Fred Powers

We just cracked a beer and toasted Fred Powers, the WGCL reporter who died after a long struggle with a rare form of cancer. Powers had just begun to gain some traction in the market with a signature schtick that nobody in Atlanta had tried before or has attempted since. This is from Rodney Ho’s December 2004 AJC story:

WGCL-TV reporter Fred Powers has been set on fire, bitten by dogs and hit by a Taser —- all in the name of news. No wonder he’s being dubbed the “human pinata” by TV wags.

“He is, without a doubt, the king of stunt reporters, ” said Mike James, editor of, a broadcast news Web site. “What he does is cool, but it’s not news.”

Or is it?

“They’re not just stunt stories, ” Powers countered. “We’re telling stories that have impact.”

Shortly after that article, Powers learned he had cancer. He last appeared on WGCL in March. He was on disability leave, but volunteered to help with coverage of the downtown tornado. WGCL broadcast excerpts in an obit Monday.

Though he’d gained some notoriety for his ratings-period live stunts, Powers was mostly a day-to-day general assignment reporter at WGCL. He covered news with a certain amount of intensity, and was a spirited and congenial competitor. And he had guts.

From WGCL’s web site:  His memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church at 781 Peachtree Street.

The AJC has more on Powers’ life and his untimely passing. We offer our condolences to his family and colleagues.

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

7 thoughts on “Fred Powers

  1. locutus of borg

    I’m very sad to see this news. He was competetive as hell, but still a good guy and a joy to be around. He was a lot more than just a “stunt” reporter. He had chops, too. I’ll miss him.

  2. Chas

    I’m echoing the previous comment. He brought a smile to everyone’s face when he came into the editorial meetings. He would make people laugh, then would have some hard news story ideas. I’ll always remember him for the happiness, smiles, and laughter he brought to others, and his commitment to making a difference in his work.

  3. Wrangler of Found Light

    Fred Powers was both a great human being and journalist. He will be deeply missed…

  4. Scott Hedeen

    rest in piece Fred Powers.

    The man who was made to be on TV. Working on the same stories as he was in the late 90’s… the man LOVED being on TV. God Bless him.

  5. Chris

    I just saw a Plymouth Crossfire just now, and I remember you had bought a silver one. The car today was black, but it was enough to remind me of you. You were a very talented reporter, it was really cool meeting you at all those CBS Christmas parties, you are not forgotten bro!


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