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Are big changes forthcoming at CBS Atlanta? News director Eric Ludgood is out

"Better Mornings Atlanta" expanded to 9 a.m. under Eric Ludgood's watch as news director. CREDIT: CBS

"Better Mornings Atlanta" expanded to 9 a.m. under Eric Ludgood's watch as news director. CREDIT: CBS

CBS Atlanta – which has stabilized in recent years but remains a third or fourth place finisher in the ratings in most time slots – has cut its news director Eric Ludgood after two years.

Ludgood worked at the station as an assistant news director for several years, left briefly for Raleigh, N.C., then came back in early 2011.

General manager Trey Fabacher, who joined the station in the fall, said this is his fifth “turnaround” effort as a general manager of general sales manager. He last spent six years lifting ratings at the CBS/CW duopoly in Detroit and is seeking a “new direction” at CBS. He wished Ludgood well in his future pursuits.

One employee, who wasn’t authorized to speak, said Ludgood was well liked by staff and “cared about you personally.”

Fabacher wouldn’t provide me details of what direction he’d like CBS Atlanta to take under a new news director, but he said he has an eye on the big picture – not just a way to differentiate himself from his direct competitors but to adjust to how consumers in general are consuming news in different ways nowadays.

Stephanie_Fisher

The station has been pushing its investigative “tough questions” brand for several years. He didn’t say he’d change that but would like to broaden the brand itself. He also said he’s happy right now with the partnership with 790/The Zone, which has provided the station its sports coverage since the fall of 2009.

As for marketing, the station has been emphasizing its “Better Mornings” team for several years, helping boost viewership of the lighthearted morning program.

The station’s longest-running anchor on its highest-rated 11 p.m. show, Stephany Fisher, has been at CBS Atlanta for ten years. Fabacher said he plans to give her more promotion. Last month, under Fabacher, Fisher’s co-anchor Guy Rawlings’ contract was not renewed after a year. Justin Lock also recently left “Better Mornings.”

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19 comments Add your comment

Nathan

January 4th, 2013
8:25 am

He’s a good man and a good news director. I worked for him and with him for several years. Hope he finds a good job soon.

levelhead

January 4th, 2013
9:08 am

Whatever the change you better keep Tracye!

Forewarned

January 4th, 2013
11:21 am

A good man…warned him of his precarious situation; was hoping he’d get out first..sigh…

Mooner

January 4th, 2013
11:44 am

I stopped watching CBS 46 when they (wrongly) got rid of the Vancouver chick with the enormous Sweater Puppies who liked ice hockey.

Even the NFL on CBS 46 Atlanta is lame now.

Mooner

January 4th, 2013
11:46 am

Eric

January 4th, 2013
12:28 pm

I’ve noticed that the d-bag who looks like Seinfeld’s Puddy on the morning show is now wearing a suit every day. Used to be a whole lot more casual.

And I just can’t watch their evening news because of tranny-looking Markina Brown. Some of their regular anchors are pretty scary looking too.

TheLazyComic

January 4th, 2013
3:40 pm

Is he the one who hired Gagmar Hubcap? She sucked.

PippyShortStockings

January 4th, 2013
3:57 pm

Need to put Wendy Saltzman behind the anchor desk. She is incredibly beautiful.

Eric

January 4th, 2013
4:45 pm

Dagmar Midcap came to CBS Atlanta in 2007… she was originally the weather anchor on Better Mornings Atlanta, and was hired by former news director Rick Erbach. Dagmar was promoted to the evening weather anchor position after Gene Norman moved back to Houston… Gene is no longer on KHOU-TV… and I liked his weather forecasting presentation. Dagmar left in September 2010, citing problems in her personal life that had some affects on her professional career… and she was recently hired by NBC owned and operated KNSD-TV in San Diego.

Other problems that CBS Atlanta has had in the past… male anchor turn-overs, the sports department being jettisoned in early 2010, and the Noon newscast cancellation in 2011. CBS has managed to keep Stephany Fisher since 2003… and has a very good investigative unit staffed with the likes of Wendy Saltzman, Adam Murphy, and Jeff Cherico.

Another Atlanta TV change I’m also hearing of… WXIA may be gettng a new set, along with the new Gannett graphics package sometime in February.

Amber

January 4th, 2013
5:48 pm

Watching CBS was so much better when it was on Channel 5 instead of Channel 46.

All the good shows went away.

Steve

January 4th, 2013
9:48 pm

Never have figured out why Stephany is so great.

dude mcguy

January 5th, 2013
9:56 am

Eric and Mooner are hilarious! This station should dump most everyone starting with Captain tattoo, then Markinwhatever, then JaQuitta. Who are these rejects?! Tracye is great. Jenny Valdez is awesome. Keep Harry Samler, Jocelyn Connell, and make Paul Ossmann the “chief” meteorologist. And get a sports department!!!! Where is Wendy? She is not on their web site

rd

January 5th, 2013
2:02 pm

I watch Better Mornings every day, and I agree, Paul O. should be the chief meteorologist!

Jesus

January 5th, 2013
2:45 pm

Too much turnover at station, on camera as well as off camera. Sales department can run wild while all other departments suffer. Corporate should look at the managers at the station, but they will not, as long as they are making money, they don’t care.

The Real Fan

January 5th, 2013
5:19 pm

No one has the long veiw. They fire males after a short period and wonder why no one watches.
Get a guy, hold on and develop him. That’s all we want.

Ms.Simon

January 7th, 2013
8:05 am

The best thing on CBS Atlanta news is Paul Ossmann. I wish he was on weekdays though. JaQuitta (or however you spell it) scares me. She’s waaaay too hyper. Is that a hairpiece atop her head? Sure looks like it. The weekday weather lady is weird too.

BB

January 7th, 2013
8:42 am

If Tracye goes, I am gone. Will start watching 11 Alive…

PAC

January 7th, 2013
8:54 pm

I like Stephane Fisher a lot. I too wish Paul Ossmann was on daily. As for the “tough questions” stuff. Once or twice a show is fine, but they use the saying way too many times. Usually they aren’t that tough.

Former GCLer

January 10th, 2013
11:13 pm

Eric Ludgood is a great man. I absolutely loved working with him. Fabacher is crazy for letting him go.