Today, Egypt Sherrod debuted in middays on V-103, replacing Ramona Debreaux, who moved back to weekends. My question was why.
Egypt Sherrod is a master juggler of many vocations: radio personality, TV correspondent, motivational speaker, real estate agent, philanthropist. And she recently became a mom. Sherrod is also a host of Property Virgins on HGTV. She could be on her way to becoming the next Russell Simmons, or Dick Clark for that matter.
The 10AM-2PM shift on V-103 has been uncharacteristically unstable. It's gone through a string of personalities in recent years: Magic Man, Porsche Foxx, Elle Duncan and Debreaux. Yet the star power of V-103 has carried whoever was on the air.
Following Porsche Foxx's dismissal from the station for a second time, Ramona Debreaux filled in for quite a while. I thought she fit the slot really well. She had some marketplace awareness from her midday stint at Hot 107-9 and weekends on V-103.
Although Program Director Reggie Rouse does not return my calls, he did attend the Arbitron breakout luncheons that CBS Radio held twice a year. He had no security to prevent radio writers from walking up to him and asking a question, which I have done a few times.
After Ramona had been subbing for a while, I questioned Reggie about his plans for middays. He responded that V-103 would be making an announcement in the next week or so. I put in a good word for Ramona, saying I thought she sounded great. But of course, Reggie was not showing his hand.
Surprise, surprise. The Ryan Cameron Show's Elle Duncan was announced as the midday winner. I actually liked Reggie's decision, feeling it was a bit gutsy. Many thought Elle was too weak for the shift, but I liked that she had a different sound from a typical personality. Eventually, Elle moved to be the sports voice on the Frank & Wanda Show in mornings. Ramona Debreaux then reclaimed middays, and ratings have been just fine.
So why spend the bucks to bring in Egypt? The answer is probably something that I absolutely love about V-103. At a time when the rest of radio seems to be downsizing as much as possible, V-103 continues to think and act big.
V-103 has been the New York Yankees of Atlanta radio, with Frank Ski, Ryan Cameron and Greg Street. Even on weekends, V-103 has Kenny Burns, a star of sorts. It goes without saying the station is live and local, even in overnights with Bubby Love (nice guy, terrible name).
I wonder how long Egypt Sherrod will stay at V-103, and I'll miss Ramona Debreaux in middays. But I love the attitude at the station. Some people in the radio business still realize you can make money by spending money, and their names seem to be (GM) Rick Caffey and Reggie Rouse. And that's a wonderful thing.
The one area on V-103 that I question is The Quiet Storm from 10PM-2AM. The show has been jockless since longtime host Joyce Littel departed about 3 years ago. In this case, the absence of a personality may not be related to savings. Reggie Rouse might feel continuous music establishes the mood of the show.
On certain occasions, however, such as the death of Whitney Houston, weekend personality Terry Bello has appeared on The Quiet Storm. Bello is not quite a New York Yankee, the usual V-103 requirement. However, he is capable, and his more mellow sound is consistent with the slot. He has filled in on V-103 during the day. I would like to see Bello become the station's late-night host.
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Link to Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV blog: http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/