The announcement comes just a few weeks after progressive advocacy group Better Georgia went after Rogers for taking a $150,000 annual, taxpayer- funded salary from GPB but not yet producing the weekly radio show as promised.
Mandy Wilson, spokesperson for GPB, said Monday that the timing is a “coincidence.”
“We have been planning this for some time,” Wilson said. “We had to get some things in place. We had to go through another hiring process, bringing on a producer that’s doing some operational things.”
Now, with the other producer on board, Rogers’ new radio show, “Georgia Works,” will premiere Thursday at 7 p.m., which will be its weekly timeslot, Wilson said.
Rogers could not be reached for comment.
Wilson said Rogers is “not doing interviews right now.”
“Right now, I think xecwe’re going to get a few shows under our belt and get the premier going and then possibly give a chance to talk about it,” Wilson said.
While Rogers’ new show was in the planning stages, Wilson said the former state senator spent his time doing interviews and blogging for the broadcaster’s website about the employment climate around the state.
“Georgia Works” will be recorded at GPB’s studio in midtown Atlanta and, like Rogers’ blogging, will focus on the state of the job market in Georgia. During the show, Rogers will bring on Georgia-based entrepreneurs and give listeners updates on hiring trends around the state and tips for getting in on the growth, Wilson said.
Rogers said in a release from GPB Friday that he was thankful for the opportunity.
“Everything we do is geared towards supporting the idea that the American dream is alive and well in Georgia,” Rogers said. “I am excited that our new statewide radio program is underway and can play a pivotal role in helping connect Georgians to the chance to improve their lives.”
The announcement of Rogers’s new radio show’s debut comes after months of criticism over his decision in December to leave his elected position in the state Legislature to take the job as an executive producer with GPB.
Rogers received further criticism in January when it was made public that he would be pulling in an annual salary of $150,000, which according to open.ga.gov is more than Gov. Nathan Deal is paid.
In the wake of that news, a veteran GPB producer resigned from the network after 15 years there, citing Rogers’ salary in a time of budget cuts as part of her motivation.
Wilson declined to comment on Rogers’ salary.