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Mark Hayes leaving Fox 5’s ‘Good Day Atlanta’

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Mark Hayes departing

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Mark Hayes, a fixture on Fox 5’s “Good Day Atlanta” since 2002, is voluntarily leaving the show, according to a Fox 5 spokeswoman. Friday is his final day.

The station would have liked him to have stayed on if he had chosen to.

He will make his official announcement Friday morning during the 7 a.m. hour.

UPDATE: At 8:55 a.m. Friday morning, Fox 5 played a tribute video of light-hearted moments from Hayes’ ten years with the show, laughing with a lizard, the Rock, Ryan Seacrest and Terry Bradshaw.  He’s seen singing K.C. & the Sunshine Band, dancing  Irish Riverdance and cleaning a barbecue.

“This has been an incredibly fast ten years,” Hayes said. “I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. It’s been an honor and privilege to work with all you guys because you guys are the best in the business. I’m going to miss you guys truly. You guys are friends and family. We’ve done graduations together… My guys were babies when we got here. Now they’re grown and gone. Kenny’s in the Navy and Malcolm is just about grown up. He’s graduating high school in a couple of years. Where does the time go?”

“I leave with a heavy heart but I leave with no regrets, no complaints. This was not an easy decision,” he added. He did not indicate what his future plans are.

Hayes was co-anchor with Suchita Vadlamani for much of that time until she left in late 2010 after some management shifts. (Vadlamani has not returned to TV.).  Last year, Hayes was moved to the 5 to 7 a.m. anchoring hours and does reporting from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Buck Lanford took his place from 7 to 9 a.m., with Vadlamani’s replacement Gurvir Dhindsa.

“He brought a lot of energy to the mornings,” said Jan Hickel, who was the guest coordinator for several years and left last year. “They had great chemistry. They had fun on air together.”

Brett Martin, the former Fox 5 “Road Warrior” and a friend of Hayes, said he thinks Hayes wants to branch out and do other things. “He wants to grow,” Martin said.

The most recent “Road Warrior” who was let go last year, Stacey Elgin wrote to me that she loved working with him: “Mark was very professional on air and had a huge fan base. He will be missed by so many in the community!”

Bill Schneider, the Fox 5 general manager, released this statement:

“We have enjoyed working with Mark over the past 10 years. He has always demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for his work and it has resonated well with our viewers. We will miss Mark’s passion and wish him the best of luck in his future.”

Ratings have generally been on the upswing for “Good Day Atlanta,” which battles “The Today Show” for the No. 2 slot in the mornings.

Hayes did not respond to a call and text.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

240 comments Add your comment

ashley brown

April 6th, 2012
9:47 am

When they moved Jeff Hill out of the morning weather slot, I quit watching. Fox really had a good team with Suchita, Mark and Jeff but the new management has ruined the best local news show. Guess I will be switching between CBS and ABC now.


April 6th, 2012
9:49 am

Mark was the reason I watched!!!! I don’t blame him for leaving, the chemistry has REALLY changed since they broke up the team of Brett, Suchita, Jeff, and Cheryl. Best wishes to Mark and I’m off to another morning show!


April 6th, 2012
9:52 am

Ugh-not a good move Fox. First Suchita, now Mark. I’ll be switching to another channel in the AM; I was NOT happy when they moved Mark out to do roving reporter type stuff. I had a feeling then he was not going to be around much longer. I’m sure he took it as an insult.

He was a great anchor for the show; and now he’s gone altogether? Why would they do that? I’ve got my guesses, but I’ll keep them to myself for now. This is why folks don’t take Fox seriously at all.

Good luck to you Mark, wherever you go-I know you’re on to bigger and better things!


April 6th, 2012
9:54 am

I am not surprised that Mark is leaving. I will miss him terribly. I enjoyed watching Mark, Suchita, Jeff, Cheryl, and Brett (as the Road Warrior). They were a fabulous TEAM. No longer watching Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta.

