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Exclusive: Jim Burress new WABE afternoon host

He replaces Amy Kiley


Originally posted Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

After a national search, 90.1/WABE-FM went in house, hiring Jim Burress as its new afternoon local host during “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”

Burress replaced Amy Kileywho was let go in June. Public Broadcasting Atlanta CEO Wonya Lucas, in an earlier interview, said they were seeking someone with more producing and reporting experience and Burress certainly fits the bill.

He joined WABE in 2008 and has done his fair share of investigative work. He has contributed regularly to the national shows “Marketplace,” “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
The Kentucky native also won Atlanta Press Club awards for reporting on unlawful practices within the Atlanta Police Department after a botched 2009 raid of a gay bar and a joint project looking at special needs students attending Clayton County schools. He will continue to do investigative reporting for the station. 

Lucas, in a follow-up email, said Burress “had an amazing vision for the program. He also has extensive experience as a ‘Morning Edition’ host substitute and of course, ‘Closer Look.’ We were thrilled that he has taken on this position.”
Burress himself said he’s humbled and grateful management gave him the promotion.

“WABE has fostered and facilitated my growth as a reporter for a decade now,” he wrote. “I only hope they'll let me stay for 10 or 20 more years.”

Burress said the interview process was tough and they didn’t appear to play favorites just because he already worked there: “I told them how I wanted to take risks and do things differently. I must've said something right,” he said. 

Steve Goss, former WABE morning host who retired three years ago, said Burress was his morning producer from 2008 to 2010.

“Jim is an extraordinary journalist,” Goss said. “I can’t think of anyone else more qualified to do that job.”

The station is still seeking someone to take over for Denis O’Hayer, who retired as morning host at WABE in July after nine years


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.