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3/6: Star 94’s Morning Mess canned (poll included)

Star 94 let go of The Morning Mess morning show this morning, according to General Manager Rick Mack. He said they are now looking for another morning show. He didn’t say whether Cindy and Ray, the successful afternoon show, would take over.

Norm Schrutt, who represents the Mess and Cindy & Ray, said Cindy & Ray could take over but he has no insight whether that will happen.

Schrutt thinks in retrospect that the Morning Mess skewed too young for the station.

Will you miss the Morning Mess?

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“I think I made a mistake,” Schrutt said. “I put them in a place where they shouldn’t have been… We got caught up with the economy and the fit wasn’t right. I think the team really understood it before I did. They figured Star wanted a little older demo and they played a little younger and that was their comfort zone. It’s like a stone in your shoe. The shoe is a little too tight. It was not their fault. They’re still extremely talented. I’m still a huge fan of the show. The radio station was very honorable in the way they severed our relationship.”

Three morning shows launched in early 2008 within weeks of each other: Zakk Tyler on Dave FM, the Morning Mess at Star 94 and Cletus T. Judd at 94.9/The Bull. Proving how difficult it is to launch a new morning show, all three died in short order. Zakk was out by August. Cletus was cut by late fall. And the Mess lasted just over 14 months.

The Mess struggled to compete against the Bert Show on Q100 and their predecessors Steve & Vikki at B98.5. The show’s target demographic was 18 to 34 year olds and in January Arbitron ratings, the Mess ranked 10th in that demo compared to 1st for the Bert Show. Relatively speaking, that was a stronger performance for them than usual, but obviously for Star management, it was too little, too late.

The trio, Shannon Murphy, Superphat Mikey (Michael Dennison) and Marc “Marco” Orem, came from Indianapolis in December 2007. Early on, they offered up “pranks on the 20s,” ridiculous restaurant reviews from Mikey and Shannon grabbing potentially gross items in a box and trying to ID them. The reaction was fairly negative, with listeners complaining that they were juvenile and unsophisticated. They were gearing themselves far younger than Steve & Vikki but had trouble drawing the 18 to 34 females away from the Bert Show on Q100. Recently, the show had been streamlined, with many of the prank-type shenanigans gone and a slightly more mature approach taken.

The Mess’ last big gig was the Miley Cyrus appearance yesterday. Star has already scrubbed evidence of the Morning Mess off the Web site.

402 comments Add your comment

PR

March 6th, 2009
10:39 am

Thank god…they were a mess. Star 94 killed the A.M. when they hired these IDIOTS. The progrsm director at Star should be fired too!

Jordan

March 6th, 2009
10:40 am

Nooo!!! I listen to that every morning!!! I love cindy and ray.

april

March 6th, 2009
10:47 am

they were a real mess. and immature. i may go back to star 94 now but oh wait, i think my new station is 98.5

Star Listener

March 6th, 2009
10:47 am

It’s like a miracle! Finally!

Cammi317

March 6th, 2009
10:49 am

They weren’t that bad. I liked having them to turn to on those mornings when the Bert show got on my nerves.

Native Atlantan

March 6th, 2009
10:49 am

I changed my dial after about a week of those clowns. Good Riddance.
Let’s see what Star 94 does, maybe I’ll go back.

Former Star staff!

March 6th, 2009
10:50 am

Good grief … WHAT TOOK SO LONG???? This show was even more unprofessional BEHIND the scenes than on the air! Management just couldn’t admit this MAJOR mistake, so the people who made the mistake had to be fired before the change could be made. Star has dug a REALLY deep hole, and might NEVER recover!

JB

March 6th, 2009
10:50 am

perhaps if someone asked the listeners what they want to hear, local radio might survive the Satellite radio attack

TG

March 6th, 2009
10:51 am

I hate to see anyone lose their job, but the Mess was just that. Maybe they can retool and get picked up elsewhere, maybe back where they came from. Now if something can be done about Frank and Wanda.

Rich

March 6th, 2009
10:51 am

Why not just play music?

skip

March 6th, 2009
10:53 am

Baba Booey!!!!

Pete

March 6th, 2009
10:56 am

Steve and Vicki come back to Atlanta radio and have good ratings. And over on STAR 94, they fire their replacements. STAR 94 sucks, no one listens, so I’m sure no one will miss them.

