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Confirmed: Randy Cook rejoins Spiff Carner, this time at True Oldies 106.7 October 12

Spiff Carner and Randy Cook

Spiff Carner and Randy Cook

In what was not exactly a secret in the radio business, Randy Cook is rejoining Spiff Carner, this time at True Oldies 106.7. Start date: Oct. 12. Fred Brooks, who has been doing mornings with Spiff, will move to afternoons.

Spiff has been at True Oldies since August 2008. Randy had been a morning host at news/talk WGST-AM until July. With Randy’s three-month, non-compete lapsing Oct. 10, he will be able to get back on the air that following Monday.

“I’m looking forward to taking some of the skills I learned form news/talk and transferring it over to a new way of doing our show,” Cook told me this morning. He admitted it was not exactly a secret since he telegraphed what was going to happen to me in July when he left WGST.

Randy & Spiff reuniting

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Throughout the 1990s, Randy & Spiff were the kings of oldies radio at Fox 97.1, garnering big ratings and revenues. They specialized in goofy characters and parody songs, with Randy as the straight man and Spiff cracking jokes.

But management shifted, the playlist got too small and revenues nosedived. Fox died in early 2003. The pair found work at three other radio stations (with much less success) until Spiff was cut from news/talk WGST-AM in the fall of 2007. Randy stayed on as a solo host. The team, which started at Rockford, Ill., in the mid-1980s, appeared to be kaput.

Atlanta appeared to be a goner as an oldies town. Conventional wisdom went like this: the format, which traditionally focused hits from the 1960s and early 1970s, drew too old an audience for most advertisers. And demographically, Atlanta skews younger than most cities.

Not everybody thought this was a dead format. Citadel Broadcasting early last year dumped country station Eagle 106.7 in favor of oldies. The company hedged its bets by doing it on the cheap, using New York legend Scott Shannon’s syndicated music mix and hiring just a single local DJ, Fred Brooks.

Shannon’s deeper, smartly eclectic playlist worked. The station did better than expected, often finishing top 10 in the ratings. Soon, they found the money to hire an unemployed Spiff – minus Randy, who was still under contract at WGST. Spiff teamed with Fred for an afternoon show while Don Imus did mornings. That was an odd fit to say the least and his ratings were poorer than that of the rest of the station.

Citadel finally did the right thing this spring and pawned off Imus to 1160/WCFO-AM. Fred and Spiff moved to mornings.

Randy said he was always the quarterback of the show, making sure everything ran smoothly but delegated most of the content to Spiff and character actors who did the voices such as the late Bill Hoger and Jerry Buckner (best known for his song “PacMan Fever”).

Now, given his experience reading the news and interviewing newsmakers, Randy wants to bring some of that to the Randy & Spiff Show, while continuing to highlight Spiff’s wise-cracking ways.

“I’d like him to be able to cut loose,” Randy said. “He’s a great comic when it comes to reacting to listeners. I’d like him to do commentaries and sports and funny stuff he used to do.”

Though the station tries to bring in 35-54 year olds, it does bring in a hefty numbers of 45-plus listeners, which makes sense given the music mix. Randy hopes to draw some younger folks by properly targeting interviews with TV, movei and music stars. He also wants to try out a local news segment. (Right now, they use a national feed.)

At appearances, Spiff gets asked all the time where Randy is. (Sadly, many folks never knew he was at WGST.)

Spiff said he loved parody songs but won’t be doing as much. And with Hoger gone, the old ’90s era characters are not going to be back either.

He also thinks the station will be stronger with two live dayparts, with Fred in the afternoons. “You can spread out the stuff you can’t do with Scott Shannon such as live contests,” he said.

And good news for Spiff: until now, he’d been working without a contract at True Oldies. The return of Randy may allow him a little more job security.

38 comments Add your comment

Doofy

September 28th, 2009
11:38 am

Randy had to telegraph you? I would have figured that the AJC had some more modern communication devices, such as CB radio, fax machine, 2 tins cans connected to a string. But, it is the AJC and their thought process is still in the 1800’s, much like the old lady running the show over there.

JRO

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

I am one of those “older guys” who remembers the late Randy and Spiff show. I stopped listening for some of the very reasons you mention in your article. But frankly, I grew tired of the same old Randy and Spiff. Paring them together again will not entice me to listen in the morning. In fact, I may listen less since I am more interested in the music and not the chatter.

I like Fred and believe he will do fine during the afternoon drive time. He should have a side kick, though. If 106.7 wants to appeal to a younger crowd, bring in a young DJ who can relate the oldies to current music trends. I would recommend Tim Orff (AKA “Orff”), formally of Dave FM. He is funny and vibrant. I listened to Orff at Dave until he was replaced by Jimmy Baron, who has done a terrible job. Baron’s interviews are really boring. Call me old, if you will, but I spend money, even if I am no longer part of the Atlanta demographic. Advertisers take notice.

Gary

September 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

Alright. I knew this was coming. Not in the generation they skew towards, but as a kid loved listening to them in the mornings while my dad drove me to school. I have stayed with the music somewhat because it is still genuine and I love old school. Be good to hear them on the radio again as a team. Will tune in on October 12th.

KennesawDave

September 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

I’m not much of an oldies fan but I do remember listening to them on the radio when my parents would take me to school. They are a very funny pair and have great chemistry. Good luck guys. I hope you hae the same success of your haydays and more.

