WGCL Reporter Ben Swann was not in the newsroom the day after he tried to prove that the "Pizzagate" story was real news and not fake.
He was taking the day off, according to those inside the station.
But, he did retweet @RepStevenSmith a Georgia congressman, who supported Swann's pizzagate take:
There's just one problem, @RepStevenSmith is a spoof twitter account, filled with fake news.
Not exactly the best thing to do when you are under fire for a report that lacked little substance.
But, this is a way of life at WGCL. The station has been under a dark cloud for years and this is just one more passing storm for the Meredith station that can't seem to get out of it's own way.
When you look at the Atlanta market as a whole, WSB remains the ratings juggernaut, and has been a Cox Media Group property since day 1 (in 1948), being among the few US TV stations to still have its original ownership.
WAGA is a solid second place in the ratings, and like WSB, has talent longevity, and knowing and understanding the Atlanta market. WXIA has seen better days, and WGCL having opportunities to challenge WXIA for 3rd place in the ratings.
This latest matter involving Ben Swann is yet another stain for the Atlanta CBS affiliate and Meredith. Meredith station is no stranger to hiring controversial talents, including Sharon Reed (in 2004 participated in the nude/body of art photo shoot, when she worked in Cleveland), Melinda Roeder (in 2014 was fired from Baltimore Fox affiliate over a police brutality/BLM story that was poorly done), and Amanda Davis (her string of DUI arrests, admitting her struggle with alcoholism, and so on). Not too long ago, the recent incident involving Gloria Neal's resignation, leaving more questions than answers. I
t's no secret that WGCL has been riddled with problems over the years, and among the problems. There's been the talent and management turnovers since Meredith Corporation acquired the CBS station from Tribune Media roughly 18 years ago, giving the station its "revolving door" status.
WGCL can't afford anymore bad press and this latest story by Swann did just that. While the station was slowly making some positive movement, the Swann story set them back even further than before.
Swann's story was not based on news, but based on conspiracy theories and turned out to be another black eye for the station.
The story did bring publicity to the low rated station, but for all the wrong reasons.