Huge Fan

April 6th, 2012
10:01 am

Well that ends my morning with Fox…WSB-TV isn’t the greatest but they are consistant. Best of Luck Mark, you wil be missed

Brian Fernandez

April 6th, 2012
10:05 am

Mark, just heard the news…. Ratings will definitely go down for GDA! You were the heart of the show! Just another step on your path of success! You always keep it real and that is why EVERYBODY LOVES YOU! Let us know your next step, but in the meantime take some time for yourself and enjoy your family and friends. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity you gave Hottie Hawgs BBQ and for being a good friend. One in a million…the fabulous MARK HAYES


April 6th, 2012
10:08 am

I worked in television for 30 years (not anymore) and it was so obvious what was happening with Mark. They were through with him so they moved him to the 5 to 7 news to eventually force him out. That’s the way the cut throat business of broadcast news works. I loved the people I worked with but I hated the business end of it and the executives that ran it. They are a wad of disingenuous jerks.


April 6th, 2012
10:09 am

i heard him say his goodbyes this morning and saw him get choked up and i was sorry he was leaving. he was the best news anchor they had and he and suchita was one of the main reasons i kept watching the show. i knew it wasn’t going to be long when they starting switching him around. he will be missed and i hope he just finds better and bigger things in the future. fox 5 is ruining there newcast with their changes and the decisions. it’s not going to be the same anymore without mark and his wit and humor that he brought to the show.


April 6th, 2012
10:11 am

WOW, we lost Bret (whom NOBODY has been able to fully replace), next Suchita, then Jeff left Good Day Atlanta for another time slot, and now Mark Hayes is GONE. What is going on at Fox 5? Everybody we truly love and enjoy leaves Good Day Atlanta. After Brett, Suchita and Jeff left the morning time slot. MARK HAYES is the one that kept me watching. It’s a DONE-DEAL now, gotta switch stations.
Mark will truly be missed, I wish him and his family the very best!!!


April 6th, 2012
10:19 am

I enjoyed watching Mark as he seemed to have the best personality. This is not good, Fox 5…..Not good at all. I’ll ignore the negative comments as I swear that this city has some of the most negative people……


April 6th, 2012
10:22 am

He was the ONLY reason I still watched Fox 5 in the morning. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB move by management! They have lost a viewer for making this call as we all can read between the lines and know that he did not really “choose” to leave! I wish him the best of luck and hope he finds a station that will truly appreciate him!

Mary Smalley

April 6th, 2012
10:27 am

I feel so sad for this decision mad by Fox5. Mark was the only reason that I watched the show. I remember once when he was out from an injury and I was away for holiday vacation and did not know why he was not on the air. I actually called to find out what was going on.

I felt that something was about to happen when he was moved from the morning anchor slot, now I am so sadden by this change, I will have to find something else to do in the morning before departing for work. I want be watching Good Day Atlanta. Maybe, I will see what GMA has to offer.

I wish Mark the best as he moves forward with his future endeavors. I am so sad and confused.

Lupy P'Coronado

April 6th, 2012
10:37 am

Mark ‘WAS” the only reason I watched Fox ~~~ I will miss your great smile ~~
so sad to see you go, Blessings to you and your family GOOD LUCK xxxxxx


April 6th, 2012
10:40 am

People can cry, whine, yell, scream and call FOX5 management every name in the book. This is what happens in TV news. Where was the outcry when Hayes was shifted to the 5-7 slot? As someone has noted, I think that decision had a desired outcome by the station brass, and we see it right now. I don’t care what anybody says, the 9am hour of GDA is such a waste and I miss the “Mike & Juliet” show that it replaced. Switch to WSB, where their anchors say the same exact thing every morning?? (I wouldn’t know that Mark Arum is such a witty guy if I didn’t follow him on Twitter). Switch to CBS, the so-called “Tough Question” station that doesn’t even have a noon newscast? Give me a break.They clearly had a winning formula over there, but it was obvious something was amiss when Suchita left. You people can be exceptionally brutal on here, especially about Gurvir, which is really uncalled for. So instead of venting on here, take your concerns to management directly—especially those who said they’ll be switching channels in protest. Then what happens when the same thing happens to the channel you just switched to? Come on here to vent some more, and switch again? What was the definition of insanity again?


April 6th, 2012
10:43 am

Wasn’t an everyday watcher but when I did he seemed very unhappy in the early morning hours. Never saw a smile. Dry delivery. Seemed to be angry. That said I wish him well.

Check out “Starting Point” with Soledad O’Brien a much better morning show than ABC and NBC. Informative, balanced, fun and edgy at times. The morning panels are great for getting to the bottom of issues and hearing different view points.


April 6th, 2012
10:46 am

I will miss Marks smiling face and humor. I enjoyed him with Suchita and Gurvir. He was so pleasant in the morning.


