Celebrating 75: The trailblazers that made WSB-TV what it is today

ATLANTA — As we continue to celebrate 75 years on the air here in Atlanta, we’re taking a look back at the people who made us what we are today.

WSB-TV has been a trailblazer and leader on many fronts, including in 1967 hiring Atlanta’s first African American TV reporter, the late Lo Jelks.

“I just feel fortunate in having an opportunity to work at WSB,” Jelks told us earlier this year before his passing.

Jelks said he always wondered why he’d been offered a job and he said one day, legendary news director Ray Moore told him.

“Ray Moore did level with me and said that they, at the time, they were checking someone else out for the job because, as I understand it, they had made a conscious decision to hire Black folks,” Jelks said.

“Sadly, that first year of his time on television, we never saw his face. It was only his voice. Now, that allowed us the next year, when Lo Jelks was seen on television and the angry letters and phone calls started coming in, station management could say, ‘Now, wait a minute. Is that the same Lo Jelks you’re talking about that’s been on our air for a year? That Lo Jelks?’ And it would catch the caller or the writer by surprise. But nonetheless, those barriers were broken,” general manager and vice president of WSB-TV Ray Carter said.

Jelks, an unassuming champion of change, passed just months after his interview with us, in February of this year.

Another trailblazer, Jocelyn Dorsey, made history in 1973 as Atlanta’s first African American woman in the market and also the first Black woman to regularly anchor a newscast.


“I would never think in a thousand years that this would be here,” she told Channel 2′s Jorge Estevez as she spoke to him outside the room named after her at the WSB-TV studios -- the “Jocelyn Dorsey Community Room.”

In 1983, Dorsey became WSB’s director of editorials and public affairs -- a major champion of our weekly public affairs program People 2 People and our Family 2 Family project.

“This station is more than just a television station. It’s part of the community that has really changed the fabric of the city of Atlanta,” Dorsey said.

Long-time WSB anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson credits Dorsey and Lo Jelks for paving the way for her and others.

“This station had a history like no other for diversity and I think most people forget that they are the leader and had they not done it, the other stations would not have integrated and become as diverse as they are now,” Pearson said.

Kaufman joined Channel 2 Action News in 1975 As Atlanta’s first woman and first minority to anchor the 6 p.m. news.

Pearson retired in 2012 after anchoring 37 years at WSB, passing the torch to Jovita Moore as WSB’s main anchor.

“Her journalism ethics was her legacy. The fact that you know, she knew how to do a story. You know, she wasn’t window dressing. She was a journalist,” Dorsey said.

Moore was a committed journalist, devoted mother and spent countless hours with civic associations and non-profits.

In 2021, she passed away from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Cox Media Group and the National Association of Black Journalists created a scholarship in her name, supporting students studying broadcast journalism.

“She reached back and brought students along with her. So, for a scholarship now to be established in her name, I think she would be very pleased,” Dorsey said.

All these years later from our original home in the Biltmore Hotel to the White Columns building, to where we are today, we’re so honored that millions of you have been on the journey with us.

We look forward to making a difference and providing coverage you can count on for another 75 years.