I still remember the last year or so that Steve and Vicki were on STAR 94 and the station was trying to be more “hip” by playing garbage like Outkast, Usher and Eminem. That didn’t quite fit with Steve and Vicki’s crowd, now did it?

STAR 94 really changed in the past few years when they started adding CRAP (I mean RAP) to their playlist. The station is getting what it deserves.

Matt

March 6th, 2009
10:57 am

Well, they weren’t going to get the gals from the Bert Show, and they weren’t going to get the guys away from the Regular Guys, so what was there left? Too bad for these people, they’re going to have a hard time getting another show together anywhere…

sammy

March 6th, 2009
10:58 am

thank god!! I hated them

T

March 6th, 2009
10:59 am

Finally! Couldn’t stand that mess. Switched to 98.5 for Steve and Vikki. It wasn’t just Steve and Vikki though–Nudge at Night, Tom Sullivan, and others were done a tremendous disservice by 94 management. Even when I try to listen to 94 later in the day, it’s just not that good anymore. Mostly stay with 98.5 or 97.1 these days.

Anti Star 94

March 6th, 2009
10:59 am

It’s about time!!!!!!! Guess loosing the over 35 crowd made a difference that management didn’t care about when bringing this group in. Got tired of Cindy and Ray with their stupid show also. I’m sure it is their writers but it hurts them. The Bert Show and Kevin and Taylor are my choice of listening now.

JOE QUIROS

March 6th, 2009
11:01 am

THE MORNING MESS WAS A GREAT GROUP, EDGEY AT TIMES BUT FUNNING AND ABLE TO RELATE. THEY’RE SUPPOSE TO BE JUVENILE AND FUNNY . IT’S THE MORNING TIME AND YOU NEED SOMEONE LIKE THE MORNING MESS TO GET YOUR DAY GOING. PEOPLE NEED TO GET THE STICK OUT OF THEIR A@# AND RELISE THE MORNING IS TO GET YOUR DAY STARTED AND NOT BE SOOO SERIOUS. STEVE AND VICKIE SHOW WAS NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING AS GOOD AS THE MORNING MESS AND THE ONLY REASON I LISTEN TO THE SHOW WAS FOR THE MUSIC. EXTREMELY BAD MOVE FIRING THE MORNING MESS, I THOUGHT STAR 94 WAS GOING IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION AND GOING YOUNGER. I GUESS I WAS WRONG AND I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN CONTINUE TO LISTEN

Bren

March 6th, 2009
11:02 am

I’m 40 and mostly enjoyed listening to their show, so I hate to see them go. I’ll admit that sometimes their topics were too ‘over the top’ or gross, but when that happened, I just changed the channel.

Steve

March 6th, 2009
11:06 am

I hated them from the start, but grew to tolerate them off and on. I am glad I have my Sirius!!! This was a mess from the start. This was a smaller market crew, not ready for the challenge of ATL. I mean, so you have a kid and are not married to the mom, why constantly rub that in our face? Also, many of us don’t facebook, twitter, myspace, spend all day texting…enough of that talk already! Also we don;t need talk about getting face plastered drunk so much. Just bring back Gary Mckee, THE LAST REAL RADIO JOCK IN ATLANTA!

Steve

March 6th, 2009
11:08 am

Another thing, the guy that signed up the MESS before he retired, I think he is also the guy that signed Murphy and McKeever after Mckee left. I will always hold that against him!

Beth

March 6th, 2009
11:11 am

I am over 35 and I thought they were hilarious. I am from the midwest and I guess I am just used to edgier radio.

Norvee Michele

March 6th, 2009
11:12 am

I hope they put Cindy and Ray on in the mornings. Star’s got a lot of competition in the am with frank ski, the bert show and kevin and taylor. They need a powerhouse in the AM to even begin to compete.

Debbie Keegan

March 6th, 2009
11:14 am

Hate to see people lose their jobs right now, but I only listened a few times and they were awful. Listened to anything but Star 94 since Steve and Vicki left and now I’m on 98.5. Maybe I’m getting to old – just turned 50

Shannon

March 6th, 2009
11:17 am

I stopped listening to Star about a week after they came on too … they truly sucked. But I’m glad I left though, because now I know what all the fuss is about with The Bert Show! They Rock!

