Rogers’ GPB show to premiere Thursday

You can’t keep “The Winner” down for long.

It took more than a decade and the shedding of a lucrative persona to once again find himself behind a microphone, but on Thursday former Georgia Senate Majority Chip Rogers will be back in the broadcast saddle with the debut of his jobs-focused primetime news program on public radio.

Rogers, a former sports handicapper known to Las Vegas risktakers as “Will The Winner” who later reinvented himself as a cultural conservative political climber, was hired last year by Georgia Public Broadcasting after the Republican abruptly resigned from the state legislature.

He had found himself the subject of national late-night comedic ribbing for his involvement in a closed-door caucus meeting wherein President Obama was accused of orchestrating a socialist mind plot, but his transition from lawmaker to radio talker soon sparked new, worsening controversy.

Progressive activists said Gov. Nathan Deal had arranged for Rogers’ golden parachute–a $150,000 salary courtesy of the tax payer–out of the Gold Dome.

The drama only intensified when a veteran GPB producer resigned in protest over the hiring, saying Rogers’ salary, which registered the second-highest within the entire broadcast agency despite his middle-management title, gave “the appearance of the political manipulation of the public airwaves.”

But tomorrow Rogers will attempt to turn the page, to reinvent himself as he’s done so many times before.

His show, entitled “Georgia Works,” will air weekly at 7PM Thursdays.

- James Richardson