be bless through your young years!

[...] Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:  [...]

dre

January 25th, 2011
5:35 pm

Sam Sung, Wish you knew Jill and husband John and their kids, great folks. It’s time for you to stop your mouth breathing, bloated KFC chicken-eating-for-breakfast-living-in-mommy’s-basement ways and get out and interact with people. I actually never watch local news, but I am fortunate to have known this family for a long time.

Martha

January 25th, 2011
5:35 pm

Jill, thank you for your wonderful smiles and easygoing anchoring. I will miss you and wish you the best, and lots of hours of rest! You are a joy to watch.

say what?

January 25th, 2011
5:43 pm

I will miss Jill. I remember her on WSB and she was great then. Some mornings I tune to WXIA and I enjoy the relationship between Jill and Karen. So sad for her to leave. Atlanta is losing its “true” journalist.

John V.

January 25th, 2011
5:47 pm

I think Sam Sung is playing a cynical joke with his unpleasant words meant to inflame, but his inappropriate and potential hurtful comments make me wonder – for the first time – whether the AJC needs to exert a little more editorial control over what is displayed in the comment section. Free speech is important, but so is responsible speech, and giving the megaphone to any fool who writes in to spoof or spew waste space that could be given to more thoughtful readers who actually want to say something honest and constructive. This is my first time to offer a comment; I primarily read and enjoy what others have to say. I don’t know Jill but I have heard for years that she and her family are exactly the sort of people who make Atlanta a good place to live.

Rufio

January 25th, 2011
5:47 pm

Congrats Jill……your a class act……we loved you and Karen Minton when you two were together at WSB. Who would have thought you two would stay in the Atlanta Market for so long ?

Stefanie

January 25th, 2011
5:47 pm

Wow! Mornings will certainly not be the same. I sure will miss you, Jill.

Sweetah

January 25th, 2011
5:51 pm

So sad to hear this news; I watch Jill every morning! She will be missed. I hope she does some “specials” for them…she is wonderful. It’s like losing a member of my family!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nathan Faulkner and Rodney Ho, Atlanta Rio . Atlanta Rio said: Jill Becker retiring at 11 Alive in August after 23 years: CREDIT: WXIA-TV Jill Becker, a fixture in the Atlanta… http://bit.ly/fmA1cP [...]

Logic 88

January 25th, 2011
5:57 pm

Sam Sung is a moron.

diane canfield

January 25th, 2011
6:01 pm

Jill Becker is definitely ONE CLASS ACT. I have watched her every a.m. for 20 something years…………remember when her kids were born…………I will miss her smile and quick wit. Congratulations JILL.

Juanita

January 25th, 2011
6:03 pm

Jill is a great lady, she will be missed very much. I thought her and Karen made a good couple. Wishing her all the best.

Kevin C

January 25th, 2011
6:04 pm

Rodney, I think you meant to say University of South Florida, which is in Tampa. UF is in Gainesville.

Brannon

January 25th, 2011
6:07 pm

What a Great Gal!

I’ve always had a bit of a crush on her.

freidenker

January 25th, 2011
6:09 pm

don’t watch a.m. tv so haven’t seen Jill much but i know i don’t want to see sam sung, ever. sam, how many welfare checks does it take to buy an hd tv? …or is it your mom’s?

Inman Park Boy

January 25th, 2011
6:14 pm

Classy lady, will be missed. Vaya con dios!

Connie

January 25th, 2011
6:15 pm

Jill is the best there is in Atlanta morning TV. This will be two legends in Atlanta televsion, Jill and John Pruitt with Channel 2, who will have retired within one year. I hope that she will enjoy her retirement but will be back for specials.

Tom B

January 25th, 2011
6:17 pm

Julie Wolfe….. ggggrrrrrrrrrrrr.. she has my vote too!!!