Star Listener

March 6th, 2009
11:18 am

I was just thinking–why not put Tripp West on the mornings, or put him on earlier, like 8 am to 1 pm so we can still hear him? Then he could still be part of the team before he leaves and things will be better. The morning crowd can listen to him and the lunch crowd can keep him too.

Brainstorm

March 6th, 2009
11:20 am

Maybe Superphat can drop about 400 lbs and reapply at Star. After losing so much weight, nobody would recognize him.

kevin

March 6th, 2009
11:22 am

stupid white people

Traci

March 6th, 2009
11:27 am

I personally think all of the morning shows talk too much – talk radio is for AM stations, Star 94 and Q100 need to play more music and talk waaaaay less. I listen to Sirius because I want to listen to music not gab.

Regular Guys Regular

March 6th, 2009
11:42 am

To heck with Star 94! I just want their signal strength for the Regular Guys since that GAY Bert Show kicked 99X off. Have the Bert Show cum to Star 94 and give FM 99.7 to the Regular Guys so I can hear it solid in Gwinnett & Forsyth County. The Regular Guys in the Morning kick ass!!

Dina

March 6th, 2009
11:47 am

Cindy and Ray define LAME. I listen to Star 94 in the mornings again strictly for the Morning Mess. They are the freshest and most entertaining group Atlanta radio has seen in years. I would never listen to anyone named “Cletus”! Put him a little further up the radio dial! I am extremely dissapointed to see them go. I guess I will now have to change my morning radio ritual to SIRIUS RADIO.

Georgia Gal

March 6th, 2009
11:54 am

I stopped listening to Star94 in the morning when they took over … they were horrible. If Star94 is smart they’ll move Cindy & Ray to the mornings (which is what they should have done in the first place … of course then, I’ll have to switch between them at Steve & Vikki).

CJ in Atlanta

March 6th, 2009
11:54 am

Regular Guys Regular @ 11:42AM: “Gay” is a compliment, you ignorant redneck! Lesbian is more accurate (Melissa Carter). Woot!

gagirl

March 6th, 2009
12:01 pm

Pete, you don’t have to knock an entire genre of music just because it’s not your taste. The Morning Mess did suck and were soooo immature. Like another poster said, what’s taking so long to get rid of Frank & Wanda???? For this to be such a huge music city we have the worst radio ever.

Scoutmma

March 6th, 2009
12:03 pm

Thank goodness. They were/are awful.

Scoutmma

March 6th, 2009
12:03 pm

Now….if we can just get rid of Cindy and Ray.

In the know......

March 6th, 2009
12:06 pm

The VP of Programming and the President of Lincoln Media Group have to finally fess up and acknowledge that the former GM (who was a remarkable leader for so many years) was RIGHT!! This show was too young for the core STAR 94 listener (Women ages 32-45) which is also where the station’s advertising revenue came from for all those years.
Mark, you were right and several people knew it except for those “higher-ups” who mistakenly had their sights set on Q100 and it’s much lower Top 40 share of the radio revenue pie. Too bad so many talented employees also left the station, but hey, who wants to stay on that “Titanic” especially in these bad economic times? Good luck rebuilding your audience STAR – B98.5 owns it now and probably will for years to come.

Keven Savelle

March 6th, 2009
12:07 pm

Good riddance! Bring back Nudge!

P in Paulding

March 6th, 2009
12:08 pm

HEY! It’s about time. Star screwed up when they let Steve & Vicki go…too bad. If they move Cindy & Ray in the morning – they need to scrap Spoon. He likes to argue and complain – and who likes to hear that – I get that at work.

Q100 FAN

March 6th, 2009
12:08 pm

I used to be a visitor to Atlanta and now I’ve lived here for two years. On my visits, I use to look forward to the “Steve & Vicky” show in the mornings. After moving to the Atlanta area I “endured” a few of the Morning Mess’s shows and to my dis-satifaction I was won over by Q100. I love the Bert Show and will never return to Star 94! Bad choice, VERY bad choice to can the only thing they had going for them (Steve & Vicky) by the Star 94 station. I don’t think they can recover from this one…

klhacct

March 6th, 2009
12:14 pm

I am a native Atlantan and was a loyal Steve & Vikki listener the entire time they did the morning show at Star 94. I think the station made a big mistake letting them go and bringing in “The Mess”, appropriately named. I stopped listening to morning radio until S&V showed up on B98.5. The Mess in my opinion, are better suited for a college town.

