Since the Cumulus acquisition of Citadel last fall, air staffers at Kicks 101-5 and Atlanta's Greatest Hits WYAY thought studios for the two stations were being built at Cumulus' Johnson Ferry complex. About a month ago, the WYAY programming department was blindsided by the announcement that no studio for them had been constructed. Cumulus had built out the new Kicks studio and a production room.
The WYAY air staff was to stay behind at the Interstate North facility, which has become a lonely place. Having been told nothing else, the staffers started thinking the worst about their future with the station. Not unexpectedly, rumors started flying. The announcement was the impetus behind my column of March 12, entitled The Cumulus/Atlanta shuffle.
What will take place is anyone's guess. But you can bet something will. And I expect it to happen by mid-April. Fasten your seat belt.
Kicks 101-5, meanwhile, has moved into its new studio. The inaugural broadcast was on Saturday, March 24 at 6AM, hosted by Kevin Steele. The new board puts out some mighty awesome sound.
Several months ago, I heard that Star 94 would be moving into the former Citadel space on Interstate North Parkway. That made some sense since it was a fine facility and probably far less expensive than Star's longtime Buckhead home; and because Star 94 GM Rick Mack spent years there as Kicks/Eagle Director of Sales.
I have learned, however, that the space will be reconfigured, and SweetJack, the Cumulus version of Groupon, will settle into part of it. Speculation regarding the remainder of the facility is that Cumulus will shift ABC Radio Networks operations there from Dallas, TX. By the way, if I hear that horrendous SweetJack commercial many more times, I just might kick the radio.
Star 94 Kicks It Up a Notch
Joe "The Voice Guy" Szymanski has been handling Star 94's imaging for the past several years. Now, PD Scott Lindy has added a second voice to his high-flying station, and it's a female counterpart to Syzmanski. The talent behind the voice is Rachel McGrath, like Lindy a former employee of Clear Channel/Atlanta.
Rachel is sounding great, and the station's male/female balance seems just right. Of course, a woman's voice blends perfectly into the format of Star 94.
One voice missing from Star 94 is that of Joe Rosati, who had handled Saturday evenings. Rosati was voice tracked from Detroit, where he was working middays on Channel 9-5-5.
Saturday evenings at Star are now being done by Lloyd the Utility Man.
The Big Gun Starts Talking
WGUN-AM (1010) has been pretty much in a perpetual state of flux. After dropping its brokered shows and nostalgic music, the station made an ill-fated attempt at R&B oldies, which left WGUN with no revenue.
The Rivers family is now attempting to unload the 50,000-watt station, which is in essence a daytimer. (It's on at night with 78 watts.) The family felt the station would be more attractive to prospective owners if it had a talk format. So WGUN has now converted to Progressive Talk. Selling the station for any significant amount will be anything but easy.
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Link to Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV blog: http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/