Sean Powers

Producer/Reporter - On Second Thought

Sean Powers is a producer and reporter for "On Second Thought.” Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.  In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him about a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, a first place award for best use of sound from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. After a long week of public radio, Powers enjoys live jazz and soul food. He also mentors teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta. In addition to his work at GPB, he also oversees the development of several podcasts for an audio book company in Atlanta called ListenUp Audiobooks.

Ways to Connect

The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office

Six Georgia men are facing federal charges for trafficking guns to New York. According to the 17-count indictment unsealed last week, half of the men are former military.

Top Shelf Productions

Georgia Congressman John Lewis wears many hats - civil rights leader, politician, and graphic novelist. His story and the story of the civil rights movement is told through a three part graphic memoir called, “March.” The final installment of the series is out this week. We talk with Congressman Lewis, his co-author Andrew Aydin, and the book’s illustrator Nate Powell about telling history through comics.

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

Macon-Bibb County officials meet later this month to discuss why the rate of pedestrian fatalities is so high in the city. It’s either the most deadly or close to the most deadly county in the state for walkers, depending on how you count it. Chris Tsavatewa of the Macon-Bibb Board of Health tells us why he's made pedestrian safety a top issue.

Georgia Playlist: Gwen Hughes

Jul 29, 2016
Gwen Hughes

We add two more songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. All tunes have to be written or performed by a Georgian. And musicians can't pick one of their own songs to go on the playlist. Atlanta jazz singer Gwen Hughes chooses hits from Johnny Mercer and Otis Redding. 

Tom Holland / Instagram

On any given day, there's probably a film or TV crew working somewhere in Georgia. We've even caught a few crews in our building at GPB, but what are they working on? For our series "On Set in Georgia," we check in with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jennifer Brett about the latest film and television projects in the state.


In 2011, unarmed African American teen Jordan Davis was murdered in his car by Michael Dunn after a dispute over loud music. Davis was from Atlanta and his death ignited a national debate about racism and gun violence. Davis’s mother, Lucia McBath, spoke at the Democratic National Convention about her son’s death as an advocate for ‘Mothers of the Movement.’ Filmmaker Marc Silver produced a film entitled “3 ½ Minutes: 10 Bullets,” which chronicles the tragic death of Jordan Davis.

The Associated Press

Georgia will probably never forget the moment 20 years ago when a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park. The man behind that attack - and several others in the South - was Florida native Eric Rudolph. Rudolph was arrested after a five year manhunt. He's now serving life in a Colorado federal prison.  Richard Jaffe served as Rudolph's defense attorney before he pleaded guilty in 2005. He shares  how he developed Rudolph’s trust, and the legal journey he would go on with his client.    

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Twenty years ago, just as the world’s attention was focused on Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics, a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park. Eric Rudolph was the man behind the attack along with three other bombings in the South. He eluded federal authorities for five years despite an intensive manhunt. Rudolph was a self-taught survivalist and spent at least some portion of that five years camped out in the Appalachian wilderness.

Cox Media Group

Twenty years ago this week, a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. However, it wasn't the only attack that happened in the city. The bomber, Eric Rudolph, also left a pair of bombs at a gay bar in 1997. It was called the Otherside Lounge. No one died in the bombing but several were injured. Owners Dana Ford and Beverly McMahon recall the attack and how it changed their lives.

IDW Publishing

A new graphic novel takes us back to the early 20th century on Jekyll Island. Back then, the tiny Georgia island was a hot spot for some of the most powerful and wealthy individuals like William Rockefeller, Joseph Pulitzer, and Henry Ford. "The Jekyll Island Chronicles" blends historical fact with alternate history - all with the help of students from the Savannah College of Art and Design. We talk with co-author Ed Crowell and illustrator Moses Nester.


Atlanta became an Olympic city 20 years ago. One of the game's most celebrated moments was when champion fighter Muhammad Ali surprised the world and lit the flame at the opening ceremonies. Retired Georgia state trooper Johnnie B. Hall had the chance to meet Ali in Atlanta 20 years ago. He was part of the security team at the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games, and his assignment that night was an unforgettable one. 

The Breakroom gang joins guest host Adam Ragusea to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Atlanta-based LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed, Savannah Magazine editor Amy Condon, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, and Macon Telegraph editorial page editor Charles Richardson.

Asperger's Are Us

Neurological disorders, as a rule, are not funny. That doesn’t mean that the people who suffer from them are not. Take for example the members of the comedy troupe Asperger's Are Us. They all actually do have Asperger’s syndrome, but they don't let their condition define their comedy. The four-member group performs Friday at 8pm at Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta. We talked with Jack Hanke and Ethan Finlan, two of the group's members.


Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta singer Mike Geier is the creative force behind Puddles the Clown. He describes Puddles as a sad clown with a golden voice. Puddles doesn’t speak, but his baritone voice can fill a room when he sings. He covers everything from Lorde's "Royals" to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”  We caught up with Mike Geier ahead of Puddle's performance on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta.


