Long-time broadcast anchor Amanda Davis Thursday night announced her retirement from WAGA-TV after more than 26 years at the station.
She did so in a message aired on the Fox 5 at 10 p.m. newscast.
"There have been awards, honors and accolades. There have also been challenges, disappointments and stumbles," Davis told the audience at 10:14 p.m. Then paraphrasing Psalm 23:4, she said, "Yea, though I have walked through the valley, with God's help, I made it through. And that's what I want you to know. I am blessed. So it's with a heavy heart that I announce now that I am officially retiring from Fox 5 as I look ahead to a new chapter in my life."
Davis was arrested by Atlanta police Nov. 11 after she crashed her car going northbound in a southbound lane on Piedmont Ave. off 14th Street in Midtown, hitting and injuring another driver. She was charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and DUI.
She was taken off the air and has been awaiting trial at Fulton County state court.
Davis, who has not submitted to any interviews since the arrest, did not mention the DUI case on air.
Co-anchor Russ Spencer ("My TV husband," she said.) and meteorologist Ken Cook (she called "Cookie"), both long-time Fox 5 veterans as well, came up to her and offered their own accolades.
"We want to thank you for what you meant to us," Spencer said. "We hope you know how much we love and appreciate you."
They aired tributes from retired Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson, former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andy Young and V-103 morning host Ryan Cameron. This was followed by a highlight reel of her time on the station her coverage of Coretta Scott King's funeral, an interview with Pres. Barack Obama and her work with Wednesday's Child, a weekly Fox 5 feature that helped place foster children into adopted homes.
"Wednesday's Child became a labor of love for me," she said. "I really felt like we as a station made a difference and it afforded me the opportunity to really connect with some young people and make their lives better."
Here's the video of Davis' announcement.
Davis came to Atlanta and worked two years at Channel 2 Action News before going to WAGA-TV in 1986.
Her broadcasting career began in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the former NBC affiliate, WRET-TV. During her four years there, she became the main anchor and hosted a weekly magazine show. From Charlotte, Amanda moved on to the nation's capitol where she worked as the Washington Correspondent for the Satellite News Channel. SNC was the first competitor to go up against CNN in the early days of cable news.
During her time here at FOX 5, Amanda has reported on various issues and served as anchor of the noon news. She also launched the highly-successful Good Day Atlanta in 1992, before taking over the main anchor chair in 1997.
Amanda has received numerous honors and awards including multiple Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, including Best Newscast honors for anchoring FOX 5 News in 1999 and 2000. She has also received numerous awards from the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, including Best Anchor in 2000. In 1998, Amanda was the recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for her continuous live broadcasting during the abortion clinic bombing in Atlanta. Her on-air work during that tense time was also honored with a Gabby Award by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.
But her true labor of love is her work to find permanent homes for Georgia's foster children. She began the project in 1997 with a series of stories called A Place to Call Home. The Freddie Mac Foundation then approached FOX 5 with the idea of presenting weekly profiles of children available for adoption and Wednesday's Child was launched in November 2000. In its first year, 32 children were placed in loving homes. Her work with Wednesday's Child is still going strong and Amanda has been honored for her dedication by the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and with the Kenan's Kids Foundation Media Award.
A Magna cum Laude graduate of Clark College in Atlanta, Amanda has been recognized twice by her alma mater with its Distinguished Alumni Award and Community Service Award.
Amanda has raised her daughter here and is proud to call Atlanta home.