The pole dancing news anchor

Not Blondie-- or Bettie Page  Suchita Vadlamani, WAGA

Not Blondie-- or Bettie Page: Suchita Vadlamani, WAGA

We’re not going to cluck and turn up our noses at the fact that WAGA sent one of its news anchors to a pole dancing school for a November sweeps story.  We’re not going to stand in judgment, nor spout pithy homilies about the lengths to which TV stations will go to find an audience, any audience.  You’ll get none of that here.

And we’ll post a link, here.  Go ahead.  We see you clicking.  We’ll wait.

Finished?  Now, we’ll analyze what we saw, and didn’t see.

Here’s what stands out:  Suchita Vadlamani managed to do a pole dancing story without mentioning or even hinting at the fact that the regimen is rooted in burlesque.  Or “adult entertainment.”  Or stripping.

We suspect that she followed an edict issued from on high.  A couple of decades ago, TV news couldn’t get enough of strippers and news about them.  We recall producing, like, a six- or eight-part series about Atlanta’s “adult entertainment” industry in the early 90s.  That stuff went away overnight one day, about mid-way through Bill Clinton’s presidency.  A weird new puritanical mindset kicked in, not that it was a bad thing.

Yet Vadlamani has it both ways.  There she is in high heels, wrapping her legs around a pole.  Why the high heels?  She doesn’t say “because strippers wear them.”  And the bed of music is evocative (best we can remember…) of the stuff DJs play at strip joints.  But it’s never acknowledged.

WAGA probably knew that to do so would invite some smart aleck to say what we aren’t saying:  “Hey — your news anchor was kinda actin’ like a stripper on tha TV!”

Notice how Mark Hayes and Jeff Hill also manage to avoid saying something similar afterward.  Smart guys.  Yet, you can see that Hayes had to summon all of his powers of restraint.  He barely succeeded.

In that spirit, we will restrain ourselves from giving this story a grade.  Too many double entendres come to mind.  You’ll get none of that here today.

Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to switch back to the 700 Club.

H/T to an anonymous LAF reader.  Holler at us if you see comparably worthy.  Contact info is to the right.

This entry was posted in vadlamani suchita, WAGA on by .

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.

22 thoughts on “The pole dancing news anchor

  1. jimmyjohn

    Fox is now following…anyone notice how they’re now following what WGCL does with their friday morning cool schools segment?


    I always thought fox was fresh, but they’re feeling and looking tired and old

  2. Dagmarsbrain

    This is the ultimate display of Doug Richards bias. Shame on you! If WSB-TV or Dagmar did this you would be outraged! How about a big disclaimer on the website that you love WAGA and hate Dagmar.

  3. scott hedeen

    this pretty much made my day. Huzzah for Hot Chocolate’s “Ya Sexy thing” and ugh… for not coming out and saying “as seen at the Pink Pony”!

    as for the shooting and editing… the shooter either was hating the assignment…or was too busy watching to really get any good shots. (the shadow shot wasn’t even crisp or defined)… and the editor… uh oh… AVIDitis has struck Fox5!

  4. chance

    Dagmarsbrain: If Dagmar did this it would have been 46’s way of just showing us what they have hinted at: Dagmar’s body is a marketing ploy. WAGA doesn’t market Vadlamani as a sex kitten so this doesn’t scream OUTRAGE. Although I’m trying to scratch my head about who at WSB would have been good for this?

    That being said… these types of pieces always make me cringe at how they are just commercials. There are other companies in town doing pole dancing classes: Dance 411, Dance 101 (I think) and Aphrodites Toybox. If the story was really about the exercise and the trend, they would have visited other dance studios… or at least interviewed a student/customer. The whole part with the owner talking about how welcoming her company should have been edited out.
    And yeah Hedeen: Those shots were shot poorly. Maybe they were done that way to retain SOME of Vadlamani’s credibility. See-thru heels? Really?

  5. scott hedeen

    See thru heels are a classic.

    As for the SuVad’s sex kitten status… it’s a Bollywood via Decatur hipness she rolls with… eh?

    As for WSB’s contribution in the form of a story of this nature? I’m going with Winne in a thong. Boom!

  6. crackberry

    LAF, Are you really not trashing this ridiculousness? Did I read that right? They get some reprieve points bc it aired in their horrid, infotainment local morning show. And you get a sprinkling of credit for finally being mildly critical of the fox affiliate. Anyone else, including 46, would have been ripped to shreds. But, hey, you brought it up!

  7. Tony

    To quote the reporter:
    I was “laughing so much and having fun, we almost forgot this was” … news. Well that’s what they call it anyway.

  8. daryll

    Between that goofy acting Hayes “anchor” and their new giggling queen of the pole, how can anyone take this program or it’s “talent” seriously? It’s bad enough having to endure their promos for the next morning’s show in the 10pm newscast. The station that gave us Axel, Sawyer, Richards (yeah, him, too) and the Emmy laden I-Team has slipped into the vast wasteland of broadcasting.

    Dedicated, Determined, Dependable? How ’bout desperate?

  9. jbanc

    Makes me long for the late ’80s when WSB’s Patrick Crosby explained to the viewer what exactly happens in those lingerie modeling places…. complete with wireless mic…..

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  11. Linda Wanzer

    It was a news story, planned and carried out. It was Atlanta’s loss in Suchita leaving WAGA. Reporters may not always get the chance to pick and choose what they want to do for their stories. Guess it helps to make the best of anything you do. I think Suchita does everything with class. Keep up the smiles, Suchita.


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