Radio briefs: Yolanda Adams show ends, Cindy Simmons reappears, Bert Show strategic shifts

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Singer Yolanda Adams performs onstage during the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Lionel Richie at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 13: Singer Yolanda Adams performs onstage during the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Lionel Richie at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, April 28, 2016

Grammy winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams hosted her final syndicated radio show last Friday while I was out of the country. Reach Media, which syndicated the show, is replacing her with Erica Campbell, best known as part of the group Mary Mary.

Adams, heard locally on Praise 102.5, had her show for nine years out of Houston and was on 38 affiliates.

Reach, which also syndicates shows such as Rickey Smiley and Ed Lover in Atlanta, opted for the younger 43-year-old Campbell over 54-year-old Adams. Campbell also stars in a WE-TV reality show with her sister Tina called “Mary Mary.” Erica’s radio show starts May 10. She will work out of Dallas, where Reach is headquartered.

The press release cited Campbell’s greater crossover appeal:

Erica’s fresh take on radio brings a diverse mix of gospel and inspirational music, star-studded interviews and practical principles to help listeners do what her mantra proclaims: Faith Walking. Love Talking. Joy Living. Erica, whose influence extends beyond the church to urban culture will have exciting new features to energize listeners to Get Up! The show will be syndicated nationally beginning May 10th from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Erica Campbell, winner of Best Gospel Album for 'Help,' poses in the press room during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Singer Erica Campbell, winner of Best Gospel Album for ‘Help,’ poses in the press room during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Subbing out for Kristen Gates for a few days on 94.9/The Bull Caffeinated Radio morning show? Cindy Simmons, who has not been on Atlanta radio since early 2015 when Star 94 dropped her from mornings in favor of Drex, Cassiday and Tingle. (They have since been moved to afternoons in favor of Jenn Hobby and Jeff Dauler.)

This was Gates’ idea, according to Pullman, who said he had a good time this morning. As he noted on his Facebook page this morning, the two briefly dated back in the day.

On Star, Simmons worked for several years with Ray Mariner, now in New Orleans. They were a successful afternoon team for six years but didn’t work as well in the more competitive morning slot when placed there in 2009. In 2012, Mariner left mysteriously. Simmons worked for about 18 months with Jimmy Alexander, a pairing that also failed to click.

Pullman joined 94.9/The Bull in 2009.

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I listened to a bit of the Bert Show from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. today and noticed he is now running 40 straight minutes without a commercial in Atlanta on Q100. While he often runs there stop breaks an hour totaling 15 to 18 minutes, he now cuts one at the 7 a.m. hour. He has always done a short Atlanta-only segment close to 8 a.m. but has lengthened it.

This is a very popular time for morning radio in terms of heavy listening audience numbers and a response to his former Bert Show colleagues Jenn Hobby and Jeff Dauler over at Star 94 who have been able to talk local issues 100 percent of the time since they began last month.

Based on Mediabase 24/7, the Bert Show began doing this in late February right before Hobby and Dauler debuted their show.

Bert is now bringing in former Dave FM host and current WABE-FM/”Atlanta Eats” host Mara Davis to talk about food on occasion. This morning, she gave her best burger recommendations.

Then he got into one of his favorite topics: the wussification of America using a CEO’s viral letter to Millennials that got his social media director and Millennial Cassie Young irate for its condescending tone and implication people should work more than 40 hours without proper respect, compensation or opportunities for advancement from the bosses. Bert and colleague Brian Moote believe Millennials have a tendency to expect things handed to them and are way too sensitive and easily offended.

It was a good debate.

The Bert Show ratings took a dive the past couple of months, falling to a 5.4 share in February and fifth place among 25 to 54 year olds. The show brought in a 5.6 in March.

Star 94 saw Jeff and Jenn in its first month increase ratings in that demo from 2.9 to 3.7, good for 10th place in March.


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