Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kelly Stevens Lands at Cox...Again

When You're Hot, You're Hot.  In the early 1970's, a singer named Jerry Reed had that huge country hit that crossed over to the pop charts.  It was an absolutely horrendous song.  (Well, at least I thought so.)  But, what an apropos way to describe Cox's Kelly Stevens, who has now accepted his third job at CMG/Atlanta.

So, does absence make the heart grow fonder, or is it out of sight, out of mind?  It was apparently the former for Cox when it came to Stevens, who was part of the Kelly & Alpha morning show, which was canceled in 2008 to make way for Steve & Vikki.  After being on the beach for 2 years, he was rehired at B98.5 FM last summer for weekends and fill.

But, you can never go home again.  Well, Stevens seems to have proven that wrong.  In addition to his B98.5 weekend job, he recently added afternoon drive on 97-1 The River.  And last week, he was named to join Vikki Locke on "The B98.5 Morning Show with Vikki and Kelly."

This solidifies the near-term future of the morning show; Vikki Locke is reportedly now signed through June, 2012.  It also gives the show some much-needed balance.  Locke is a talented personality and a marquee name, but the show seemed lacking with her as the solo host.

The move also raises some questions.  Like Vikki Locke, Kelly Stevens is an adroit personality.  But radio chemistry is a funny thing.  Paring two pros does not guarantee it.  Will they have it?  And if Kelly Stevens is right, why was Steve McCoy wrong?  Was it a matter of money?  Did Cox's research show Steve was not a fit?  (That's hard to imagine after he and Vikki had a great 17-year run at Star 94.)

Rumor is Cox recently did some research, and Kelly Stevens was the second most recognized name on B98.5, after Vikki.  Stevens is gifted at doing personality radio within the tight confines of the B98.5 format.  And finally, how long will Kelly Stevens remain on The River?

Unfortunately, the odd man out is producer Will Gara, who had worked there for 17 years.  Will is a good guy, and he was a loyal employee.  I know about his loyalty because whenever I wrote something that could be remotely construed as criticism of B98.5, an email from Will arrived promptly.  But, I guess the station felt the show needed a full co-host as a counterbalance.

Cagle Adds The River
Congratulations to Cagle, who adds programming duties for 97-1 The River.  He will remain PD at B98.5FM.  In fact, I think this might be a record, one name and two stations.

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