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Why is Jim Basile off 11Alive?

Jim Basile also plays in a polka band. CREDIT: 11Alive

Jim Basile also plays in a polka band. CREDIT: 11Alive

Jim Basile, the long-time morning traffic guy on 11Alive (WXIA-TV), is off the station after 12 years.

He was actually never an employee of 11Alive. He works for Metro Traffic Networks and continues to do so.

11Alive switched traffic vendors for more updated mapping technology and moved traffic into its own building instead of operating it out of Metro Traffic.

Nick Vavas now does Basile’s work as part of what 11Alive dubs the “Traffic Jam.”

Basile continues to do work for Sirius/XM’s traffic feed and 1380/WAOK-AM during mid-days. “I enjoyed it,” he said in an interview, of his time on 11Alive. “I’ll miss it. I worked with some great people there.”

Here is news director Ellen Crooke’s explanation for the changes in a Facebook comment:

This is Ellen Crooke, V.P. of News for 11Alive. I want to answer your questions about our new traffic reports in the morning. One of our goals as we continue to improve our morning newscast is to provide our viewers and users with faster traffic information, clearer maps with real time speed and accident information. We are now able to send people traffic information directly to their phones via text, email or a phone call. (To read only before or after they are driving of course). 11Alive invested in a new, state of the art traffic system which is now within our own studios with our own team. Nick Vavas is an employee of that traffic company and works right out of our studios now. For years 11Alive outsourced our traffic information to a company that employed Jim Basile. Unfortunately since Jim Basile was employed by another company that meant Jim would no longer be providing traffic reports on 11Alive. In speaking with viewers of our news product in the morning they told us over and over again they wanted clearer, more interesting traffic reports with better graphics and helpful information to improve their commute. Commuter Dude is fixing your commuter problems and Traffic jam is making sure you know what’s happening before you head out in the morning. Although change is hard to get used to at first ,we are absolutely confident that we are bringing you now the most sophisticated, state of the art traffic information to help you with your morning commute.


Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

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

156 comments Add your comment

TV Critic and Human Resource Director

August 18th, 2011
9:16 am

Enter your comments here
Ms Crooke is there any way you can now perhaps transfer Chelsey and Chia Head to another city where perhaps they would be more appreciated?
Thanks in advance

J

August 18th, 2011
10:01 am

Lots of changes at 11 Alive, none for the better that I’ve seen so far.

mary J

August 18th, 2011
10:07 am

Seriously 11Alive is going down the tube. Chelsey McNeal is a sarcastic twit. The new evening weather guy is creepy. The morning theme song is just overplayed and stupid. Once Jill goes, that’s it for me. They’ve got a real “winner” with their VP of News.

vagabondking

August 18th, 2011
10:08 am

How much worse can 11 Alive get? Who knows? I don’t want News, Traffic or Weather. I want a bunch of giggling twits in the morning pretending to be my best friend.

shelleygirl

August 18th, 2011
10:11 am

Hate the new changes. Miss Jim!!! Ms. Crooke and her Wizometer need to wiz away!!!! I have not heard one person say they like the changes. I think the next change needs to be Ms. Crooke.

Steve

August 18th, 2011
10:12 am

Who was the female anchor at 6 last week? Melissa something.

Woodstock Reader

August 18th, 2011
10:29 am

One bright and dazzling change — the addition of Ms Mellisa Long to the 11alive news(?) during Brenda Wood’s vacation. That is a personality worth keepng !! Ms Crooke should request Brenda Wood to take more vacation, more out-of-town assignments, or maybe extended leave …

Jeffro Bodeen

August 18th, 2011
10:36 am

Thank You 11 alive…..for another ejection of a personality that was actually LIKABLE! About the only way to get me to watch this station would be to go get Dagmar Midcap and air her with full frontal nudity.

Tom C

August 18th, 2011
10:37 am

You’d think a “news director” or “VP of News” (whatever she is, she & Rodney used two different titles) would at least have learned the art of the paragraph break by now when conveying information in an email. Giant run-on-endlessly single paragraph messages like that make my head hurt, and are a sign of very weak intelligence. I’m surprised her message wasn’t typed in all caps.

eleven unalive

August 18th, 2011
10:54 am

Jeffro- You had me at “Dagmar”! Now I would definitely be watching that!

