The second coming

Justin Farmer, WSB

Justin Farmer, WSB

WSB’s buildup of its newest reporter / anchor Justin Farmer is truly harrowing.  The station announced his hiring in January— months before his contract with a Dallas station had expired in August.  He’s already made the AJC’s Peach Buzz a couple of times, once for his coverage of Skip Caray’s funeral.  Now, the new kid is covering the Republican National Convention alongside John Pruitt.

Is this guy that special?  His journalistic skills seem adequate.  His TV presence seems pleasant, an attractive enough cross between Huey Lewis and Howdy Doody.

His pedigree seems to be the clincher:  He’s the offspring of Don Farmer, a guy who helped launch CNN and became a nighttime anchor at WSB.  From 1990:

Justin Farmer may know Georgia well enough to distinguish Hahira from Hepzibah.  He went to high school here before striking out into the world as a TV guy.  His first job was in Albany GA.  He’s paid some dues.

Yet of the Georgia reporters covering the RNC, Farmer had to have the least familiarity with the folks seated in the state delegation.  Does it matter?  Probably not.  WSB’s coverage has kept pace with and occasionally exceeded that of veteran political reporter Paul Yates of WAGA.  At one point, Pruitt and a photog apparently stumbled into Bob Barr outside a St. Paul restaurant.  Pruitt’s report on Barr’s Libertarian candidacy (and Newt Gingrich’s advice:  “Get out”) was the best piece we’ve seen from the St. Paul conclave.

Farmer’s mile-high profile points to the likelihood that WSB is grooming him to replace Pruitt eventually.  When that happens— and Jovita Moore joins him— we’d like to see WSB make this leap into the 21st century:  Quit calling it “Action News.”

13 thoughts on “The second coming

  1. WoodseyNiles

    Another attempt to bash WSB.(With a vague attempt at balance with a razor-thin compliment) Relentless.
    Makes it obvious that they must be #1 and do it better than the others

  2. Edward

    Sorry Woodsey, but WSB (nor anyone else) is above criticism. Playground retorts akin to “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” don’t exactly extol your virtues, either.

    WSB has a great team and could be outstanding without sinking to the tabloid-esque level they frequently skirt.

  3. crawlspace

    Yeah.. I noticed that he also doing weekend morning anchoring too (Do they actually need two anchors on Saturday mornings reading the same scripts every half hour?!)

    I wish they would get rid of the “Coverage You Can Count On” moniker along with ‘Action News”

  4. LBJ

    C’mon…2 isn’t better than 5 and 11 in content…they’re just the most comfortable…although I do think they’re weather technology looks the best. When John and Monica leave, I think some will begin to switch.

  5. Lilee

    Worked with him at CNN/SI…nice guy, but not great on-air. I’m hoping he’s gotten better, but he since struggled with sports and I’m guessing his political coverage won’t be his best work…


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