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Jovita Moore, Martin Savidge, Ken Rodriguez honored by NATAS Silver Circle Society

This was posted on Monday, September 11, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Martin Savidge (CNN), Jovita Moore (Channel 2 Action News) and Ken Rodriguez (Fox 5) were among 15 broadcast veterans feted on Friday by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Southeast chapter in Buckhead.

Each received a Silver Circle Award for 25 years of service. (All three have actually served more than a quarter century in the business.)

Moore, who was able to squeeze in the ceremony between her 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts, has been with WSB-TV since 1998 and took over as a primary evening anchor for Monica Pearson five years ago.

"That was a huge step," she said before the ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. "WSB planned it well. It's been a great transition. Our viewers showed that. Everything went without a hitch."

She has now been in the business for 27 years. "It doesn't feel like that much time has passed," Moore said. "I'm excited. I don't feel like I've done it for that long. I feel like my career is just starting in a way. It's always great to be recognized by your peers."

Moore said she was eight years into her career when she came to WSB-TV after stints in Arkansas and Memphis. "At the time, it felt like it was taking forever," she said. "But everything happened when it was supposed to."

Down the road, she said the business is changing rapidly but "working where I am and being with the people I'm with, whatever happens, I'm ready for it. It's continued to be a great ride."

Rodriguez, a Fox 5 sports anchor for more than 20 of the past 22 years, has been in the broadcasting business for a total of 33 years.

The early years were a bit of a grind, he said, and he wondered, "Am I cut out for this? Am I going to make it?"

"But for the last 10 years, it's like the years are flying by. Call it middle age of whatever. I'm content. I'm enjoying it now more than I ever have," Rodriguez said. "Older and bolder, you might say."

He came to Fox 5 in 1995, left in 2000 to work with Fox in Los Angeles but quickly came back to Atlanta. Two years on the West Coast, he said, "was all I needed... I didn't consider myself just a sports guy. People in the news business tend to put you in a box. I viewed myself with a lot more versatility. I thought L.A. was the best place to expand and do that sort of thing. You learn after awhile there are simpler things in life. " He was thrilled Fox 5 wanted him back in 2002.

Rodriguez is an Atlanta native. He met his wife here in middle school and graduated McEachern High School in Powder Springs and Georgia State University.

Savidge, 59, like Rodriguez, has been with his current employer twice. He worked at CNN as a reporter out of Atlanta from 1996 to 2004, left for NBC News for four years, then worked in various capacities until returning full-time to CNN in 2011.

He has been in broadcast news for 37 years. "It's really wonderful to reach the halfway point of a career," he joked.

Savidge is thrilled to still be in a fast-changing business. "My proudest moments is to work at CNN and cover the great stories," he said.

He had just returned from covering Hurricane Harvey and was going to leave Sunday to do Hurricane Irma. His memories of Katrina still stick with him.

"We went through 10 years without a whole lot," he said. "At least you feel practiced. Harvey warmed us up." He said Katrina "taught a lot of communities that you can never leave early enough. Nobody wants that happen again. That's the greatest positive legacy from Katrina."

His daughter Blis Savidge works as a digital investigative reporter at 11Alive. He'd love to do a project with his daughter. "It's more of the generational divide of the mindset, how you come into a story, how you approach it. The styles could be different," he said.

He splits time anchoring and working in the field. "There's always a part of me that likes being out in breaking news and that's been our bread and butter," he said.

Savidge recalled CNN recruiting on his campus in 1980, the year Ted Turner started it. He turned it down, didn't know what it was, had no idea what it would become. He had to wait 14 years to get another chance.

Other local notables who received a Silver Circle Award:

  • Frank Volpicella, who ran CBS46's news operations for a year but recently was let go and is now in Jacksonville.
  • John Deushane, general manager of WXIA-TV, 11Alive since 2010.
  • Jorge Buzo, lead anchor for Telemundo Atlanta.

And John York at Public Broadcasting Atlanta received a Gold Circle Award for 50 years of service.

WSB-TV and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group.

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About the Author

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