BTW, I always thought the name “Dagmar Midcap” sounded like a mutual fund…

Long-time Viewer

August 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Just for the record, the “Wiz-o-meter” has bad connotations as to what is actually being measured, and the Traffic Jam segment is a mess. The set looks like something temporary and in progress, and the Nick guy is really blah. The upside? These segments give me plenty of time to do chores or eat breakfast in the AM.

Rhubarb Jones

August 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Paul Ossmann is a great broadcast professional and I predict that he will emerge into a great position and I never worked with a more dedicated professional and good guy as Jim Basile.

Dawg A

August 18th, 2011
11:02 am

I do not like the new weather guy and WILL NOT watch 11 Alive until you bring back Paul Ossman. Change for the sake of change sometimes does not make sense! WSB you now have my business!

RonD

August 18th, 2011
11:03 am

Melissa Long is okay but she is no replacement for Brenda Wood. If Brenda Wood goes, I am gone too.

Spacey

August 18th, 2011
11:05 am

What this fails to mention is that most of the traffic reporters are under terrible YEAR-long non-compete contracts. Metro Networks is hold all of their talent hostage. Jim is probably under one as well. Doubtful that most could sit out of work for a year.
Most anchors and reporters are only under 6 month non-compete contracts. A Year means you signed your life to them.

Daryl-Atlanta

August 18th, 2011
11:07 am

I just reread Rodney’s recent post about fellow 11Aliver Paul Ossmann leaving and one snippet from his story said…”He also wasn’t doing enough of his own graphics work.” Now comes 11Alive’s news director Ellen Crooke who writes in Facebook about switching away from Metro Traffic & Jim Basile….”In speaking with viewers of our news product in the morning they told us over and over again they wanted clearer, more interesting traffic reports with better graphics and helpful information to improve their commute. ” So, to summarize…in both the case of Mr. Ossmann and Mr. Basille, the underlying reason for them being “voted off the island” was due—- “graphics.” So, there you go…”graphics” is to blame….and all this time we thought it was Ms. Crooke cleaning house and getting rid of the on-air talent that she inherited when she took the job at 11Alive.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 18th, 2011
11:07 am

His name , tragically, always comes out sounding like “Imbecile” , on the radio, mainly due to the low quality diction of many local radio announcers.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 18th, 2011
11:10 am

@ Daryl

With the high quality education being dished up by the APS and other metro school boards, the move to more shiny graphics may be a necessitated by the fact that most kids graduating from local public schools are functionally illiterate.

Switching Channels

August 18th, 2011
11:13 am

She’s a Crooke alright…she’s stolen everythink I liked about the morning news on 11Alive. I’ll be switching channels as soon as Jill is gone.

MediaDavid

August 18th, 2011
11:24 am

Traffic Dude or whatever is a total joke. I don’t mind Chesley, but the wizomater has to be an intentional inside joke. there is no way something that obvious gets past the number of corporate honchos and consultants who approved it. they want us talking about how silly it is.

Buckeye

August 18th, 2011
11:33 am

I’m sure Jill cannot wait to get the heck out of there.

Guy Sharp is rolling over in his grave with the Wizometer. Just give me “hot, hazy and humid” day after day.

My IQ must drop in half in order to watch 11Alive. It’s a shame as I’ve been I 20 year viewer.

cindy cash

August 18th, 2011
11:34 am

Rodney….thanks for checking in with Jim for us. Jim, you are the best traffic reporter in the city and you are sorely missed from 11 Alive. Miss Cooke, your comment that people should read their text messages about traffic only when they are not driving sounds like an after-thought following what you thought would be a great justification for all the changes. Jim is so good and dedicated and always fresh. I don’t believe your research showed you need more graphics. Anyway, Jim, best of life to you always!

bulldogbubba

August 18th, 2011
11:34 am

To 11Alive – BLAH,BLAH,BLAH,BLAH,BLAH!!!!!!

newswatcher

August 18th, 2011
11:41 am

I have switched to Fox News. Chelsea or whatever, is a joke and the wizometer sounds like he is measuring his manhood!!!!!!!!!!!!

BILL'YA

August 18th, 2011
11:49 am

Chesley seems like a very smart guy but not some one I trust to get me through the storm! Jim and Paul were great.Don’t like the changes so far!

