Denis O'Hayer

Host, A Closer Look

All Things Considered and Marketplace are locally hosted by broadcast veteran Denis O’Hayer. Prior to working at WABE, Denis covered local affairs, politics and government for 11 years as a political reporter for WXIA/11Alive. As ATC host, he brings with him the same keen eye for news and information. ATC offers listeners up-to-date traffic reports, weather updates, and provides three expanded Atlanta-based news reports each hour.

O’Hayer began his broadcast career in radio in Connecticut in 1976 at WGCH-AM followed by WELI-AM. In 1978, his career led him to Atlanta where he accepted a position with WGST-AM/FM. O’Hayer worked at the station for more than 19 years in a variety of roles. Through the years, O’Hayer has hosted several news and public affairs programs including Midday and Lifestyle, two magazine shows; Counterpoint with Tom Houck and Dick Williams; Cover Your Assets, a consumer-oriented show; Lawn & Garden; The Home Show; The Law Show; and Thirty ‘til Six, an afternoon drive news block with Bob Coxe. From 1991-1997, O’Hayer hosted Sixty at Six, a daily, one hour news and interview program. His broadcast career also includes on-air work with CNN’s Southeast Bureau and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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A Closer Look
7:40 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

A Talk with NPR's Guy Raz, Host of "The TED Radio Hour"

NPR's Guy Raz, host of "The TED Radio Hour."
Credit NPR

  On March 6, 2015, the popular NPR series "The TED Radio Hour" launches a new collection of episodes, featuring more talks from the TED series.  Each week, the program collects TED talks that have common themes--from creativity to the source of happiness.  Host Guy Raz spoke with WABE's Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer on the February 27, 2015 edition of "A Closer Look."  Among other things, Raz spoke about his favorite TED talk, by Ken Robinson on kids and creativity.  You can hear that here.

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A Closer Look
6:20 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

A Talk with Sen. Johnny Isakson: Homeland Security Funding; ISIS; And The Keystone Pipeline

In this photo from Jan. 10, 2015, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) speaks to a breakfast meeting of Cobb County Republicans at the county GOP office in Marietta.
Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

At midnight on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will run out of money, unless Congress approves a new funding measure. 

Some Republicans have tried to tie DHS funding to their bill to overturn President Obama's executive actions on immigration.  

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leaders reached an agreement to hold a vote on DHS funding alone – without the immigration bill. House Republicans showed no signs of going along with that.  

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A Closer Look
4:24 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

California Declares War On Georgia? Just For Entertainment

Actors and extras work on the set of ''The Walking Dead'' in Atlanta, Georgia.
Credit Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Atlanta is becoming more of a film capital than it has been in a long time. Television and film production is taking place all over the state of Georgia, with many entertainment projects drawn here by tax credits the state began offering some 10 years ago.

California has taken note.

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed California’s own set of tax credits that will triple the dollars TV and film companies can earn there, as long as they stay in-state. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was standing right beside Brown when he signed the measure.

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A Closer Look
4:31 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

A New State Debate On LGBT Rights And The Last Decade's Changes: A Talk With Rep. Karla Drenner

Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale) during an interview in her Capitol office on Feb. 13, 2015.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

The Georgia Legislature may soon be taking another look at the rights of the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.  

After several previous efforts failed, Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale) has introduced HB 323, which would ban the state government from discriminating in hiring and promotion against anyone based on sexual orientation.  

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A Closer Look
4:14 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

State Schools Chief Richard Woods Talks School Rescue Plans, Graduation Rates

Denis O'Hayer interviewed Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Richard Woods is Georgia's new state superintendent of schools. He took office in January 2015 after winning the election last year.  

Woods, a Republican, had been in office barely a month when Gov. Nathan Deal announced his plan for the state to take over up to 20 failing schools each year. The schools would be placed in a new statewide district of their own, with its own superintendent who would report to the governor, not to Woods.  

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A Closer Look
3:37 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Georgia's Adult Entertainment Clubs Promise To Fight Proposed State Fee

Attorney Alan Begner, who represents many of Atlanta's strip clubs and other adult entertainment establishments, speaking during an interview with WABE's Denis O'Hayer at the station's studios.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

On Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, the Georgia State Senate passed two pieces of legislation aimed at toughening prosecutions and punishments for child sex traffickers in the state.  