Tom B

January 25th, 2011
6:20 pm

i one time sent out a request to send a video for a school project to at least 20 news casters… she was the only one that replied…. so much class…
my 82 mother loves her to pieces… God bless you Jill and your family

StuckInTraffic

January 25th, 2011
6:21 pm

Oh, no! I will miss her so much!

eddy

January 25th, 2011
6:21 pm

Jill is the type of person that makes watching the news worthwhile. She conveys a quiet sense of calm….never too much nor too little. I wish her well in her retirement. In this day when divas seem to be everywhere on TV, she has class! It is never about her but about the news or about others. Best wishes Jill. The volunteer world has gained quite an ally.

Traffic Headache

January 25th, 2011
6:29 pm

Like John Pruitt, Jill Becker was a beacon of stability on local news while instability reigned throughout. Happy trails, Jill.

godoggo

January 25th, 2011
6:32 pm

Jill Becker: Class, authoritative, caring, kind, elegant, brains, endless smiles, endearing, humble (even when i see her in Publix), enduring, and just the type of wife, partner, parent, employee, or friend i’d enjoy having while on this planet for such a short time. Thanks for starting our day and sharing yourself with us for soooo many years :) Gary ~

Holler if you hear me ?

DebDoes

January 25th, 2011
6:45 pm

Jill, you have been a bright star on TV for so long. Your Atlanta family will miss you. Good luck in your next career doing charity work and enjoy your retirement!

RODERICK

January 25th, 2011
6:47 pm

SAM SUNG ….SHUT THE HOLE THAT MAKES THE NOISE

Mark

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

Please hire someone as intelligent, thoughful and well spoken as Jill. Atlanta news stations are becoming more and more dull as they hire cartoons rather than jounalist. She is one of the best!

J Bay

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

I will miss Jill as she has set a high benchmark for anyone who attempts to replace her. I like Karyn just fine, but Jill was the only one who evens out Chesly…try as he might he is quick to grate on my nerves. 11 Alive, you have your job cut out for you to keep me as a regular morning viewer with Jill leaving.

Sad2CUGo

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

Best wishes Jill. I have enjoyed watching you every morning. The relationship and interactions between you, Karyn and Chesley is the absolute best on any Atlanta newscast.

taylor

January 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

Jill will you will really be missed!

Jim Warren

January 25th, 2011
6:51 pm

Gosh, this is just terrible for all of us who won’t know how to wake up happy without Jill there. She is hands down my favorite over the years. Jill, you have earned your retirement and we all owe you a debt of gratitude for the joy you have brought to so many. I thank you.

CJKatl

January 25th, 2011
7:02 pm

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I cannot imagine not waking up with Jill Becker. Jill is the only reason I put up with hearing about the Wizometer in the morning.

Chris

January 25th, 2011
7:03 pm

Jill Becker was part of my morning routine for so many years. I remember when she worked mornings with Guy Sharpe, and that was a LONG time ago. She is professional and competent, and I’ll miss her. Although I must confess I have switched to WSB in the mornings…I just couldn’t tolerate the Channel 11 “we want to HELP you” campaign. I have a feeling Jill wasn’t feeling it either.

Macatac

January 25th, 2011
7:15 pm

Will truly miss Jill. She was is the highlight of the morning show who is bright, cheerful and makes you feel like you almost know her as a neighbor or close friend. Wish her the best.

Cathy Coggins

January 25th, 2011
7:16 pm

Enter your comments here

Dondee

January 25th, 2011
7:18 pm

Well, when she goes I won’t have much of a reason to watch 11 in the am. Wishes for a happy retirement!

Honestly

January 25th, 2011
7:22 pm

She is the reason why I watch 11Alive in the morning. Wow and congrats on your retirement.

It'sAlwaysOne

January 25th, 2011
7:25 pm

Sam Sung…You jackwagon!!!!

Janet

January 25th, 2011
7:30 pm

Jill is one of the main reasons I settled on WXIA’s morning news when I moved to Atlanta and she always seems like a class act. She will be missed — hope she has the retirement she deserves and wants.

Rats

January 25th, 2011
7:31 pm

Very sad to see Jill go. For sure, will miss her. But can she take Chesley with her, please? He is an embarassment to our city…

jean

January 25th, 2011
7:35 pm

Jill don’t leave. When I moved to the area, I was so excited to Chris Holcomb. I remeber when he started in Macon.