Nerlman

August 18th, 2011
11:51 am

I have switched to Channel 2 after being loyal to 11Alive for more than 20 years. Lots of my coworkers and people in my Church have also left 11Alive. We all Dislike the changes. I hope their new ratings numbers take a total dive and Ellen Crooke is shown the door!!!

MediaWatcher

August 18th, 2011
11:54 am

Yea…right…Ellen Crooke did all that research. You can EASILY get a research company to ask questions that are slanted to make sure you get the answers you want…if she really even did any research. That graphics thing is absolutely nothing more than an excuse. Did anybody out there get a phone call from a research company asking your opinion about the traffic reports on 11Alive? WHAT A JOKE SHE IS!

I feel SO sorry for the people at 11Alive. Trust me…she has absolutely NO idea what she is doing…except ruining peoples lives. It makes me second guess Gannett as a company on why they keep her employed.

Sage

August 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

Ellen Crooke: Although change is hard to get used to …..

No, it’s actually not. Since this is all your doing Ms Crooke, I’ll be taking my viewing elsewhere. This new crew is not what I tune in to see. Hopefully YOUR contract will be up soon and you’ll be kicked to the curb like you did with Paul Ossman. We MISS you Paul!!

Oh and Mellisa Long and her wierd eye makeup reminds me of the vampires in the Twilight saga. A little scary.

Matt the Brave

August 18th, 2011
12:11 pm

Gee, let’s see. Why is Jim Basile off of 11 Alive? Could it have something to do with the fact that the current VP didn’t hire him herself? Gee, I wonder if that’s it? (sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm)

Jennifer

August 18th, 2011
12:21 pm

I was wondering where Jim went! I enjoy some of the new changes – Chesley is pretty funny to me. I will miss Jill. I, too, think the Wizometer is a joke. Everytime I hear/see it I keep thinking, “He’s the Wiz and he lives in Oz!” Seriously, its too much. It will thoroughly confuse my students when we begin discussing weather and I have them report the weather daily. Also, its purely opinion based. I might like rainy, cold weather!

Mr Fernwell

August 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

Hey Nerlman! Did 11Alive get Mike Francis from Accountemps? He stinks!! Bring back PAUL!!!!! I’m sure Mike Francis is a nice guy, but doesnt he feel a little uncomfortable coming into a city where he is replacing a very popular guy who was fired? I wouldnt want that job!!!

Phred

August 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

In other news, the management of ClearChannel Atlanta is looking very seriously at hiring current management of 11-DeadOrAlive. They already know ClearChannel’s management model.

Diane

August 18th, 2011
12:26 pm

Jim Basile ranks right up there with Capt Herb Emory and Kurt Mellish…the real folks that know ATL and the traffic and weather ! I’m done with 11Alive. The new traffic guy is a joke. Luckily they pulled the screechy voice side kick that was giving the radio station updates, AFTER, she encouraged the viewers to text or call the station with traffic issues…that didn’t last long ! Rightfully so.

I won’t even attempt to read the explanation of that Ellen woman, all I see is blah blah blah. The truth is that Atlanta viewers are loyal, intelligent and really care about the local stations. The powers that be at 11Alive are not smart enough to realize this. IF they think these changes are going to improve their ratings, I think they are wrong. I worked for a company one time that preached over and over, keep the customers you have, it is easier than finding new ones.

Lynn

August 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

I will not watch Channel 11 after Jill leaves. I do not think that Chealsy is funny- he gets on my last nerve. I love Brenda Wood. She is a classy lady as is Jill. When they go, I go!

Diane

August 18th, 2011
12:29 pm

OH and my last comment has to do with the WIZ….that is so stupid. All we need is temp range and whether or not it is going to rain….the stupid “numbers” they post don’t really mean anything whatsoever !

Jill has been my favorite for many many years and I hate that she will no longer be there. I had already decided when she left I wouldn’t watch 11Alive because the dregs that are left are just too silly and slap stick. I read a comment somewhere recently about we don’t need a variety show at that hour of the morning.

susan copeland

August 18th, 2011
12:31 pm

I am truly disappointed in the changes that have been made to 11 Alive news. I love Jim Basille and will miss him alot. Sometimes change is not good, It’s sad that people are being fazed out due to technology and graphics,etc. I am still deciding if I will continue watching 11 Alive. I lke Chesley Mcneil alot but, the Wizometer is lame and has to go. I will miss Jill as well….

