Denis O'Hayer | WABE 90.1 FM

Denis O'Hayer

Host, Morning Edition

Denis O'Hayer, the host of Morning Edition, joined WABE in January, 2009 as host of All Things Considered and Marketplace.  Prior to that, Denis covered local affairs, politics and government for 11 years as a political reporter and public affairs program host for WXIA/11Alive.  In 2015, he was named to the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame.  The Georgia Association of Broadcasters selected him as its Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.

Although he has been with WABE since 2009, Denis has a much longer history with Public Broadcasting Atlanta.  He started as a pledge drive volunteer and host at PBA-30 in 1978.  Eventually, he began hosting PBA-30 specials on subjects ranging from the environment to the conflict in the Middle East.  In 1988, he began hosting a new show, The Layman’s Lawyer, a look at how the law affects everyday life.  It ran until 2004.  During that time, he also produced and hosted Atlanta This Week, a reporters’ roundtable, which ran from 1996 to 2001.  In 2012, he and Rose Scott, along with the PBA-30 team, won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for “How to Stop the Candy Shop,” a TV special on the fight against child sex trafficking in Atlanta.

O’Hayer began his career in radio in Connecticut in 1976 at WGCH-AM (Greenwich) followed by WELI-AM (New Haven). 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.  He hosted several news and public affairs programs; Counterpoint with Tom Houck and Dick Williams; Cover Your Assets, a consumer-oriented show; Lawn & Garden; The Home Show; and The Law Show.  From 1991 to 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.

Denis has long been involved in the Atlanta community.  His work includes service on the boards of Families First and the Atlanta Press Club, where he served as President, and continues to work on the Debate Committee.

Denis graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont, with a degree in Spanish.  He and his wife Lisa live in Atlanta.

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Georgia's largest health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, has started a new rule:  it will deny coverage to individual policyholders for emergency room visits the company deems to be unnecessary.  

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The idea is to address the soaring costs that are racked up when patients go to the ER for problems that should be handled in a doctor's office or a clinic.

Ian Palmer / WABE

Republican Karen Handel's victory in the 6th Congressional District runoff sparked several days of finger-pointing among Democrats who had hoped Jon Ossoff could flip a House seat that had been in GOP hands for decades.

Ian Palmer / WABE

Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in the June 20 runoff election to succeed Tom Price as the member of Congress from Georgia’s 6th District.  Handel’s margin of victory surprised many political observers and pollsters, who had predicted a neck-and-neck race.

For a look at the factors that contributed to the result, WABE’s Denis O’Hayer spoke with Professor Kerwin Swint on Morning Edition.  Swint chairs the political science department at Kennesaw State University.

Al Such and Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE

No doldrums early this summer in Georgia politics!  With early voting already underway, and election day looming on June 20, the two candidates in the 6th Congressional District runoff are preparing for the next phase: at least two key debates.  

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(One of those debates will be on June 8 on WABE & PBA-30).  Meanwhile, the state's Republican party prepares to elect its next chairman at a weekend convention in Augusta.

Al Such / WABE

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel barely made it out of the crowded April 18 special election to replace Tom Price as the U.S. House member from Georgia's 6th Congressional District.  But, in the weeks since, the Republican has waged a close battle with Democrat Jon Ossoff, who finished first in April.  The two face each other in a runoff June 20.  Their contest has become the most expensive U.S. House race ever.

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