NewsPub Notes

Pub Notes


There were six veteran WUGA 91.7 FM staff members on board a year ago when the University of Georgia gave the station to Georgia Public Broadcasting as an incentive for GPB to take over the cash-hemorrhaging television station WNEG-TV. Four of those staff have jumped, fallen or were pushed overboard. The latest is David Ferguson, the familiar voice of evening classical music. Ferguson applied for the vacant position of program director at the station but he says his application was never acknowledged until the new director was announced at a staff meeting and Ferguson was told that the station manager “forgot†that he had applied. When asked about the lapse, Station Manager Jimmy Sanders said he can’t comment on a personnel matter.

There is some feeling that Sanders, who inherited the radio station management along with his television management duties, has not shown much interest in WUGA, unlike former manager Steve Bell, who threw himself into the job and fought for the interests of the university against the attempted encroachments of GPB until that organization finally took over, and he was fired.

Ferguson, happily, has landed on his feet. He had been blogging part-time for The Raw Story (, an online magazine, to supplement his income because of UGA pay freezes, and now he’ll be writing full-time for The Raw Story at a considerable pay raise with benefits, working from home.

In regard to his leaving WUGA, Ferguson responded, “I’ll just say about the university what Winston Churchill said about Americans, that they ‘can always be counted on to do the right thing… after they have exhausted all other possibilities.’â€

Coincidentally, the man who has been hired as the new program director at WUGA, Hollis Monroe, is a highly regarded longtime aficionado of classical music who recently lost his job in Iowa public radio because of a consolidation of stations within that system.


For their main fundraiser the Clarke County Democrats are roasting not corn nor a pig, but a corny pig in a poke: a former commissioner, a former mayor and a former Democrat all rolled into one: Chamber of Commerce President Doc Eldridge. Yes, even knowing what a tempting target he will make when confronted and surrounded by his former fellow Democrats, Doc is a good enough sport to stand before the slings and arrows of outrageous orators and take what they let fly.

Here’s how Doc sees it in a recent email to supporters: “Well friends, I must have finally lost my mind. You see, I have agreed to allow myself to be roasted by the Clarke County Democratic Party. Now before you scream and put calls in to Rush and Hannity, you need to understand that a generous contribution will be made to the Athens Mentor Program, with whom we have been closely aligned for 25 years.

“I had to think long and hard before saying yes, but you know, I don’t plan on running for anything in the future, and I will get in the last word of the evening. At long last I will get to take a crack at the political party that could never decide if they liked me or not. They always thought I was a Republican in Democratic clothing, and now the Republicans think the opposite.â€

The roast is Thursday, March 8 and begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Tate Student Center on campus. The cost is a Republican-size $50, but you get dinner and a ringside seat at the festivities.

Judge Lawton Stephens is Master of Ceremonies, and he’ll have enough quips, bon mots, one-liners, wisecracks and bad puns to make the show all by himself. But he’ll have plenty of help from Gwen O’Looney, former state Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond, Judge Patrick Haggard, radio-personality-plus Barbara Dooley, old friend Tom Hodgson, former state Democratic Party Chair Jane Kidd and me.

You can buy tickets online at or by contacting Bill Horton at 706-548-5769 or For Democrats and Republicans alike, this is too good an opportunity to miss.

(If you know of an insult or anecdote concerning Doc that you want to be sure gets included, send it to me quickly at the email address below. Doc will appreciate it.)