O’Hayer Has Been A Fixture on WABE Since 2009 And Worked With The PBA Family Since 1978
Atlanta GA – Denis O’Hayer, one of the most respected journalists in Georgia and host of WABE’s flagship program, Morning Edition, will retire from his post on June 29, after a 42 year, award-winning career in broadcasting. His last day on air will be Friday, June 22. While he will be leaving his full time position, O’Hayer will remain affiliated with WABE as an occasional political contributor.
Over his 40 years in television and radio in the Atlanta market, O’Hayer has built a strong and loyal following as a reporter, interviewer and host taking on and making sense of the most important news stories of the day.
WABE’s Morning Edition, one of Atlanta’s most listened-to radio programs, has seen its ratings soar under O’Hayer’s stewardship. In the most recent ratings book, MorningEdition was ranked as the number two Atlanta morning drive radio show. The average weekly audience more than doubled over the past two years and increased 92% between Nov. 2015 and Feb. 2018, with O’Hayer as host.
O’Hayer was named to the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame in 2015. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters selected him as its Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.
“Denis O’Hayer is a consummate journalist who takes working hard and being prepared to a level that we all strive to match” said Wonya Lucas, CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta. “His dedication to the audience and to the story and his depth of experience show in every broadcast. I speak for all of my colleagues at WABE when I say we will miss him immensely on Morning Edition, but are very happy he will remain in the PBA family as a political contributor.”
“This is a decision months–even years–in the making” said O’Hayer. “I love what I do, and the place where I’m doing it. It is simply a time in life to focus on other things that are also very important to me. I am profoundly grateful to my colleagues at Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and in the other newsrooms where I’ve been privileged to spend some time. They inspire me every day with the quality of their work, and their dedication to it. Above all, I want to thank the listeners and viewers from communities in all parts of the Atlanta area, who have welcomed and challenged me for four decades. They are the reason this city is the home I love.”
O’Hayer joined WABE in 2009 as host of All Things Considered and Marketplace. In January, 2015, he and Rose Scott launched a new midday program, Closer Look, featuring stories and interviews from across the Atlanta community. Later in 2015, he was named host of Morning Edition. O’Hayer became host of the WABE podcast Political Breakfast in 2017. Before joining WABE, he covered local affairs, politics and government for 11 years as a political reporter and public affairs program host for WXIA/11 Alive.
His association with Public Broadcasting Atlanta began in 1978, when he worked as a pledge drive volunteer and host at PBA-30. Eventually, he began hosting PBA-30 specials on subjects ranging from the environment to the conflict in the Middle East. In 1988, O’Hayer began hosting a new show, The Layman’s Lawyer, a look at how the law affects everyday life. It ran until 2004. During that time, he also produced and hosted Atlanta This Week, a reporters’ roundtable, which ran from 1996 – 2001. In 2012, O’Hayer and Rose Scott, along with the PBA-30 team, won an Edward R. Murrow award for “How to Stop the Candy Shop,” a TV special on the fight against child sex trafficking in Atlanta.
O’Hayer began his career in radio in Connecticut in 1976 at WGCH-AM (Greenwich), followed by WELI-AM (New Haven). In 1978, his career led him to Atlanta, where he accepted a position with WGST-AM/FM. O’Hayer worked at the station for more than 19 years in a variety of roles.
For a photo of Denis O’Hayer, please click on the link below:
WABE 90.1 FM is part of Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA). Together with ATL PBS and Atlanta PlanIT, the PBA staff brings NPR News, PBS programming, music, arts and cultural information to hundreds of thousands of listeners and viewers each year. As a broadcast service of Atlanta Public Schools in partnership with the Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative (AETC) PBA has never lost sight of its original mission. Education remains at the core of our operation at every level, from kids to adults.