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Release Date: 12.06.2018 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Leff & Associates

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" on Mike Petchenik, WSB TV

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?

Mitch also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts.

The Spotlight Shines on Mike Petchenik with WSB TV!

Mike Petchenik is the North Fulton County Bureau Chief at Channel 2 Action News. From crime to politics, he covers everything going on in that geographic area and in other parts of the north Metro area. He started as a freelancer here back in 2009 and was hired on full-time in 2011 in his current role.

Prior to Atlanta, he was a reporter and fill-in anchor at WLKY-TV in Louisville, KY, a weekend anchor/producer/reporter at WAGT-TV in Augusta, GA, and a reporter and fill-in anchor at KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. His first gig was reading the weather report and running the board during the afternoon drive programming at a small NPR/Community radio station. He grew up in the Chicago area, but much prefer the Southern winters.

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

When I get a chance to tell a story that forces some of kind of change for the better or helps someone who wouldn’t have gotten that help had our story not run, it reminds me how lucky I am to work in this profession. When we hold powerful people accountable and give voice to the voiceless, we are the most effective. It’s cliché but it’s true!

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

When I first started in the business nearly 20 years ago, social media wasn’t even a thing, so that’s taken some getting used to. I’ve really had to adapt my daily workflow to provide continuous content to our digital outlets. Because of the nature of a bureau job, I’m typically turning two different enterprise stories a day on two, sometimes three different topics, and sharing bits and pieces of my process throughout the day has been both challenging and fulfilling.

What is the best and worst thing about your job?

Best: I’m inherently a people person and very curious by nature, so this job scratches that itch. I love being out in the field and learning something new every day or meeting interesting people and telling their stories. I could never work behind a desk all day.

Worst: The work-life balance of TV news can be challenging. I have two elementary school-aged kids and a wife with, believe it or not, a more demanding job that mine (she’s a doctor). Sometimes the demands of the job take a toll, but I’m very lucky to have a family that’s supportive and understanding. Oh, and I hate covering snow storms, especially when it’s just a dusting and the city shuts down!

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

I’m a drummer. I started playing when I was a kid and in college I played in the University of Missouri jazz Ensemble, a funk band and in a wedding swing band that recorded an album. When I worked in Augusta I became friendly with James Brown’s former drummer and subbed for him in a local jazz trio that played on Saturday nights at the Partridge Inn.

Since I’ve had kids and started at Channel 2 Action News, I haven’t had a chance to play out much, but I practice frequently to keep my chops intact and hope to hook up with more local musicians in the future.

About You

Last Book Read: I’m in the middle of Dan Rather’s book “What Unites Us.” I had a chance to see him at the MJCAA Book Fest last year and he’s fascinating. A great read so far.
Favorite Atlanta Restaurant: My wife and I love Pricci and all of the Buckhead Life spots.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Eating raw cookie dough out of the container!
Local Getaway: Stone Mountain Park/Taking my kids to the park
Favorite Non-Work Hobby: Anything related to music. Playing it, listening to it, or reading about it.
Twitter: @mpetchenikwsb

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Contact Info

Contact Name: Mitch Leff

Company: Leff & Associates

Phone: 4048614769

Cell: 4048614769

E-mail: mitch@leffassociates.com