Atlanta News First uses retired rival anchor to promote its launch

Atlanta’s recently rebranded news operation is promoting its new name using a local news legend and its own talent.

WANF, which was formerly known as WGCL, is airing a series of promos and brand anthems that promote its new “Atlanta News First” banner that it produces along with sister station WPCH.

The star of many of the promos is Monica Pearson, who is described on-screen as an “Atlanta news icon.” Pearson spent 37 years at rival WSB before retiring in 2012. She remains active in local media with a radio and public broadcasting show.

Pearson now works for WPCH and Gray Television, though she is not part of the WANF news team.

Her voiceovers and on-screen appearances largely focus on framing city pride and values as well as how WANF’s mission fits into those.

Pearson is filmed in front of a blurred city skyline and casually delivers her lines, even interacting with the other talent via the magic of boxes (which it ironically pokes fun at, perhaps a jab at Pearson’s old station).

She also appears front and center in the closing shot of the WANF team gathered on what appears to be an elevated roadway with a view of the city that is included at the end of each promo.


Other than this ending screen, Pearson does not directly appear in the weather or community promos, which are instead narrated by various WANF talent filmed sitting on stools against scenes across the city.

The promos also use a generous amount of beauty shots of the city and its surroundings, including time-lapse captures of busy roadways. Talent is also depicted walking around the city.

The promos were directed by Josh Morey and produced by Josh Morey, Mike Von Ruden, Josh Dillard, Brittney White, Kelly Corder, Melissa Fennell Writers: Josh Morey, Mike Von Ruden and Josh Dillard.