Former 11 Alive Viewer

August 18th, 2011
12:37 pm

This week I started watching Channel 2 news in the morning because of all of the upheaval at 11 Alive. 11 Alive’s Traffic Jam is anything but better than what Jim Basille provided, and Nina Brown reporting on “What’s Trending in the ATL” is just annoying.

Hated to change the channel because I love Jill Becker, but enough was enough.

Ellen TN

August 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

I think it should’ve been announced when Jim was leaving. Not ONE mention of that on air. We all just woke up to this entirely new “traffic jam” last Monday morning. I still think you owe the audience some sort of explanation on air, not just here (or your FB page). Oh yea I forgot EVERYBODY on the planet is on FB so why bother right??????? geez. Seems like Jill Becker’s last day has been changed from August to September. I sure hope we are made aware of her last day BEFORE it’s already passed us by. I’ve been in Atlanta since 1987 and I believe she joined the show around that time. She’s like a big sis to me who will be dearly missed.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

Soooo..WSB could hire the guy and give Mark Arum a little time off..he is the new Jeff Hullinger ..

(If that went over some heads, back in the day, Hullinger used to be on the radio or tv at any time of the day you turned on local tv news or wgst radio ..couldn’t figure when he ever slept)

Ellen TN

August 18th, 2011
12:41 pm

As the others have posted on this subject, I will most likely stop watching the morning show after Jill leaves. Just a suggestion to that other lead anchor in the morning, not every story needs to be told with a big grin on your face. I mean REALLY???

Cindy

August 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

I thought change was always supposed to be for the better.. well, it is surely not in 11 Alive’s case. The evening news girl & guy are creepy and show little interest in what they are reporting/reading..I want Jim back and I am being selfish by saying.. PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US JILL….

ziza

August 18th, 2011
12:51 pm

Another bad move by 11Alive. I loved seeing Jim, he was real down to earth and VERY likeable. just another reason for me NOT to watch that station. ARGH…when will Atlanta get real with their programming. This is NOT Hicksville, USA!!!

Hiram Momma

August 18th, 2011
1:10 pm

I watched my last 11 Alive newscast last week. Switched to WSB. Not much better, but 11 Alive really made me mad by getting rid of so many quality folks.

snickers

August 18th, 2011
1:10 pm

Maybe you need to start with spell check on your bottom news crawler and have your producers displaying the right video with the story the desk is reporting on. The new set is a mess. Chelsey needs to go back from where he came from and take upper management with him. Just remember, you get what you pay for and it seems like you all are cutting to many corners. Jill is going to be missed, sorry to see her go. But when she is gone I will be moving to another channel.

brokebottom45

August 18th, 2011
1:11 pm

You folks make it sound so bad for Atlanta TV. Imagine what you would be exposed to if you lived in the Middle Georgia area….WMAZ Channel 13 old as the hills and ain’t improved a lick since the first day of on the air broadcasting….Channel 41 WMGT truly an entry level station for all employees….and a few other boo boos just to cover all the remaining networks. Folks down here wish we could get Atlanta TV stations. We would enjoy the commercials more than we do the local programming here especially the news where one announcer is afraid that another announcer is going to get to say something. Worse than watching FOX News where debaters try to out-talk each other all at the same time. And when the allotted time has expired we wonder what is happening in the news cuz we sure did not learn anything from our local TV .

Mr. G

August 18th, 2011
1:18 pm

Jill is the only reason why I would tune in to 11alive in the mornings. Chesley and his Wizometer is a joke….please give rid of them both. Brenda Wood is a class act, and if she leaves, then I certainly won’t be watching 11alive any longer….Jim was a great traffic reporter, now you have this annoying Nick Vavas.

mark

August 18th, 2011
1:23 pm

I agree. These new people that 11 UnAlive is bringing in SUCK! As I said before Chelsey is awful and as one comment earlier the new weather dude is CREEPY!

Angie

August 18th, 2011
1:23 pm

Bring back Paul Ossman!

JimmyZ

August 18th, 2011
1:53 pm

Dear Ms. Crook:

If you hold shift while hitting enter on Facebook, you can create a paragraph break. Just thought you ought to know.

As for the change, it really didn’t matter to me, I left a while back. Maybe now channel 5 will put Jim Bacille to work there…he’d be a nice fit.

Mike

August 18th, 2011
2:00 pm

I really, really like Jill Becker. I’ll be leaving 11Alive when she does in a few weeks, though.