Atlanta radio the past couple of years has seen a bloodbath as several major, well-respected veteran radio personalities have lost their jobs.
This by no means is a complete list but a reasonable compilation of full-time radio personalities who are still on air who have been in the Atlanta market for at least 10 years.
A sampling of departures include Randy & Spiff, Jimmy Baron, Frank Ski, Wanda Smith, Mara Davis and the 2 Live Stews. Just last month, we lost Vikki Locke and the trio of Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini.
That made me think: who is left? Who are the longest-running radio personalities in town?
This is by no means be a complete list but a compilation of full-time radio personalities I could think of who have been in the Atlanta market for at least 10 years and are currently on the air. Most have moved stations over the years. A handful have found very stable employment in one place.
95.5 FM and AM 750 WSB: traffic guru Capt. Herb Emory (WIIN 1972-1979, WQXI/94Q 1979-1991, 1991-present),morning host Scott Slade (1984-present), talk show host Clark Howard (WGST 1987-1991; WSB 1991-present), traffic reporter/talk show host Mark Arum (1997-present), meteorologist Kirk Mellish (1987-present)
680/The Fan: mid-day host John Kincade (The Zone 1997-2000, The Fan 2000-present), mid-day host Buck Belue, (The Zone 1998-2000, The Fan 2000-present), afternoon host Chuck Oliver: 13 years (The Zone, 2000-2008, The Fan, 2008 to present), afternoon host Matt Chernoff (The Zone 1999-2008, The Fan 2008-present), morning host Christopher Rude (96rock 1990-2003, The Fan 2003-present)
Kicks 101.5: morning host Cadillac Jack (Kicks 1993-1996; Y-106, 1996-2000, Kicks again 2000-present), morning host Dallas McCade (Star 1995-2000, Eagle 2000-2008, Kicks 2008-present), mid-day host Jenn Hobby ( 95.5/The Beat 2002, Q100’s Bert Show 2002-2012, Kicks 2012-present)
Fish 104.7: morning hosts Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott (original morning hosts going back to 2000); Parks Stamper (mid-day host since 2000)
Kiss 104.1: afternoon host Art Terrell (V-103 1986-1995, Hot 1995-97, Kiss since 2004)
Majic 107.5/97.5: afternoon host Silas “SiMan” Alexander (WIGO 1988-1993, Kiss 104.7 1992-1996, V-103, 1996-1999, Kiss 104.1 1999-2002, Classic Soul 102.5, 2002-2005, Grown Folks 102.5 2005-2009, Majic 2008-present)
B98.5: mid-day host Jordan Graye (1989-present with a two-year maternity break 1999-2001)
97.1/The River: morning host Kaedy Kiely (96rock, 1983-98. Z93, 1998-04, The River 2008-present)
V-103: morning host Ryan Cameron (1990-1995, V-103; 1994-2004, Hot; 2005-present, V-103), afternoon host Greg Street (1995-present)
All News 106.7: Greg Talmadge (WSB 1981-1988, Traffic Scan 1988-1998, Kicks 1998-2012, All News 106.7 2012-present), Melissa Carter (99X 1995-2001, Bert Show Q100 2001-2011, All News 2012-present)
90.1/WABE-FM: Steve Goss (1979-2006 at Peach/Lite, 2007-present at WABE), Lois Reitzes (1979-present)
Rock 100.5: Morning show The Regular Guys’ Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler (1997-2004, 2005-06 at 96rock plus a one-month stint at WGST, 2008-present at Rock 100.5), Axel Lowe (1993 to present on 99X through 2008, then Rock 100.5, 99X, 98.9/The Bone and back to Rock 100.5 earlier this year, all part of the same company), “Southside” Steve Rickman (1992-2006 at 96rock, Eagle 106.7 2007, Rock 100.5 2008-present)
Q100: morning hosts Bert Weiss and Jeff Dauler (both go back to 2001 when Q100 launched)
Star 94: news director Rob Stadler (1987 to present)
790/The Zone: afternoon host Mike Bell (15 years: “Beats working for a living” he texted me.)
And here are some comments from those who have made it more than ten years:
Kaedy Kiely: "I don’t have a lot of control over most of what encompasses my job – the format of music, the songs, the commercials. If my programmers are making good decisions, I have a great foundation and a shot at keeping my job longer. I’ve been blessed to work with some very talented programmers through the years. I always try to put the listener first and think like (what I believe) the audience is thinking. I’m imagining I’m with the listener in his car and what would be informative and entertaining, and try to come up with ways to relate and interact with him without being annoying in our hellacious Atlanta traffic. The listener is my ultimate boss, so if I’m not connecting with him I fail. I believe consistency has been important to my success, as well. I show up for work every day and on-time, and I work hard. That may sound silly, but you don’t realize how many people aren’t consistent. I also enjoy my co-workers. Then, of course, there are always the elements of luck and timing, and I believe I’ve had my share of those!"
Art Terrell: "God first (he leads, I follow), remain humble, be passionate about what I do, treat everyone I encounter with respect and always greet people with a smile because you never know what type of day they are having. LOL!"
Jordan Graye: "By the grace of God! Seriously, I'm clueless, and very grateful."
John Kincade: "I think that understanding the local audience is the key and letting them get to know you. Even if they don't care for your opinions, they attach to you. The relationship can be cordial or adversarial but they both grow audience! I am honored to have found a home for so long. It is unique in our industry."
Scott Slade: "My longevity? Shoot, I get to play in the candy store every morning; I fell in to a vat of lucky juice when Bob Neil had the vision to crank this thing up in 1991. I am very grateful; I'm still excited to come to work every day with these great people and treat every day like my first."