Joshua Patterson

March 6th, 2009
12:16 pm

I listen to the Bert Show. They are great, even if Wendy is desperate. Wink Wink..

finally

March 6th, 2009
12:17 pm

The Mess never did fit, too goofy/offensive I think. They would be great in Fla. for the Spring Break crowds. For the morning show there, ANYONE would be better than the Mess. I do not like Cindy\’s voice and she seems to do most of the talking. The content is fine, but let the others talk too. As far as the programming, they should forget the Britney/Miley crowd, that is covered by Q100 and rap is done to death on 95.5 and V103 and 107.9. What Atlanta really wants/needs is a station that plays good music, from the 80\’s, 90\’s and now, with a HUGE playlist and I am not talking about the River\’s style, they are way too repetitive. I like to hear Chicago, Tom Petty (except Free Fallin\’ for the millionth time), some love songs, soft rock, mainstream. B985 has changed their playlist some and it\’s OK, but Star needs to take this opportunity to try to distance themselves from the crowd, ovehaul the playlist and for goodness sake stop playing that Jason Mraz song every 25 minutes.

John

March 6th, 2009
12:21 pm

You people still listen to the radio? How sad.

Radio Boy

March 6th, 2009
12:22 pm

Next to be fired will be…….. Tube Steak Shapiro!!!

Maria

March 6th, 2009
12:22 pm

The Morning Mess was like a morning show parody. Their jokes felt stale, and they rarely knew anything beyond the first-paragraph-of-Wikipedia-article basics about their interview subjects. I didn’t listen very often, but when I did, it was painful.

About a year ago, I listened to the trio try to interview John Mayer. They couldn’t name his songs and they didn’t even know that he used to live in Atlanta! Instead, they persisted in asking about his then-relationship with Jessica Simpson, despite his insistence that he didn’t want to talk about his personal life. Eeek. It made me cringe. I mean, I know Marco trumped his anti-intellectualism and his distaste for reading, but if you’re on a pop culture-focused radio show every morning for four hours, it might be helpful to pick up a newspaper or read Gawker every now and then.

Plus, they only had a very superficial understanding of Atlanta. Same with the technology they pretended to be into. Inserting “Waffle House” or “The Varsity” or “So, I was on Facebook the other day…” into their chatter isn’t enough.

I don’t know why they were pegged as being “edgy” (or “EDGEY” as our shouty friend from above would say). “Edgy” implies a modicum of smart, biting humor and an ability to say things in innovative ways. Folks, this in no way described The Morning Mess. They were a flat, spongy retread.

(All that being said, I do wish them the best in finding new jobs in this tough economy. Perhaps they are perfectly nice and capable people, and perhaps on their next show — should there be one — they’ll show that a bit more, and not attempt to set the cause of literacy back 20 years. READ SOMETHING, people. Marco especially. Sheesh.)

MB

March 6th, 2009
12:24 pm

Thank god! They sucked… ya come-on

John Rocker Fan

March 6th, 2009
12:24 pm

Yeah cum on!!!!!! Bring back the Kimmer, Snake and Wayne “no offense”. ATL radio stinks without them. TRG rule

SatelliteLover

March 6th, 2009
12:26 pm

I do love my satellite…will never go back…

Randall Bloomquist - fired WGST PD

March 6th, 2009
12:27 pm

First, my best buddy in the whole world, Chuck Deskins, is canned, then the Boss Lady tosses me out of the Building of Death, and now

AC

March 6th, 2009
12:30 pm

I hope Cindy & Ray DON’T get the morning show. I hate when they try to understand what “young” people are thinking or trying to do. All of their topics are boring and lame, no wonder they are in the afternoons, they are trying to prep you up for an afternoon nap! To begin with the show is named incorrectly it should be Ray & Cindy, since Ray runs the show and Cindy just agrees. The Morning Mess was a great show for me, I am young and really related to them. I thought the show was doing good, every time I tried calling the phones were busy. I guess I’ll just go back to XM Sat. Radio.