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Radio briefs: Mac McDonald leaves 92.9/The Game, where could Eric Von Haessler land, ratings summary in Atlanta radio

Mac McDonald
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The latest change at 92.9/The Game: evening host Mac McDonald has bowed out and is moving to Orlando.

His final day was yesterday.  He is going to be the Director of Admissions at the Professional Golfers Career College.

I'm awaiting a response from PD Terry Foxx, who promised me one later today. I'll update when I get it.

McDonald, who has deep ties to Virginia, was co-host with Jason Goff from 6 to 10 p.m. weekdays since the Game began nearly a year ago in the evenings. Based on feedback I've gotten on this blog, many listeners considered this combo their favorite in terms of chemistry and content. Goff posted farewell Instagram photos after the show last night including this one.

The Game in the latest Nielsen Audio book (Nielsen purchased Arbitron so this is what it's called now), pulled in a 0.9 rating, tying its best to date from January. It's well ahead of 790/The Zone, far behind the sports leader in town 680/The Fan.


Eric Von Haessler said he'd like to stay in Atlanta for a new radio gig. But what's there for him to do given his skill set, which is genial, quick-witty political commentary?

AM 750 and 95.5 FM is virtually the only place that could hire him full time and there aren't open slots there right now with locals Scott Slade, Andy Dean and Erick Erickson holding the fort, along with syndicated shows by Clark Howard, Herman Cain, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

He would find reading the news over at All News 106.7 stultifying.

The other two rock stations focus on the music only and not a lot of blather. Most other morning shows in town are on stations that don't seem to fit his style (Star 94? B98.5? Q100?)

640/WGST-AM, where he and Larry Wachs worked briefly in 2005, could be a home for him but their ratings since they returned this summer are even lower now than they were when they left. (A microscopic 0.1 rating in the latest Nielsen Audio survey).  I doubt they have any budget or desire to hire local talent for weekday shows. Other AM talk stations (WGKA-AM, WCFO-AM) have the same budgetary issues and low ratings, relying on syndicated shows.

He could start a potentially very entertaining podcast and build an audience from there but he'd need a fairly large audience to generate any real income.

Any other ideas?

In the meantime, on Facebook, Von Haessler responded to Wachs' line this morning that "Eric just didn't want to be here." (You can read more about that here)

I slept in this morning but friends tell me there was an idea being floated on the broadcast that I no longer wanted to be on the show. This is simply not true. And not for nothin'- but no one ever asked me if I still wanted to be on the show. So anyone on the air saying that is either speculating, or trying to spread fiction.

And he was cheered by all the fans who have dropped him encouraging words:

I hope that I find a new show soon because I want the chance to live up to all of the great things fans have been posting about me over the last day or so. When the time comes to do something new- I promise I won't let you down.


AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB eked out its first overall win in the monthly ratings covering mid August through mid September since November, 2011, beating V-103 8.0 to 7.9 in a narrow victory. It was the station's best numbers since November, 2012.

WSB was No. 1 in mornings, mid-days and afternoons. V-103 was No. 2 mornings and afternoons. 97.1/The River was second in mid-days.

V-103 actually had one of its best months in awhile and was No. 1 in the 25-54 demo.

But notably, Hot won the 18-34 battle for the first time in people meter history after finishing second or third for years. The syndicated morning show Rickey Smiley also beat V-103's Ryan Cameron for the first time since Cameron came aboard in January among 18 to 34 year olds. Cameron still held No. 1 25-54.

In the tight country battle, Kicks beat the Bull overall and 25-54 but tied 18-34 (with Jason Pullman and Kristen Gates just beating Cadillac Jack and Dallas McCade among 18 to 34 year olds). 

Among sports, the Fan, thanks to support from the pennant-winning Braves and its 14-game winning streak during the time measured, had its strongest month since Nielsen Audio began using people meters in early 2009 with a 2.4 rating. It easily beat the Game (0.9) and 790/the Zone (0.5).

B98.5 was the top pop station, followed by Q100, Star 94 and Power 96.1, an order that has not shifted recently. It was a soft month for pop overall. Q100 had its worst overall ratings of the year. Star had its weakest month since the end of 2010, dropping from 4.1 to a 3.4 rating and 14th place overall. And Power had its worst ratings since it launched a year ago, falling to a 3.0 and 15th place.

The River was the rock leader with a 6.0, followed by Radio 105.7 at 3.6 and Rock 100.5 at 1.8, its weakest ratings this year.

All News 106.had its best overall ratings in its 15-month life at a 1.9. WABE had its best ratings (3.6) since May, 2011.

Praise has seen a sharp ratings decline over the past 18 months and pulled in its worst numbers since people meters began in 2009 with a 2.9 rating. It reached the 6 level back in 2011.

The new True Oldies arrived late in August, partway through the book and helped triple the ratings overall, though we're still talking miniscule numbers. The Walk was gaining a mere 0.1 and True Oldies lifted it to a 0.3.

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