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Release Date: 11.09.2017 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Leff & Associates

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" with Frank Reddy, Editor, Forsyth County News

Leff's Atlanta Media's Weekly Feature Conversation with an Atlanta Journalist

Each week, in partnership with Leff’s Atlanta Media (www.leffsatlantamedia.com), Atlanta Daybook presents our "Journalist Spotlight." Atlanta public relations professional Mitch Leff of Leff & Associates offers a conversation with a journalist in the Atlanta market, asking them four questions that'll help you learn more about local Atlanta media. What makes them tick? What's new at their media outlet? What drives them? 

This week, we’re talking with Frank Reddy, the new editor of the Forsyth County News. That’s “new” as in really new! He started less than a month ago, so we’re grateful he found time to talk with us!

Frank’s had a long career in journalist, so try to keep up as we dive in …

He was born and raised in Gainesville and graduated from UGA’s Grady College with a bachelor's degree in newspapers-Journalism. He earned his way through college working in furniture warehouses (like now-defunct Roberds and La-Z-Boy) and writing obits and short articles for his hometown paper, the Gainesville Times.

After graduation, he drove across the country with his soon-to-be wife, Joy Harper Reddy, for a job at the Port Townsend Leader in Washington State, near Seattle. “I had this vague idea, I guess, that I wanted to get as geographically far from home (at least within the lower 48 states) as possible. At the time, it was what I felt I needed to do. But, it didn't last. I got honest-to-God homesick (and missed the warm Georgia sun on those gloomy, overcast days in the Pacific Northwest) and started job searching again for a position back in my home state of Georgia.”

This isn’t his first rodeo at the FCN. He was hired to work the county beat there in early 2008 and stayed there for a couple years, before taking a staff writer position covering city council and education in late 2009 at what was then the Dawson Community News (now the Dawson County News).

He also worked at the Gwinnett Daily Post as an education reporter and at Tillman Allen Greer, a public relations and marketing firm that produced Gwinnett Magazine. He was promoted to editor of Gwinnett Magazine before leaving in 2015 to return to the Gainesville Times as a business and metro reporter.

In 2016, he began working as a freelance writer for a wide range of local publications, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curbed Atlanta, Creative Loafing and Atlanta magazine.

And that brings us to October 2017, when he became editor of the Forsyth County News. Whew.

What kind of story makes you proud to be a journalist?

It's a thrill telling stories of the unsung heroes within a community. Any journalist worth a damn knows that just beneath the surface of smiling spokespeople and the Golden Rolodex are the folks who'd just as soon stay out of the spotlight despite the incredible things they do every day to make the community great.

The trick is getting them to talk about themselves, because by their very nature they're not in it for the fame. It's been my experience that often the ones least inclined to talk to a reporter have the most incredible things to say and have often done the most good for their communities. And, in my experience, there are folks like this everywhere.

What’s new and different about what you’re doing?

Well, this is the first time I've been in charge of a whole newsroom. The past ten years or so I've only been responsible for writing my own stories, but now I'm at the helm of a great team of reporters, photographers, copy editors and others who all play an important role in making this a wonderful community newspaper.

I'm also lucky in that I get to keep writing stories — often four or five a week. Writing is my passion. It's a part of who I am, so being able to still write stories is a plus. We all pitch in with our many, varied talents to put out newspapers. And, just like with any good newsroom, when a problem arises it's all hands on deck. And, I really like that.

What is the best and worst thing about your job?

The best thing about being an editor is seeing the big picture. It's amazing to see all the moving parts of a newsroom, and there's no better feeling than watching an elaborate plan that involves everyone successfully come together.

The worst thing? God, I don't know. I've only been an editor for a couple of weeks so I guess I'll find out soon enough, right?

What’s the coolest thing people should know about you?

Hmm, aside from being husband to a gorgeous wife and father to a brilliant little girl? Well, I'm a published author. I signed a book deal with a small press back in October 2016, and my debut novel, "Eyes on the Island," has gotten glowing reviews from local media (AJC and Creative Loafing) as well as several book bloggers. I'm currently writing two other novels. I plan to begin the search for an agent very soon in hopes of signing more book deals.

About You

  • Last Book Read: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Favorite Atlanta Restaurant: BoccaLupo
  • Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Binge eating Oreos late at night
  • Local Getaway:  Lake Lanier and/or the North Georgia Mountains
  • Favorite Non-Work Hobby: Hiking with my father and dancing with my daughter
  • Twitter: @fwreddy

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Contact Info

Contact Name: Mitch Leff

Company: Leff & Associates

Phone: 4048614769

Cell: 4048614769

E-mail: mitch@leffassociates.com