Radio and TV Talk 

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

Old School R&B and Hip Hop 99.3 debuts

  • 9:07 am Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Luther Vandross is one of the core artists on Old School 99.3/1010 CREDIT: Getty Images

Last month, Streetz 94.5 owner Steve Hegwood quietly added a new FM station in the market, a modest signal at 99.3 he’s called Old School. It’s a simulcast of an AM station he has owned since last year at 1010/WTZA-AM.

It’s a mix of R&B oldies from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s with a heavy emphasis on the 1980s That means Keith Sweat, Chaka Khan and the O’Jays are all in the mix. Since adding the FM signal, he has thrown in a smidgen of hip hop as well by the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Heavy D, LL Cool J [More]

Star 94 loses another night jock in Ali Mac, who moves to Vero Beach, FL

  • 8:02 am Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Ali Mac is now the official night jock at Star 94. CREDIT: Star 94

Pop station Star 94 has lost another night jock, Ali Mac, who left after less than a year in that slot to take a morning show hosting job in Vero Beach, Fl.

This week, she joined pop station 93.7/The Breeze (WGYL-FM), working a guy named Geoff in the mornings.

Her move happens the same week Star’s Jimmy Alexander leaves the station after 21 months during mornings. This morning is his final day. (Details of that change here.)

Ali spent more than three years at Star, doing traffic during mornings for a bulk of that time. Star has been through many night [More]

Jimmy Alexander cut from Star 94’s morning team

  • 5:41 pm Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jimmy Alexander is leaving Star 94 after 18 months. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Star 94 is dropping Jimmy Alexander from its struggling morning show after 21 months.

His agent Norm Schrutt said Star had informed him they were not going to pick up his third-year option but gave him the opportunity to stay through the end of his contract in December or leave the air to seek new climes immediately. He chose the latter.

Alexander’s final day on air will be Friday, Sept. 5. Star is being kind to allow him to say goodbye on air. Most radio stations don’t do that. So kudos to Lincoln Financial, the owner of Star. (Star’s web person didn’t [More]

Jimi Jameson, Survivor lead singer, dies at age 63

  • 2:56 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12:  Singer Jimi Jamison performs Survivor's song "Eye of the Tiger" as boxer Manny Pacquiao walks out to the ring to take on Juan Manuel Marquez in the WBO world welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Another member from my MTV era youth is dead: Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor.

He died of a heart attack at age 63, according to TMZ.

Although the name Survivor is probably better known now as a long-running reality show, the band had a run of six top 10 hits in the 1980s. Their seminal hit “Eye of the Tiger” was sung by lead singer Dave Bickler. Jamison took over for Bixler as lead singer of the band in 1984. They later united to share singing duties. Jamison was the lead on some of Survivor’s biggest hit songs including “High [More]

Fish’s free Celebrate Freedom concert August 30 features Steven Curtis Chapman, Tenth Avenue North, Montell Jordan

  • 5:10 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 01:  Steven Curtis Chapman performs at the 2nd Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House  on June 1, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Legendary Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman, Britt Nicole and Tenth Avenue North are among the headliners at the biggest free concert in metro Atlanta, courtesy of Fish 104.7. Dubbed Celebrate Freedom, the annual Saturday Labor Day weekend event is held at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta.

Sure, it’s one of the busiest weekends of the year in metro Atlanta for events but this one is not in downtown Atlanta, at least, where Dragon*Con and college football fans intermingle every Labor Day weekend.

The Celebrate Freedom annual shindig typically draws 50,000 plus people, bigger than most any Braves game. (The Braves [More]

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]