Veteran TV anchorman John Pruitt will discuss his lengthy career covering 50 years of Georgia news headlines when he visits Villa Rica on August 9 as the guest speaker for the city’s Leadership Luncheon series.
Pruitt, who was a reporter and anchor for both WSB and WXIA (11 Alive) for a total of 46 years, is now an author, having published his first novel, “Tell It True,” a fictional murder story drawn from real events.
The Leadership Luncheon series brings together executives, entrepreneurs, educational leaders, and innovators from throughout the region to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities facing their respective fields.
The Luncheon is held at the Villa Rica Civic Center and Sports Complex (the V-Plex), 1605 Georgia Highway 61, and is open to the public. It begins with networking at 11:30 a.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m.
Copies of Pruitt’s novel will be for sale at the venue, courtesy of Horton Books in Carrollton, and Pruitt will be available to autograph copies.
He will be discussing the lessons of leadership he discovered during his long career as both a reporter and anchor for two Atlanta TV stations. During those years, he covered such monumental events as the Civil Rights movement, 11 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, and the aftermath of the September 11 terror attack.
Pruitt began at WSB in the early 1960s but interrupted his career to serve with the Army as an infantry lieutenant. When he resumed work at the TV station, he eventually became weekend anchor, and in 1973 he became anchor of the station’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Pruitt was also anchor at WXIA TV from 1978 to 1994 but rejoined WSB that year, where he remained until his retirement in 2010. He occasionally returns to WSB to comment on politics and other important stories.
Pruitt’s novel is a fictionalized account of the actual 1964 murder of a Black decorated war veteran by Klansmen in rural Georgia. Pruitt covered the event, and his novel focuses on the challenges faced by journalists covering such a story during a turbulent time in the state’s history.
“Tell It True” is published by Mercer University Press and has been praised by former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young (who wrote an afterword), as well as authors Steven Oney and Philip Lee Williams, as well as Pruitt’s former colleague, Monica Kaufman Pearson.
Pruitt’s reporting career has been honored with multiple awards, including his induction into the Atlanta Press Club and Georgia Association of Broadcasters Halls of Fame.
The Villa Rica Leadership Luncheon is sponsored in August by Tanner Health System, Southwire, Printpack, Flowers Foods, as well as Main Street Villa Rica and the City of Villa Rica.