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Condace Pressley

Journalist Condace Pressley was born in 1964 in Marietta, Georgia. She graduated from Marietta High School in 1982, where she was a columnist for her high school paper and co-editor of the school’s year book. She then went on to attend the University of Georgia and served as the news director of the college’s radio station before graduating magna cum laude with her B.A. degree in journalism in 1986.

Pressley was first hired at Cox as a reporter/anchor in 1986. She worked her way up, and in 1999, became the assistant program director and worked on radio stations AM750 and NOW95.5FM News/Talk WSB. In 1992, she was promoted to Cox’s general manager; and in 2012, became the general manager for WSB-AM. Pressley hosts her own show, Perspectives , where she interviews celebrities, authors, news makers and community leaders. She also contributes news reports to Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade and the Sean Hannity Show .

Pressley has been recognized numerous times for the quality of her journalism. In 1990 and 1991, she was named Radio News Woman of the Year Atlanta by the American Women in Radio and Television; and in 1990, she was also named Radio News Woman of the Year Atlanta by the American Women in Radio and Television. Pressley was elected president of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists in 1993. In 2001, she was elected president of the National Association of Black Journalists, and became director of the Radio Television News Directors Association. Pressley was honored at the 2010, YWCA Tribute to Women Leaders, and named a Pioneer Journalist by the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists in 2012. Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin named July 11, 2012, Condace Pressley Day.

Pressley has been published in the Nieman Reports , the Federal Communications Law Journal , and The Atlanta Daily Journal , and has served as a featured as a guest on CNN and C-SPAN .

Condace Pressley was interviewed by The History Makers on February 19, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.049

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/19/2014

Last Name

Pressley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Levica

Schools

St Joseph Catholic School

Marietta High School

University of Georgia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Condace

Birth City, State, Country

Marietta

HM ID

PRE05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida Panhandle

Favorite Quote

It Doesn't Matter Who Gets the Credit as Long as You Get the Job Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/10/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Condace Pressley (1964 - ) is the assistant program manager for Cox Media Group in Atlanta, hosts the radio program Perspectives, and was previously the president of the National Association of Black Journalists and the director of the Radio Television News Directors Association.

Employment

Cox Media Group Atlanta

WSB Radio

Georgia Radio News Atlanta

WRFC Radio, Athens

WNGC/WGAU Radio

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Condace Pressley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley describes her mother's upbringing, education, and nursing career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley describes her mother's career as a nurse at Kennestone Hospital and at the Lockheed Corporation in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley recounts her mother's experiences during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley talks about her father's career as a shopkeeper for the Lockheed Corporation and the Ford Motor Company in Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley recounts how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley describes her parents and her brother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley talks about her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley describes her childhood homes in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley recalls her childhood neighborhood in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley talks about her grade school years at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley talks about the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, and her mother's mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley describes her transition to Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Condace Pressley talks about her experience at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley describes changes in Georgia during the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley describes working on the yearbook staff at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley describes working on the yearbook staff at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley recounts her decision to attend the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley talks about her parents' divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley describes her teachers and her first radio journalism jobs while at the University of Georgia in Athens

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley talks about athletes at the University of Georgia and Marietta High School, like Herschel Walker, Dominique Wilkins, and Dale Ellis

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley describes HistoryMakers Monica Kaufman and Jocelyn Dorsey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley talks about her A.B.J. degree and her extracurricular involvement at the University of Georgia in Athens

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley talks about extracurricular activities at the University of Georgia in Athens

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley describes interning and working at the Georgia Radio News Service

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley recounts how she was hired at WSB Radio in Atlanta, Georgia while working at the Georgia Radio News Service

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley describes working at WSB Radio in Atlanta, Georgia with Skinny Bobby Harper

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley describes covering politics on WSB Radio in Atlanta and meeting four U.S. presidents

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley recalls working with Atlanta, Georgia mayor Maynard Jackson while president of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley recalls interesting local stories she covered at WSB Radio in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley describes becoming president of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and hosting the first UNITY conference in 1994