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Local
5:54 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Will Atlanta's Streetcar Work?: Possible Clues From Other Cities

A crowd gathers downtown for the public opening of the Atlanta Streetcar on Dec. 30, 2014.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com / for WABE

In his State of the City message on Feb. 4, 2015, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced plans to expand the city's new streetcar line to the east, which would connect it to the BeltLine.  

But will an expanded streetcar system succeed in Atlanta?  Other cities have had mixed results from their streetcar ventures.  

A recent article in Politico took a close look at why streetcars have succeeded in some cities, while others have shut down their projects.  

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A Closer Look
6:31 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Rep. David Scott On Where He Agrees With The President's Budget ... And Where He Doesn't

Congressman David Scott called on both sides to compromise on issues like taxation and immigration.
Credit Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

On Feb. 2, President Barack Obama presented his budget plan for the coming fiscal year:  a nearly $4 trillion package that includes increased spending for public works projects like highways and bridges, increased capital gains taxes for upper-income couples, and two years of free tuition for community college students.  

  Republicans immediately declared the President's spending plan dead on arrival.  But even some Democrats are not in step on every item in it.  

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A Closer Look
7:16 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

GOP Lawmaker Files Bill To End Delta's Tax Break On Fuel

Delta recently reported a $2.8 billion profit for 2014.
Credit Ric Feld / Associated Press

One of the leading Republicans in the Georgia House, Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs, has filed a bill to do away with the exemption Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has received on state fuel taxes since 2006.  

At the time lawmakers passed the exemption for Delta, the carrier was trying to emerge from bankruptcy and facing rising fuel costs.

But Ehrhart argues the exemption was not initially intended to be permanent, and Delta recently reported a $2.8 billion profit for 2014.

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Local
7:16 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

The Georgia Vs. Florida Water War Continues

The waterways of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river basin.
Credit Streamer from nationalatlas.gov

The state of Georgia has fired the latest round in the decades-long water war with Florida (and sometimes, Alabama).  

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A Closer Look
5:34 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

More Delays At Plant Vogtle: A Talk With PSC Member Tim Echols

Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols speaking with WABE's Denis O'Hayer on ''A Closer Look'' at the station's studios on Jan. 30, 2015
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

On Thursday, Georgia Power and its partners in the Plant Vogtle expansion project announced they expect a delay of another 18 months before construction is completed.  

The announcement projects the first of the two new reactors will now be finished in mid-2019; the second in mid-2020.  The delays are expected to add more than a billion dollars to the total cost of the project.  

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A Closer Look
7:24 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

A Year After Snowstorm Gridlock, New DOT Chief Promises to Avoid a Repeat

This photo was taken on Jan. 29, 2014, the morning after the snowstorm hit Atlanta. Hundreds of cars remained stuck on I-85 northbound near Monroe Drive. Some metro drivers remained stranded for 12-20 hours.
Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

On Jan. 28, 2014, a few inches of snow and ice paralyzed metro Atlanta.  Thousands of people were stranded in their cars--many for up to an entire day.  Much of the blame for the highway nightmare fell on state transportation officials.  A year later, the state's new transportation commissioner promised the state had done a great deal in the year since, to prevent a repeat when the next storm comes.  On the Jan. 28, 2014 edition of "A Closer Look," Commissioner Russell McMurry spoke with WABE's Denis O'Hayer.

  

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A Closer Look
7:25 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

DeKalb Police Chief Cedric Anderson Discusses Lessons Learned From Ferguson

DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander in his office at headquarters in Tucker, Georgia.
Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander has a Ph.D. in psychology, and he is leader of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).  

President Barack Obama recently tapped Alexander to serve on the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, part of the administration's efforts to "strengthen community policing and strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve."

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A Closer Look
7:47 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Progress And Challenges In The AIDS Fight: A Talk With AID Atlanta's CEO

Dr. Jose Diaz talks with WABE's Denis O'Hayer at AID Atlanta on Jan. 22, 2015.
Alison Guillory WABE

Not that many years ago, an AIDS diagnosis was considered an automatic death sentence.  But over the years, improvements in drugs, transmission prevention, and therapies have allowed many patients to live as if their disease is a chronic illness ─ not curable yet, but manageable.

