So who will replace Ryan Cameron on V-103 mornings? Frank Ski is the most obvious choice

Big Tigger, Ramona Debreaux, Frank Ski, Emperor Searcy. CREDITS: (L-R) Getty Images, Rodney Ho, publicity photo, Rodney Ho

Posted Friday, January 26, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Let the speculation begin.

V-103 has in-house talent to replace Ryan Cameron, who announced he is leaving radio today. And it’s likely management will use one of them temporarily until a permanent solution is found.

Here are some options:

Go old school: Frank Ski has been awaiting a return to a full-time gig, biding his time on weekends the past couple of years. He could easily be placed back in the role he dominated from 1998 to 2012. His former partner Wanda Smith is already part of the show. The upside is he’s familiar and he has a track record of success. The downside is he’s six years older than he was when he last sat in the seat and if V-103 wants a younger, fresher option, Ski is not that person.

Afternoon delight?: Big Tigger gets stronger ratings in afternoons than Cameron was getting in the mornings. But that’s not necessarily apples to apples. The competition in afternoons isn’t quite the same as mornings. (For instance, Star 94’s Cindy and Ray did well in afternoons, not so well in mornings.)

Female choice: Ramona Debreaux has been a veteran presence in Atlanta radio and a solid mid-day contributor. Is that enough to sway the bosses and does she even want the gig?

A Hot import: Emperor Searcy spent two decades hosting afternoons on Hot and is now a primary sub for V-103. He has never done mornings. Is he ready? Is he willing?

Going outside: V-103 has the money and the clout to find talent from another market, as it did with Ski in 1998. The problem: syndicated shows like Steve Harvey and Rickey Smiley have blocked developing talent from building their morning show chops. And of course, parent company Entercom would prefer to find a personality who is not under contract so it also comes down to timing. Naturally, if they have the right person in mind, they’ll be willing to wait. Atlanta is an appealing market for virtually any radio talent and V-103 is a heritage station.

V-103’s morning show ratings have not been as strong as they used to be, but the station faces more competition than it ever has. Just in the urban syndication world, there’s Smiley (Hot), Tom Joyner (Classix) and Harvey (Majic.), plus Erica Campbell on Praise 102.5. Local options include former V-103 host Porsche Foxx (Mix 87.7), Yung Joc and Mo Quick (Streetz) and Art Terrell with Roy Wood (Kiss).

This has made it tougher for V-103 to build big numbers against non-urban options.

In 2017, V-103’s morning show finished fifth overall behind Scott Slade on News 95.5 and AM 750, the Bert Show on Q100, Morning Edition on 90.1/WABE  and Harvey on Majic. Among 18 to 34 year olds and 25 to 54 year olds, V-103 mornings came in fourth place.


View Comments 5