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley talks about covering politics during the 1994 election of Atlanta, Georgia mayor Bill Campbell

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley describes interviewing civil rights leaders including Coretta Scott King and HistoryMakers John Lewis and Andrew Young

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley recalls the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley talks about professional boxer Evander Holyfield

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley explains her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley talks about her radio program, 'Perspectives,' on WSB in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley recalls the 1994 and 2000 Super Bowl games in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley reflects on the major events in Atlanta, Georgia since the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley remembers the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley remembers the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Condace Pressley recounts her term as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from 2001 to 2003.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley reflects upon African American representation among news directors

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley talks about challenges facing African American news directors

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley explains how broadcast news programming has changed since the 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley reflects upon how the cable news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC have affected the American news market

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley reflects upon how African American political views are represented in cable and broadcast news

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley explains why conservative voices dominate the talk radio format

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Condace Pressley talks about news and en Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Condace Pressley talks about her civic involvement and about HistoryMaker Xernona Clayton

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Condace Pressley reflects upon her future plans and what she would do differently

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley describes attending the 2009 and 2013 presidential inaugurations of HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Condace Pressley talks about Antoinette Tuff, who convinced a gunman to surrender at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Condace Pressley talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Condace Pressley describes her family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Condace Pressley reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Condace Pressley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Condace Pressley narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Condace Pressley describes covering politics on WSB Radio in Atlanta and meeting four U.S. presidents
Condace Pressley reflects upon how African American political views are represented in cable and broadcast news
Transcript
I remember February 17, 1991, when the air war started [Gulf War], that was the moment at which our program director morphed our station [WSB Radio, Atlanta, Georgia] from being a full-service radio station into a news talk radio station. We went to all news in the morning, talk throughout the day, news--heavy news presence in the afternoon. And that has evolved in the twenty-plus years since.$$Okay. Okay. So. So you became the morning show producer in '87 [1987], is that?$$Yes. Yes.$$Okay. All right. And this is [Skinny] Bobby Harper is on in the morning?$$Yes. He was with us until--Bobby left--Bobby and Kathy [Fishman] left--they left in '91 [1991], 'cause I remember that I was here. The [Atlanta] Braves went worst to first. I got to cover the World Series that year. That was a lot of fun. And then, as I say, when the Gulf War started, me at the radio--the one thing that is certain about working in radio is the uncertainty of working in radio. And so the program director then, they blew up the radio station, and Bobby and Kathy left. And we put on--we pull our guy out of the helicopter, the traffic reporter, and made him the host of our morning show. His name is Scott Slade, and he's still hosting our morning show today. But, yes. I went from being a nighttime anchor to being a producer and a reporter, a morning reporter, and then I was the news assignment editor, and then I was the assistant news director--the assistant program director, and now the manager of programming operations and community affairs.$$Wow. So you covered the Democratic National Convention [DNC] in '88 [1988]?$$Yes, I did.$$Here in Atlanta? Yeah.$$Yes. I think I've covered every political convention since '88 [1988].$$Yeah. [HM Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson was a big feature in that.$$And that was that eternally-long Bill Clinton speech. Yes. (laughs).$$Okay.$$Well, yeah. Jesse was here for that one as well.$$And Michael Dukakis (simultaneous)--$$Yes.$$--was the nominee of the Democratic Party.