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Politics
7:49 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

US Sen. David Perdue Discusses Keystone Pipeline, Upcoming Legislative Battles

Now-Senator David Perdue, R-Georgia, in a file photo of his victory celebration at the Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2014.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE

 

Georgia's new U.S. Senator, Republican David Perdue, has been in office less than a month.  

But he has already proposed some bills, and lined up with his party for upcoming battles with President Obama.  

WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Perdue about the President's recent State of the Union message, and whether Republicans will negotiate with him on issues from health care to the Keystone pipeline.

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Local
7:17 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Cell Towers, Backyards And The Courts: A Talk With Roswell Mayor Jere Wood

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta.
Credit Keith Survell / Flickr.com/keithius

We all know the phrase, “Not in my backyard.” 

It especially applies to cell phone towers. Most of us depend on them — none of us want one next to our house.

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta. But in the City of Roswell, it went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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A Closer Look
5:56 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Students Fight Sex Trafficking In Atlanta And Around The World

Shyann Hendricks and Reza Daftarian, Atlanta International School Against Human Trafficking club organizers
Credit Twitter / WABE

When Shirley Franklin was mayor of Atlanta, a movement began to bring awareness, prevention and tougher legislation regarding the sexual exploitation of children.

In 2006, Mayor Franklin made national news with the Dear John Campaign:

When Shirley Franklin held a press conference about that Dear John Campaign she also revealed something else.

Rose Scott talks with Franklin about her personal story in this 2012 interview:

Shirley Franklin has talked about getting young people involved in advocacy work regarding human trafficking issues.

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Politics
7:07 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Lost Speeches By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keep Surfacing

In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Credit File / Associated Press

In recent years, some long-missing recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches and interviews have come to light.

UCLA recently released a speech Dr. King gave in April 1965.

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A Closer Look
6:28 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Atlanta's Muslims And The Paris Terror Attacks: A Talk With Imam Plemon T. El-Amin

Imam Plemon T. El-Amin talks with Denis O'Hayer during an interview on Jan. 15, 2015, at the WABE studio.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

  We've all heard the questions in the days following the Paris terror attacks: Since the killers were Muslims, do other Muslims have a duty to publicly condemn what they did? And is it right or fair to demand that?  

Atlanta has been home to a growing Muslim community for many years. Some are American-born, even Atlanta natives; some came here from other lands.

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A Closer Look
7:22 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Satire After The "Charlie Hebdo" Attack: A Talk With AJC Cartoonist Mike Luckovich

Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich in his office.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / ryannabulsi.com / for WABE

A week after the deadly attack on its office, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo​ published a new issue. It sold out immediately.  The cover featured yet another cartoon image of the prophet Muhammad -this time shedding a tear.  

Satirical images of the Prophet have angered many Muslims.  But perhaps all of us have at some time been upset by satire.  So, should there be limits?  

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A Closer Look
7:12 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Outgoing Emory Healthcare CEO John Fox Talks Ebola, Medicaid Expansion

John Fox, the outgoing president and CEO of Emory Healthcare, talked about Ebola and Medicaid expansion during an interview at his office on Jan. 13.
Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

After 16 years leading Emory Healthcare, CEO John Fox will depart Atlanta for a new job with Beaumont Health in Detroit.

In a wide-ranging conversation with WABE's Denis O'Hayer, Fox recalled his decision to accept the first Ebola patient in the United States, Dr. Kent Brantley. Two questions were critical, Fox said. “Can we really make a difference for these patients?” and “Can we do it safely?”

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Politics
7:14 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

The President and the New GOP Congress: A Talk with Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), speaking to a breakfast meeting of Cobb County Republicans at the county GOP office in Marietta; Saturday, Jan. 10, 2014
Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

 

This past November, American voters gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress.  After President Obama said he had his veto ready for GOP bills he doesn't like, there were dire predictions that the Washington gridlock of the past few years will get even worse.  

But Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson insists the divided government has a chance to work, even as he promises to take on the President and campaign for his own re-election in 2016.