April 6th, 2012
10:52 am

I have to say that I kept watching fox in the am just because of Mark. Since Gurvir came with her fake smile and annoying cocking of her head, Mark and Cheryl were enough to keep me watching. Now that he is gone, I hope Cheryl is not in danger too. Such a shame to destroy they winning team that Mark, Suchita, Jeff and Cheryl were.

And how tacky making him do a story 15 minutes after his goodbye tribute!!



April 6th, 2012
10:55 am

One by one, they are dismantling the most lively, entertaining news team in the ATL. NEVER should have made Ghirvir the Anchor, should have been Mark. What kind of morons are running the asylum. Tyrone’s just mad because he sees a black man with a brain and initiative getting ahead?!


April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

Kirk, if you don’t like the conversation here, I have a better idea: how about YOU LEAVE. If you can’t stand the heat..


April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

I have been waiting for this day for years ! Great, now, they’re both gone, Mark and Suchita. She was such a snob ! And, what’s with Gurvir ? She seems so dis-interested. May I suggest bring Brett back, for starters. Return Buck and Karen to Sports where they seem to enjoy what they’re doing.


April 6th, 2012
11:01 am

Mark, you made even a bad morning a good one especially when Bret was the Road Warrior, I have not ever been entertained in the morning as much as I did when you two were together.. Best of luck to all of you.. Hopefully Jeff and Cheryl stick around or its a WRAP!!


April 6th, 2012
11:04 am

Billy: May I ask why exactly does this have to be so personal? I just simply said that comments about certain on-air staff were uncalled for. Where exactly did I say I had a problem with the conversation on here? Of the more than 100 comments about Mark Hayes’ leaving Fox5, I just need to understand why you felt a need to zero-in on what I said. You may disagree and I respect that, but why is it necessary to be so hostile?


April 6th, 2012
11:09 am

I wish him the best in his endeavors! :)


April 6th, 2012
11:10 am

I am very sad about Mark’s departure. He will be sorely missed. I hope to see him on another network soon. He was so entertaining. I am changing the channel now!


April 6th, 2012
11:18 am

I really hate to see him go, he’s the reason I watched FOX 5… period! Wish all the luck going forward.

Patrina Easter

April 6th, 2012
11:39 am

The writing was on the wall…..


April 6th, 2012
12:23 pm

The only reason I started watching Good Day was because of Mark, Jeff, Cheryl and Suchita. I loved them together and when Suchita was forced out I continued to watch but suspected that Mark’s time was counting down. This is so sad. Mark you are the best. You helped me start out my day with a smile especially your segments with the financial woman in NY. You will be missed dearly in our house. I wish you well in whatever your next thing is. I know you’ll bring your spectacular smile with you wherever you land.
Fox5 Management – you have just lost a viewer – Sorry Cheryl.


April 6th, 2012
12:36 pm

I have watched GDA since Amanda Davis and Paul Ossman were hosts and remember Gurvir’s first go-around. I remember her first marriage when she had 2 weddings (traditional Indian and American).
When Mark Hayes first came to town, I could not stand him on the air. I would switch between WSB and Fox. After a while, I kind of got to liking the chemistry at GDA (Mark and the others grew on me) and I made Fox the station that woke me up in the a.m. Suchita was a little haughty to me so it didn’t bother me so much when she left. Jeff was another story (his humor) got me everytime.
Lately, I’ve found myself switching from WSB to Fox and it’s looking like it is going to going back to WSB.


April 6th, 2012
12:49 pm

ok, left on your on. In hard times like this. Yea right. First they replace him with the sports guy. the sports guy. From a easy job onset to out chasing stories. How much more were they going to do to him. You see Jeff get in where he fit in. All over the place.


April 6th, 2012
1:00 pm

I have not enjoyed the show much since Brett and Suchita left…now Mark. Fox5 do you know what you are doing????


April 6th, 2012
1:09 pm

It is about time he leaves! ANNOYING!

N. Ayanna

April 6th, 2012
1:09 pm

Mark you will truly be missed. You made it fun to watch in the morning. I miss Jeff in the mornings also. You and Jeff on there in the morning was fun to watch. All the other news channels are so boring. I wish you the BEST!!! I will miss that smile in the morning. You will do well wherever you go. I knew it was something going on, but I never saw you leaving. I like Buck in the morning. The ladies need some spunk.