$$Yes. He was. He was--that was--I actually have--I've had great--covering politics, I've great experience covering politics and presidents. I covered the DNC in '88 [1988], and I've covered the DNC and the RNC [Republican National Convention] since. We used to do what we call ascertainment interviews. And we would invite in community leaders when--before deregulation of the industry. And we would sit in the big boardroom and have lunch and discuss issues of community interest. And once President [Jimmy] Carter came, and I had to sit next--in the big boardroom in our old building, I sat next to Jimmy Carter, and we had lunch, and we talked, and he was the nice--he is the nicest man. He is a true WYSIWYG, "what you see is what you get." And I remember asking him, I was like, you know, what was, as he looked back on his presidency, you know, what was the thing that's really troubled him the most. And he talked to me about, you know, staying up at night during the Iran Contra hype--hostage situation [Iran Hostage Crisis 1979 - 1981] and not being able to resolve that, because, you know, it was his failure to resolve that, the hostage crises that led to [Ronald] Reagan's election, and what happened after that. But I got to cover Reagan. That was back in the day when the White House would do regional media visits. And this was very early in my career, and it was in the early term of the Reagan presidency. And they would invite regional media to come up and participate in a White House news conference. And I knew that President Reagan's favorite color was red, because Helen Thomas would always be sitting on the front row with her red suit, and I got to go and I put on my red suit and got to stand up and go, "Mr. President, Mr. President." And it was--$$So you did your homework.$$I did. I did my homework. And the only thing was I still messed up though, because there was another regional reporter there who managed to get President Reagan to say, "You know, when I am in Nashville [Tennessee], I listen to W dot dot dot." And she got it, she fed it down the line, and the radio station in Nashville turned it into a promo on a company hour I.D., and they said, "Why didn't you get him to do that? 'Cause he's not supposed to do that." And they got--it ran, maybe, three or four hours before--of course, they got a cease and desist from the White House that says the President doesn't do promos. So, but I did. I got to ask--I asked Reagan a question. I was--actually rode in a presidential motorcade. I was pool reporter when Bush Forty-One [George H.W. Bush] came to Atlanta for the first observation of the [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] federal holiday. And we went out. We met Air Force One up at Dobbins [Air Reserve Base]. I've never driven that fast, and there's never been as little traffic on the Atlanta interstates as when there's a presidential motorcade riding through the city; and did that; came to the King Center, met Bill Clinton through my work with the NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists]. And really, the only president I haven't either interviewed or met is [HM] President [Barack] Obama. But I think I've got a few more years to perhaps make that happen.$Is there any--what program today do you think comes closer to representing the interests of the African American community?$$(Pause). I think to the extent that there are those who want to put the African American community in one box, there probably is not one program. Because in 2014, I don't think that the color is necessarily black or white, or brown or white. The color is, and for many years now, has always been green. So you are going to have your church-going conservative African-Americans who are going to gravitate to the likes of a Herman Cain and other personalities on the Fox News Channel. Then you are going to have more progressive African-Americans who are going to gravitate to the message of [HM] the Reverend Jesse Jackson or [HM] Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC. And then you're going to have, yet, another group of African Americans who believe that I can make an opinion on my own; I don't need to have your opinion to tell me what to think. And they're gonna read and choose CNN and do some of those other things and just gather the information and make decisions for themselves. We got a lot of great black journalists out there, and many of them are my friends. I love [HM] Roland Martin and what he's doing over at TV One. I love [HM] Tavis Smiley. He's a terrific interviewer. I love what he's doing over at PBS. But, again, even in that arena they still each bring a certain point of view and a certain amount of their personality to the journalism that they do in order to attract, again, a very well-researched audience.$$Okay.$$It's very niche now, I think it is.$$Yeah. I'm going to raise a contradiction here. This is something that--I think that the only place where you see a balance of black conservatives and black liberals is on television, 'cause you don't see it in real life. You don't see half black people conservative and half progressive or--you know, you just don't see that in real life. Even conservative black church-goers tend to not be really supporters of the conservatives--you know, of the conservative mindset, even though they have Herman Cain or (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Maybe on some issues. Not on all of the issues, but certainly on some issues. I can see that.$$Yeah. It seems like the media has more of them gathered than they, you know, represent--than are represented in terms of votes and that sort of thing in the real world. But, would you (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, well, there's a reason why President Obama [HM President Barack Obama] has a 89 to a 90 percent approval rating among African Americans. I mean, clearly, African Americans are--you know, I don't want to say that we--I don't think we as a people, you know, vote in the lockstep. I think there is certainly a certain significance, the fact that, that he's the President of the United States, that he--a reelected President of the United States for a second term, which means the first term was not an accident as some people perhaps would like to say. But I think to the extent that some people might suggest, especially people who are not black, that all black people think alike. I think that's definitely not true.