2013 flashback: Miss Sophia joins Streetz 94.5

Posted December 26, 2013 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Miss Sophia this week made a glorious return to the radio airwaves, joining Rashan Ali’s morning show at Streetz 94.5.

The 18-month-old hip-hop station is making its mark on Atlanta despite a modest signal and is clearly generating enough income to bring in big-name talent.

“It’s been an absolutely phenomenal year,” said Streetz owner Steve Hegwood. “I am pinching myself.”

The station this year is averaging a 3.2 share among 18 to 34 year olds, ranked 14th overall in the market. The morning show in that demo draws a 2.7 share ranked 16th. That’s very respectable given the fact the signal doesn’t reach much beyond the Perimeter.

Streetz has taken a chunk out of V-103’s younger audience, especially folks who had previously used V-103 as a second station after Hot. Now, fans of a harder hip-hop sound have a second option with Streetz.

Miss Sophia, whose real name is Joe Taylor, was also wooed by his former employer V-103 but said in a brief interview he was swayed by the challenge of an up-and-coming station which has far exceeded expectations.

“I felt that it was a better fit for my brand at this time,” he said. (He replaces Jazzy McBee doing celebrity news. She will take over mid-days.)

He was the first drag queen to be on air in Atlanta radio as a regular host from 2005 to 2010 on V-103’s Frank and Wanda’s morning show.

Miss Sophia generates strong opinions. In an unscientific poll I posted in 2010 that drew nearly 5,000 votes, 58 percent of readers said they were going to miss Miss Sophia.

“She has comedic value, market cognition and an ability to connecct with females,” Hegwood said. He also added Ronnie Jordan, a stand-up comic to Ali’s show.

Ali, in a text, cited Miss Sophia’s huge following that can only enhance the growing morning show. “People will have their opinions,” she wrote, “but I believe that Miss Sophia’s presence will give us the shot in the arm we need to be a real contender in the 18-34 demo.”

Miss Sophia’s speciality is reading the celebrity news. Her closing line on Ski’s show was her signature: “When I talk, you talk, we talk, that’s girrrrrl talk on the people’s station, V to the 103.”

Ali started her career on Ryan Cameron‘s morning show on Hot 107.9 more than decade ago. In 2004, after Cameron left, she became the lead morning host at Hot until 2008. She later worked briefly with Cameron’s afternoon show on V-103.

She joined Streetz in October, 2012 as the lead host of “The Streetz Morning Grind.” (Details here.)

The station celebrated its first Christmas concert with Yo Gotti and B.o.B. last week at the Masquerade,  an event Hegwood hopes to turn into an annual event.

In recent months, Miss Sophia has hosted a monthly comedy night at Acoustix Jazz Restaurant and Lounge though a new location is forthcoming.  He also regularly hosts drag shows, both local and national.

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