The 11th annual Macon Film Festival kicks off this week, and one of the event’s featured films tells the story of an Atlanta institution called the Clermont Hotel. It closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. The short documentary "Hotel Clermont" records the last six months of this iconic instustion's life before it closed.

This month, Turner Classic Movies showcases the work of early African American filmmakers dating back to the 1920s. These “race films” were compiled by Atlanta filmmaker and producer Bret Wood, who talks with us about his work to preserve a golden age of cinema that’s long been forgotten.

The Associated Press

Twenty years ago, the Olympic Games kicked off in Atlanta, but the international celebration of athleticism turned a dark corner about a week later when a bomb went off at a free concert in Centennial Olympic Park.  A mother died and a man suffered a fatal heart attack after the blast. More than a hundred others were injured.  Memories of that violent attack are what still stand out in many people's minds.

Mohamad Jamal Daoudi

Earlier this week, an anti-Muslim activist in Augusta, posted a video of himself armed and making violent threats outside of an Islamic community center in the city.  That kind of hate-filled rhetoric is exactly what  Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi of Augusta tries to work against.  We talk with him about his outreach to educate the public about Islam. 


A recent report by the United Health Foundation says Georgia’s obesity rate for seniors 65 and older is slightly higher than the national average, and that report suggests it may climb even more. GPB’s Sean Powers explores what that’ll mean for nursing homes.


The movie industry is Georgia continues to grow and develop. Our state needs more actors, writers, set designers ... and stunt men!

We take a trip up to Dawsonville to visit a stunt driving school that teaches interested participants the way of the action star. Producers Taylor Gantt and Sean Powers visited the new program and received the full experience with the help of professional stuntman Bobby Ore.  

For more info on the program visit:


Few journalists ever want to find themselves in the headlines, but that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when a North Georgia newspaper publisher was jailed after he filed an open records request. He has since been released, all charges dropped, but the case is still attracting national attention, and raises very serious First Amendment issues. GPB’s Sean Powers reports.


Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Few journalists ever want to find themselves in the headlines, but that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when a North Georgia newspaper publisher was jailed after he filed an open records request. He has since been released, all charges dropped, but the case is still attracting national attention, and raises very serious First Amendment issues. GPB’s Sean Powers reports.


Listen back to our 2015 series by GPB's Sean Powers on the Fannin Focus, and the role of small-town investigative journalism:


SEAN POWERS / On Second Thought

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been under the leadership of Dr. Tom Frieden since 2009.  The CDC director has a long history as an advocate for public health.

He speaks with us about his agency’s work researching some of the latest global concerns including the Zika virus, ebola, HIV/AIDS, mental health and gun violence. 


The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has made countless appearances on the big and small screen from the 1995 thriller “Outbreak” to an explosive debut on the first season of the hit show “The Walking Dead.”  GPB's Sean Powers walks us through some of the CDC’s most memorable roles and how the agency has been portrayed by Hollywood.  

Lindsay Foster Rhyne / On Second Thought

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created in Atlanta to fight malaria and other deadly illnesses around the world. The agency celebrates its 70th birthday this month and we start the celebration with a trip to the CDC's museum to learn more about its storied history.

Manchester Orchestra

The new film “Swiss Army Man” tells the story of a shipwrecked man who befriends a corpse. The soundtrack was composed by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell. They're part of the Atlanta-indie rock band Manchester Orchestra and join us to add two more tunes to our Georgia Playlist.  They pick songs by  Gnarls Barkley of Atlanta and Neutral Milk Hotel of Athens.

Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association

Breastfeeding rates are significantly lower among African-American mothers compared with white and Hispanic mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We examine how different populations commonly respond when faced with the option to breastfeed a child.

Cherokee County School District

Earlier this month, a police K-9 assigned to the Cherokee County School District died from heat exhaustion. The four-year-old dog named Inca was left inside his handler's police cruiser at the end of their shift. This isn't the first police K9 in recent years to die in Georgia from heat exhaustion. George Mathis decided to look deeper into this problem.

University of Georgia

The U.S. Supreme Court handed supporters of affirmative action a major victory on Thursday. In a 4-to-3 ruling, the justices rejected a complaint against the race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin. Georgia State University professor Tanya Washington explains what the ruling means for schools in Georgia.  

Olivia Reingold / On Second Thought

As part of our Lessons from Left Field series, we take a look at a new animation class at the Savannah College of Art and Design that uses the Harlem Globetrotters as character inspiration for a special project. Students are tasked with helping develop a new animated series based on the team, which recently relocated its headquarters to metro Atlanta.  We talked about the class with Harlem Globetrotter Moose Weekes, SCAD students Scott Kalison and Carlos Soler, and SCAD's director of sponsored projects Lee Todd.