This was posted by Rodney Ho on AJC's Radio & TV Talk blog on Monday, December 19, 2016
Alyse Eady , like practically everybody who just moved to Atlanta from a smaller city, is gobsmacked by the traffic.
"I was warned ahead of time," said the new "Good Day Atlanta" morning host in a recent interview. She, arrived here late summer. "You have to leave way earlier. I'm learning the tricks of the trade."
Eady grew up and worked in Arkansas. "When I had this opportunity to come here to Atlanta, I was so excited about it," she said. "It feels like home, just way bigger, way more diverse. But it feels familiar. There are more trees here in the city. That's one thing I noticed. There are trees everywhere! You don't even have to drive to the countryside."
Eady doesn't shy away from her pageant past. "It made me who I am today," she said.
Pageants were something she and her mom did while her two brothers played football. "It wasn't scary 'Toddlers & Tiaras' business," she said. "We loved it. I credit it with why I can do what I do now. The interview skills there helped me when I interview guests now. I learned how to be poised, learned how to dress appropriately and conduct myself in public. They would throw all sorts of questions at me and I'd have to come up with something. That's what we do every single day."
Eady was Miss Arkansas in 2010 and first runner up in the Miss America pageant. Her claim to fame: a combo yodeling ventriloquist act.
Eady was strategic going into the talent round. "Everybody can sing. Everybody can dance. Everybody can do a monologue," Eady said. "I knew I had to find something to stand out. There are not a whole lot of 20 something ventriloquists competing in Miss America."
Afterwards, she even got to perform with Terry Fator, the man who won "America's Got Talent" in 2007 and signed a $100 million contract with the Mirage in Vegas.
"He and Jeff Dunham [who performs regularly at Philips Arena] made ventriloquism semi cool again," Eady said.
She readily admits it's a "weird talent" but she has left it behind. She didn't bring any of her puppets to Atlanta although she did bring her husband - Patrick Lemmond - who she married in 2013.
When she was younger, she said she grew up watching "20/20" with Barbara Walters. "It came on after 'TGIF,' " she said, referencing the 8 to 10 p.m. block which featured sitcoms such as "Boy Meets World" and "Family Matters." "I don't know many six or seven year olds obsessed with that! It all makes sense now.
But she didn't pick up a desire to work n TV news until after graduating Ouachita Baptist University. While there, she avoided the broadcast journalism class because it started too early: 7:30 a..m. (Ironically, she now wakes up at 3:30 a.m. for "Good Day Atlanta.")
Once she had finished with Miss America, the CBS affiliate in Little Rock found her personality appealing and hired her. "I never in a million years thought I'd be doing this," she said. "They saw something in me and boy, I'm glad they did!"
Over five years there, she learned the craft of anchoring. "I've always been a writer," she said. "I enjoy writing. My mom was a speech pathologist. I knew how to talk and communicate. My co-anchor [in Little Rock, Ashley Blackstone ] taught me everything - how to make graphics, how to do an interview, how to put together a package, how to log sound."
Fox 5 did want me to point this out so here ya go:
According to Sharerocket, WAGA is now No. 1 across the board in social media engagement. The station started its rise last October, and officially took the lead in January this year over rival stations.
Over three months through November, WAGA had a 38 share, the most among the four broadcast stations. Its social equity, which measures its brand performance over time, was also tops.