Radio and TV Talk 

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

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]

Radio/TV briefs: Kicks Country Fair 2014 with Miranda Lambert; Kicks afternoon jock shift; ‘Jeopardy contestant

  • 3:12 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Miranda Lambert will be at Verizon Wireless October 18, 2014 for the Kicks 101.5 annual Country Fair. CREDIT: Getty Images

Kicks 101.5 Country Fair this year is headlined by A-list country star and recent Rolling Stone cover girl Miranda Lambert.

Lambert will perform October 18 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. Tickets went on sale July 19 and are going fast.

Exclusive interview w/ Claudia Jordan, new member of Rickey Smiley Morning Show

  • 5:02 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Claudia Jordan started on the Rickey Smiley radio show on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. CREDIT: Getty Images

On June 26, TV host Claudia Jordan ran into Rickey Smiley at his Uptown Magazine cover issue party in New York City. Smiley off the cuff invited her to come down to Atlanta and sit in on the show. Jordan had  no idea he was quietly auditioning her to replace Ebony Steele, who was doing “Dish Nation” TV work in Los Angeles at the time. “I sat in for two days, came back for a third,” she said in an exclusive interview after her second day on the show this past Wednesday at Radio One’s Atlanta headquarters in downtown [More]

With Jason Bailey out, Mike Bell joins 92.9/The Game

  • 3:23 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Mike Bell, who lost his gig when 790/The Zone dropped local programming in May, might have a bead on a job at 92.9/The Game. CREDIT: The Zone

Morning host Jason Bailey is out and former 790/The Zone afternoon host Mike Bell is in at 92.9/The Game.

Bell came on air at 3 p.m. today to announce his arrival. Starting Monday, Bell officially joins Carl Dukes and the show time will add an extra hour, ending at 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The show will air from 2 to 7 p.m.

Up to this point, 92.9/The Game has failed to – or resisted – hiring any talent from 790/The Zone. (The 2 Live Stews anybody?)

Bell -  who was on the Zone for 15 years  until it dumped [More]

Sirius/XM report: Anthony of ‘Opie & Anthony’ not sorry for nasty tweets; three new channels coming July 17

  • 11:08 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Anthony Cumia has been part of "Opie & Anthony" since 1995. The show started on XM radio in 2004. CREDIT: Getty

Sirius XM recently fired Anthony Cumia over harsh Tweets he made toward a black woman he claimed punched him in the face on the street. He has been unrepentant, refusing to apologize.

I won’t repeat the nastiness he unveiled but if you’re really curious, you can read some of them here.

Cumia told Fox News’ “Red Eye” he never used specific racial invective, choosing terms like “savage” and “animal” instead, saying she got violent for no reason. But those are code words a lot of racists have used against blacks so his defense was pretty weak. Co-host Andy Levy even said: [More]

Steve Craig (99X, The River, X107.1) reminisces about the Ramones

  • 10:49 am Sunday, July 13th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Steve Craig of X107.1 and 97.1/The River, has warm memories of The Ramones. CREDIT: The River

Steve Craig, who worked at 99X for 16-plus years and is now a jock on 97.1/The River and music director of new alternative rock station X107.1, has been a huge Ramones fan for nearly four decades.

When I heard drummer Tommy Ramone had died over the weekend and that all the original members are gone, Craig came to mind since he used to do the delightfully silly “Wheel of Ramones” bit during his noon Retroplex every week on the now defunct 99X. (He did his final “Wheel of Ramones” for 99X online in 2008, landing on “Rockaway Beach.”)

Craig, on [More]

Kicks 101.5 is now almost all current songs, eliminating most from 1990-2009

  • 3:47 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Kicks has scaled back 1990s cuts in recent months and is now almost exclusively current songs. CREDIT: Getty Images

In recent months, the once dominant Atlanta country station Kicks 101.5 has gone back to being almost exclusively current based after a foray mixing in older tunes from the 1990s.

Clearly, Kicks has decided to match up as closely as possible to 94.9/The Bull, which has been the leading country station in the ratings almost across the board since last November. This past June, the Bull had its biggest month in its eight-year history, landing at No. 5 among all radio stations with a 5.7 rating compared to a 3.5 for Kicks, tied for 14th place, based on Nielsen Audio [More]

GPB rebuts WABE’s salvo against its GSU/WRAS partnership

  • 1:59 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
GPB logo

Georgia Public Broadcasting chairman Michael H. McDougald, in a public response to WABE chairman Louis Sullivan’s letter last week castigating GPB’s partnership with Georgia State University,  said Sullivan was “misled” by its partnership and attempted to “clarify these misunderstandings.”

While Sullivan said adding public radio news/talk programming on 88.5/WRAS-FM (begun June 29) was redundant to a significant degree, McDougald said multiple options are common in major markets. During the day, Atlantans, McDougald wrote, will now have the choice of an all-news, all-information radio station at WRAS or a classical music station on WABE. (WABE airs classical music weekdays from 9 a.m. [More]

Exclusive: Ebony Steele is off the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, replaced by Claudia Jordan

  • 9:31 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Claudia Jordan is the possible replacement for Ebony Steele on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. CREDIT: Getty Images

Three sources have told me that Ebony Steele is officially off the syndicated Atlanta-based Rickey Smiley Morning Show after seven years.

Why is she out? Two sources said Steele is not sure what happened and had not directly heard an explanation from Smiley.

Steele did not respond to a text and a call requesting a comment. A couple of days ago, she told me that the whole situation was “interesting” but she had no negative feelings toward anybody.

Her replacement will be model and actress Claudia Jordan, I’m told by two sources. I hear Jordan starts Monday.

One clue Jordan may be [More]