Atlanta Press Club Hosts Annual Gorilla Ball

ATLANTA – Photographers from Atlanta's four local television stations will put their humility on the line as they compete for the coveted Otto Focus Award, which recognizes the funniest off-the cuff, off-the-record bloopers from the past year.

For more than three decades, the Atlanta Press Club has bestowed the award to a deserving – if not utterly embarrassed – Atlanta television station during the club's annual Gorilla Ball.

To compete, photographers from Atlanta's four network affiliates – WSB-TV, WAGA-TV, WXIA-TV and WGCL-TV – submit a reel of their most embarrassing blunders, outtakes and mishaps. The reels will be aired for public scrutiny during the ball and judged based on a range of criteria, including hilarity, level of embarrassment and overall ridiculousness.

“The Gorilla Ball is a fun event, and it allows people to see an entertaining and lighthearted side of the news they don't have a chance to see every day,” said Lauri Strauss, executive director of the Atlanta Press Club. “It's always amazing to see what goes on in the newsroom or out on assignment and the bloopers that accidentally made it on air. We're just grateful that our local affiliates are willing to air their potentially embarrassing moments in the name of fun.”

Craig Lucie, an anchor and reporter for WSB-TV will serve as emcee of this year's event, and this year's judges are:

– DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department Capt. Eric Jackson
– Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee
– Former Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine
– Jim Shuler, director of public affairs for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety

In addition, a member of the audience will be selected during the ball to serve as an honorary judge. CNN will cap the evening's festivities by sharing its own reel of funniest bloopers featuring anchors and reporters.

The Atlanta Press Club's 2011 Gorilla Ball is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at The Commerce Club (191 Peachtree Street, 49th floor, Atlanta, GA 30303). A reception featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Members of the Atlanta Press Club and employees of local television stations can purchase tickets for $15 in advance or $25 at the door. Nonmembers can purchase tickets for $20 in advance and $30 at the door. The event is business attire.

To register for the Gorilla Ball, call (404) 577-7377 or click here. For more information about the Atlanta Press Club, visit

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