Five months ago, CBS Atlanta and morning host Brandon Rudat parted ways.
Now the station has found Rudat's replacement: Tulsa weekend anchor Frank Wiley. He starts in mid to late January.
This will complete the "Better Mornings" makeover, which included the departure of Rudat and the move of Tracye Hutchins to evenings in August. The station added Michelle Burdo, Annalee Penny and Stefan Chase to the team at about the same time.
Wiley, according to general manager Trey Fabacher, has wanted to come to Atlanta for a long time. He's an Oklahoma native who has worked in Fayetteville, Ark. and St. Louis. So this will be his first foray into the South and first top 10 market. (Atlanta is market #9, Tulsa is market #60 and St. Louis is market #21).
Fabacher came in about a year ago and has made several personnel changes, including a new news director Lane Michaelsen in March. He said he sought not only talented people who can think on their feet but also journalists who want to stay in Atlanta long term and are not merely using the station as a stepping stone to something bigger.
He also said Scott Light, a Phoenix anchor, will start at CBS Atlanta off air on Monday but will make it on air as an afternoon and evening anchor in early January. (He likes to give newbies some time to acclimate to the studio and the city before they go live.)
He acknowledged that CBS Atlanta over the years has had a difficult time keeping people in management, behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Only a handful of folks have lasted 10 or more years, including evening anchor Stephany Fisher and reporter Adam Murphy.
The station has been in fourth place for years in most time slots but has made modest progress in the mornings.
Recent stories on CBS Atlanta:
8/13/13: Tracy Hutchins moves to evenings, replaced by Michelle Burdo