Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Radio briefs: #SaveWRAS rally today, Rhubarb Jones, Jason Goff, Steve & Vikki

  • 12:45 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Today, opponents of the Georgia Public Broadcasting day-time takeover of 88.5/WRAS-FM is holding a rally at Hurt Park at 4 p.m. as students return to campus.

“Because the agreement between GSU President Mark Becker and GPB CEO Teya Ryan was announced during finals week at the end of the school year in May of this year, many students have not had the chance to voice their anger and frustration at this one-sided agreement which gives GPB everything they want, and gives GSU students nothing but empty promises in return,” said Zachary Lancaster, president of Album 88 Alumni, in a press release. [More]

92.9/The Game becomes a Falcons affiliate

  • 1:39 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

I was out last week on vacation and am reporting some stuff late. But in case you missed it:

92.9/The Game, in a mutually beneficially move with Lincoln Financial, has become an Atlanta Falcons FM affiliate.

As an affiliate, the Game simulcasts whatever 790/The Zone airs regarding the Falcons and they will air both pre and post-game analysis as well. The Game aired the Falcons pre-season game this past Saturday.

Lincoln Financial owns rival 790/The Zone on the AM dial and has been airing the FM simulcast of the games on its only FM signal Star 94, a pop station. Lincoln picked [More]

Oldies 98.9 becomes older-skewing country NASH Icon 98.9

  • 1:40 pm Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Nash icon logo

Atlanta-based Cumulus has turned its 98.9 signal into a format musical chairs.  Today, it changed to its fifth format in less than three years.

Most recently Good Time Oldies 98.9, it’s now NASH Icon 98.9, an older-skewing country format and companion to Kicks 101.5.

So the Beatles, James Taylor and the Bee Gees have been thrown to the curb yet again.

With Cumulus pushing the NASH country brand nationwide, I thought they’d simply change Kicks to NASH, as they have on many of their country stations. That may still happen but for now, the NASH name is now attached to 98.9.

Kicks, the [More]

Catching up with radio legend Tom Joyner (Kiss 104.1): “Sleep is overrated.”

  • 9:36 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Tom Joyner with Sybil Wilkes at WSB headquarters, where Kiss 104.1 is based. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Tom Joyner flew in from Dallas last week to Kiss 104.1 headquarters in Atlanta before his appearance at the annual Flashback Festival. He met with staff and clients of the station, which has aired his morning show for the past two decades.

“Twenty years,” he mused. “It’s still fun. I have a lot of support. They make me look good!”

He was one of the first radio personalities to venture into syndication as radio began consolidating. He is now heard on more than 110 radio stations and 8 million listeners a week.

Better yet, he partly owns Reach Media with Radio One, [More]

TV/radio briefs: New Fox 5 set; Teen Choice winners w/Atlanta connections; July radio ratings

  • 9:43 am Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Fox 5 debuted its new, sleek modern set today.

The color blue is prevalent. And there are a lot more video screens.

Like homes, TV sets do look dated after a few years. This is WAGA-TV’s first update in seven years, which isn’t that long but in this competitive market, a seeming necessity. It’s the first new set since GM Bill Schneider took over about four years ago.

The staff worked on a temporary set for more than two months. I’m told they kept the set build out as super secret as they could get away with.

11 Alive and CBS46 both recently created [More]

Catching up with Neal Boortz at WSB Careathon

  • 4:51 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Neal Boortz with cancer survivor Tyler Wages of Gainsville during the WSB Careathon August 1, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Neal Boortz cruised back into Atlanta last week to participate in News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB’s annual Careathon for the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

[WSB raised a record $1.6 million in pledges from its listeners. You can still donate here. ]

Eighteen months removed from retirement, Boortz looked suitably relaxed, having finished a four-hour stint pushing listeners to give, give, give. One enticement that raised  $20,000 (20 tickets at $1,000 apiece): dinner at Ray’s on the River with Boortz and WSB  Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree.

When Boortz did his first Careathon in 2000, he considered it a [More]

Will the Regular Guys and the Bert Show add new members any time soon?

  • 5:14 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
The current trio on the Bert Show: Jeff Dauler, Bert Weiss, Kristin Klingshirn.

Meanwhile, the Regular Guys have not added any major on-air talent since Eric Von Haessler was unceremoniously dismissed ten months ago.

Their website shows the trio – Larry Wachs, “Southside” Steve Rickman and Tim Andrews.

Sebastian Davis, known on the show as “Sebas,” was promoted in April to executive producer, taking that job from Andrews, who remains as a Regular Guy. For many years, Sebas has provided the show with comic relief, taping many interviews of, say, drunks at bars or Dragon Con attendees.

Wachs, in a text, considers Sebas a Regular Guy in a sense, but he has not been [More]

Bert Show’s Jeff Dauler lands in hospital over an abnormal heartbeat

  • 11:36 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jeff Dauler in 2012. CREDIT: Q100

The Bert Show’s Jeff Dauler posted on Facebook and Twitter that he landed in the hospital Tuesday evening over an abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

He spent about 24 hours at Northside Hospital.

According to WebMD, “atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Signs include dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Treatment involves medication and lifestyle changes, and sometimes procedures such as cardioversion, ablation, pacemakers, or surgery.” It says 2.7 million Americans live with it.

A Facebook follower Susanne Snider Smith posted this. “I work in cardiology. I know its scary. It happens more [More]

Three-way battle for top Atlanta radio song led by Nico & Vinz’s ‘Am I Wrong’

  • 1:54 pm Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Nico & Vinz were spun 322 times on Atlanta radio this past week.

It’s a tight race this week for most popular song in Atlanta, with Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong” just squeaking by Magic’s “Rude” and Sam Smith’s fast-rising “Stay With Me.”

They are separated by just 14 spins over the past seven days: 322, 321 and 308, respectively.

In fact, “Stay With Me” has some factors going for it that will likely propel it to the top, possibly in a few days: it’s played on seven stations in Atlanta vs. the four pop stations for the other two songs. All three have support from Star 94, Q100, Power 96.1 and B98.5, according [More]

Atlanta radio ratings for spring 2014: WSB at top, Bull, Fish move up

  • 2:58 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
The current WSB Radio logo.

News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB remained Atlanta’s most popular station during the second quarter of 2014, a title it has kept since last fall.

The station averaged a 7.2 share of the audience, comparable to its first-quarter average of 7.4 and well ahead of second quarter 2013’s 6.3 share.

WSB has not been noticeably impacted by changes over at what had been All News 106.7, which changed to NewsRadio 106.7 during the spring as it added more talk programming.

NewsRadio 106.7 did have its best quarter in its two-year history, averaging a 1.9 share. That’s up slightly from a 1.8 share during [More]