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Politics
3:54 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Speaker David Ralston: Law Enforcement Won't Be 'Enemy No. One'

Georgia General Assembly House Speaker Rep. David Ralston says he would not allow law enforcement officers to become ''Enemy Number One'' in discussions about body cameras and other surveillance tools.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Yesterday, Rep. David Ralston talked with Denis O'Hayer about upcoming transportation proposals facing the Georgia General Assembly. 

Ralston also defended law enforcement officers, stating that he would not allow them to become "Enemy Number One" in discussions about body cameras and other surveillance tools. 

The speaker shared his views on controversial bills on religion and the fight over which schools should receive state money.

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Closer Look
4:43 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Ga. House Speaker David Ralston Talks Voter Issues For New Session

Georgia House Speaker Rep. David Ralston speaks with Denis O'Hayer at the state Capitol.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

This is day one of the new legislative session in Georgia.  Representatives from across the state have convened under the Gold Dome to take on the issues that voters are concerned about. 

In the first part of an interview with WABE's Denis O'Hayer, House Speaker David Ralston acknowledges that transportation may top the list. During the long conversation, he told O'Hayer about the upcoming transportation proposals facing the Georgia General Assembly.

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Local
5:52 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

A Memorable 5:44 Interview from 2014: Wartime Sex Violence Survivor Tells a Story Too Often Ignored

Prisca Uwigabye, with her husband Thomas Tuah, speaking with WABE's Denis O'Hayer at the station's studios on June 24, 2014.
Credit Rose Scott / WABE News

  

  At the turning of the year, we're getting a second listen to some of the more memorable 2014 interviews from "The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer" on All Things Considered. 

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Page-Turners
4:44 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Three Page-Turners...from Stacey Abrams

Abrams' writing bio calls her 'a lawyer by day and a writer during every waking hour.'
Credit Georgia General Assembly

 Stacey Abrams has a unique resume. 

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Georgia General Assembly and state representative for Atlanta’s 89th district is also a writer of romantic thrillers under the pen name “Selena Montgomery.”

WABE’s Denis O’Hayer sat down to talk with Abrams about how she grew up surrounded by books — sometimes, literally nested in them. (That story’s in the interview’s extended version.) They also discussed what makes a biography great, and how on earth Abrams even finds the time to read — and write novels — while pursuing her day job.

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Local
6:13 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

A Memorable 5:44 Interview from 2014: AJC's Jim Galloway Recalls Tiananmen Square, 25 Years Later

One of the photographs of the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, posted by Atlanta Journal-Constitution political columnist Jim Galloway, as he remembered his experiences of the killings that took place in and around the square in June, 1989.
Credit Jim Galloway / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  At the turning of the year, we're getting a second listen to some of the more memorable 2014 interviews from "The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer" on All Things Considered. 

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Sports
4:44 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

A Memorable 5:44 Interview from 2014: KSU President Dr. Dan Papp on NCAA Rules Changes

Dr. Dan Papp, president of Kennesaw State University
Credit Kennesaw State University

  At the turning of the year, we're getting a second listen to some of the more memorable 2014 interviews from "The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer" on All Things Considered.

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Features
5:33 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

A Memorable 5:44 Interview From 2014: Michele Norris on "The Race Card Project"

NPR's Michele Norris, during her interview with WABE's Denis O'Hayer about "The Race Card Project." The conversation took place at Georgia State University on April 3, 2014.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

At the turning of the year, we're getting a second listen to some of the more memorable 2014 interviews from "The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer" on All Things Considered.

Early in the year, former NPR All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris won a Peabody Award from the University of Georgia, for her self-funded work, "The Race Card Project."  It invites people to submit 6-word phrases or sentences, describing their experiences and impressions of race in America.  

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Sports
5:52 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Why the Falcons Fired Mike Smith Now: A Talk with AJC Falcons Beat Writer D. Orlando Ledbetter

Smith was the most successful coach in Falcons history.
Credit Brian Blanco / Associated Press

On Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced the team had fired head coach Mike Smith, who had been with the team for 7 seasons.  

Despite two straight losing campaigns, and a bad loss that eliminated the team from this year's playoffs, Smith was the most successful coach in Falcons history.  

So why did Blank decide to fire Smith now?  And what lies ahead for other members of the front office, like general manger Thomas Dimitroff?  

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