As Darik Kristofer leaves Star 94 after 3 years on the evening show, a number of thoughts and questions come to mind.
My first personal interaction with Darik was in 2009 when he sent me a Facebook friend request. It contained a message praising this column, and the very specific things said made me realize he was a nice and a sincere person. Subsequently, we occasionally talked radio via email and eventually met for lunch. I found Darik intelligent and likeable. One might describe his personality as, well, bouncy. He is also a real radio guy who lives and breathes the business.
Darik's sound on Star 94 came across as Hot AC. But, as an Adult CHR, Star 94 never had the Domino type of evening personality associated with Top 40. Star's evening jocks did features for the youngsters but always sounded adult-friendly. Darik joined Star from a Hot AC, Denver's Alice 105.9, where Program Director Dylan Sprague recommended him to former Star 94 PD Dan Bowen.
Darik started a little shaky but got better quickly. And he worked hard on his performance. In fact, over the past couple of months, he sounded better than ever. I both understand and do not understand why he was not renewed.
As the evening guy on a CHR, Darik took the requests; and had young women call in to talk about their relationships and other subjects near and dear to them. When Star 94 moved to Hot AC, this content continued, and I wondered about its suitability. Yet Darik's Hot AC delivery remained, and he read the station's new Hot AC liners. Lately, he was embellishing the liners, and it did sound a little forced, like he was trying too hard.
The AJC's Rodney Ho wrote that Program Director Scott Lindy stated he felt Darik was not relating to the station's target audience, soccer moms, and Darik himself concurred. I feel Lindy could have asked Darik to drop the CHR content, and then coached him not to sound so forced with the station liners. After all, does Chase Daniels, also a young single man, relate to soccer moms? (And this is not a knock at Chase; I think he's one of the best in the country.) Of course, Chase does not do the young female stuff, and he's exceptionally natural. I wonder if the fact that Darik's contract was up for renewal made this the simpler solution.
Darik contributed mightily to the Atlanta radio landscape over the past 3 years, and his time here was good for him and for us listeners. He had told me that he wanted to be on the air in Los Angeles or San Francisco so maybe this is his opportunity. But, whether it's California or somewhere else, Darik Kristofer will do well, and I wish him the best.
Knowing Darik's California dream, I felt if he ever left for the Golden State, Rachel Logan, who has filled in for him frequently, could step right in. Rachel sounds so good. But, Rodney Ho's column displayed a job posting for the position so we'll see.
And as much as I'll missing listening to Darik, this ironically increases my respect for Scott Lindy. Star 94 jumped up into the elite in the February PPM's, and the station has Lindy's fingerprints all over it. Listening makes it obvious that Lindy believes in radio as it should be, live, local and with personalities who really entertain. Establishing an emotional connection with the audience is important to him, and that's borne out in this move.
Let's Play a Round for Boomer
Steve Boomer Sutton needs a new kidney, an extremely expensive proposition. His first golf tournament raised needed dollars but not enough. Let's get behind this longtime member of Atlanta's radio community. The Steve Sutton Benefit Golf Outing will be held on Monday, April 18 at the Callahan Golf Links in Waleska, Georgia. The price is $100 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf, riding cart, lunch and a chance to win prizes.
Among the Atlanta radio luminaries who will be there are Randy & Spiff, Tripp West, Vikki Locke, Jordan Graye, Moby, Art "Mad Man" Mehring, Captain Herb Emory, Greg Talmadge and Dan Blankowski.
Register at http://www.burning-daylight.com.
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Link to Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV Blog: http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/