April 6th, 2012
1:18 pm

FOX5 Atlanta, please don’t make me leave you. Without Mark and someone with a GREAT personality…you leave me no options.

Mark was awesome and treated the on-air personalities like brothers and sisters. Oh, he would give Suchita the blues. But he will be greatly missed. Wishing you the best! Yes, it has been a great 10 years since you came in and broke the chair. SMILE that beautiful SMILE.

Shona J

April 6th, 2012
1:26 pm

Mark will be missed!

Just Me

April 6th, 2012
1:26 pm

I guess I won’t me watching Fox 5 when getting ready for work anymore. I gave them a chance when Suchita left because of Mark. Gurvir and Buck are TOOOO BORING for me. I felt that his time was coming, he couldn’t carry the show on his own.


April 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

I am sorry to see Mark leave. The show has been going down hill for sometime. Jeff, who has a dry sense of humor, was moved to weekends. Suchita left. They might as well cancel the show.


April 6th, 2012
1:52 pm

I thought he brought a high level of energy and sincerity to the broadcast. I enjoyed his laughter and smile. What a loss to Fox and to those of us who depend on Fox 5 for the news to be delivered in a professional manner by a very likeable personality. Maybe the ones who are staying are the ones who can’t leave?


April 6th, 2012
1:55 pm

I concur. I’m done. They dismantled a great morning show. They can have it.

Fed Up

April 6th, 2012
2:02 pm

I am really tired of all the mess at Fox 5. Mark, Jeff and Karen were the only reasons I still watched. Gurvia is terrible.


April 6th, 2012
2:31 pm

I bet they promote Joanne to the anchor slot.
For some reason, alot of guys drool over her :shock:

rich noonan

April 6th, 2012
2:45 pm

Another very talented, experienced anchor moving on. Having anchored the news most of my life I can tell you that Mark Hayes is really really good. He is one of those increasingly rare people who does not need a teleprompter to open his mouth, he has a brain. Mark knows how to “pull back” before he goes too far, or makes a silly comment. He has a lot of class in his morning performance. Mark will be missed by those of us who watched him every morning. He will be tough to replace because he has the experience, poise and brain matter to communicate in a compelling way. Good luck Mark, but guys like you generally do not need luck, you create your own good things in have a bright future.

Marlo's new name...

April 6th, 2012
3:09 pm

So sad to hear that you’ve left, Mark! Ever since Fox broke up the “A” Team (you, Suchita, Jeff, Cheryl), I barely watched any more. Every once in a while, I’d flip over to catch the weather or a little bit of Karen. I was THRILLED to catch you today, Mark, but I didn’t see your announcement. Then I read this post. ACK!!!!

Fox Atlanta, you have gone and done it now. It will take TWO cold days in hell before I’m EVER a devoted viewer again!

Everybody, I’ve been tuning into CNN mornings since Suchita left. Soledad O’Brien’s morning show isn’t bad!


April 6th, 2012
3:29 pm

will the last person turn the lights out at fox 5…


April 6th, 2012
3:35 pm

Will truly miss you man…you are a rare talent…….good luck and many blessings….go on and DO YOUR THING!

Marlo's other new name......

April 6th, 2012
3:36 pm

Why do people keep mentioning CNN as an alternative? Since when did they start doing local weather/traffic? sheesh


April 6th, 2012
3:52 pm

Mark Hayes is a wonderful news anchor; without him and the morning crew, the show is not the same, though, I started watching Channel 2 several months ago.

Best wishes to you Mr. Hayes in your next adventure!


April 6th, 2012
4:18 pm

Well, that’s it for me, then! Buck is boring. Ghurvir is OK. I’ve not enjoyed the show since Jeff was moved to a different time slot, but I still liked Mark. I, too, knew that he would be gone soon since they cut down his on-air time. Mark, I wish you well! I know you will find something MUCH better than GDA!


April 6th, 2012
4:38 pm

I’m sorry to say”Good bye Good Day Atlanta” because with Mark gone , so am I.


April 6th, 2012
5:19 pm

I personally liked the mix of Mark, Suchita, Brett, Cheryl, and Jeff!!! They got it right with them together! When they busted that up – they messed it up! I will still watch because I do like Buck and Gurvir! Buck has something about him that I just want to give him a big hug!!


April 6th, 2012
5:27 pm

And I’m still waiting on the REAL explanation why Brett left back when!! Brett what’s the deal — talk to me!!