Bob

September 28th, 2009
4:17 pm

Enter your comments here

I will listen. Beats anything else out there. Listen for the duo, the music, and would like to hear more music and info between sets. Those of who they are appealing to listened to radio in the 60s and 70s when news and info was part of the format. Thanks Citadel!

Cougarella

September 28th, 2009
4:39 pm

I’ll stick with Steve & Vikki in the morning. B98.5FM’s music is as “oldies” as I want to get.

Lisa

September 28th, 2009
8:40 pm

THAT is great news. These two guys are magic together. And I am an Oldie..

Carlos

September 28th, 2009
10:20 pm

Necesitamos realmente más estaciones de radio mexicanas en Atlanta.

The Toad

September 29th, 2009
5:02 am

Enter your comments here TRG!

Pen

September 29th, 2009
9:17 am

Glad to hear Randy and Spiff are reuniting. I hope the station can figure out a format that will keep them together. Fox blew it with their minimalist playlist. Here’s and idea: play oldies from the 70’s and 80’s to draw a slightly younger demographic. Cut the chatter a bit. I listened to Fox 97 because I liked Randy and Spiff not for the music. However, I love music and would be delighted to hear “oldies” from the 70’sm 80’s & even some early 90’s. I think oldies stations in general are stuck in the thinking that only 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s are considered oldies. INCREASE the playlists for goodness sake! Seems like I am hearing only Boston and Heart with the occasional Peter Frampton. Go for the women demo! How about some Andy Gibb, Bee Gees, ABBA, (dare I say) Bay City Rollers and Kiss?

Southside Steve

September 29th, 2009
9:22 am

Come on….. my face!!

Jungleland2

September 29th, 2009
9:42 am

Welcome back guys. Randy & Spiff is a radio show (and station 106.7) that the whole family can enjoy

kreedham

September 29th, 2009
10:45 am

Glad to have them back…a great oldies show is Cousin Brucie on Saturday Nights on the 60’s station and Wednesday evenings on the 50″s station on Sirius and XM. Saturday’s show is the better one!

RedKneckerson

September 29th, 2009
11:45 am

Well pardners, it may be that Oldies is not the problem, it may be the Randy & Spiff show is the problem. Maybe folks just don’t like the worn out humour.

Richard T

September 29th, 2009
12:17 pm

I bet you Kelly & Alpha aren’t happy about this

[...] My AJC colleague Rodney Ho has confirmed that  veteran Atlanta morning guys Randy  Cook and Spiff Carner  will re-team together to do mornings over at Oldies 106.7 FM beginning Oct. 12. Here’s his story. [...]

Mike

September 29th, 2009
1:03 pm

I remember Fox 97 (heck, I remember Power 99 and WQXI…)

Welcome back, fellas.

Let’s just hope they don’t fall back to the Fox formula of “Good Times, [Gr]Eight Oldies.”

Katie

September 29th, 2009
1:58 pm

I think Fred will do great in the afternoons as long as traffic lady Evelyn is integrated back into the show. She was an important part of the afternoon drive show (and not just for traffic!) when Spiff & Fred were on in the afternoon.

I wasn’t a big Randy & Spiff fan when they were on Fox 97 so this isn’t a real big deal to me. I like Freddie Brooks, though, and I’m glad he’ll still be around. He started off on the afternoon drive with True Oldies so he knows what to expect, as do we.

Love my True Oldies Channel!

Bobby

September 29th, 2009
5:55 pm

Glad ya’ll are back!! Hope you can play some oldie Doo Wop love songs again, don’t want that music to die. Good Luck Randy & Spiff !

Tammy

September 29th, 2009
7:08 pm

I just hope they do not go back to the same old stuff they did before. It is 2009 and the world has changed so I hope they will change as well and not try to integrate the same old stuff from years ago. Just because the music is old does not mean the content and the bits have to be old as well.

Mr. WhatDoIKnow

September 29th, 2009
9:26 pm

Carlos:

Sorry there my little amigo, you are in America now and you need to learn to speak English. I don’t think you will see more Mexican (as you call them) radio stations in Atlanta because many of their listeners have gone back home. Heck, we may even see some of the existing Hispanic stations flip! By the way, did you ever get that Green Card you were looking for?

Hannah

September 30th, 2009
9:04 am

I’m so glad Randy and Spiff will be back together. I grew up listening to them on Fox 97. I’ve enjoyed listening to Fred, and I’m glad he’ll still be on the same station.

I’m 25, and I listen to True Oldies 106.7 to hear the songs from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. If I wanted to music from the late 70s and onward, I would listen to The River and B98.5.

[...] My AJC colleague Rodney Ho has confirmed that  veteran Atlanta morning guys Randy  Cook and Spiff Carner  will re-team together to do mornings over at Oldies 106.7 FM beginning Oct. 12. Here’s his story. [...]

eye see

September 30th, 2009
2:35 pm

Nostradomous predicted this, you know.

Marsha

October 1st, 2009
8:55 am

I am so excited! 106.7 actually can be picked up on my office radio, unlike 98.5. Looking forward to hearing them together again!!!!

Sharon

October 1st, 2009
11:15 am

So glad to have you guys back again … as soon as Steve/Vickie replaced you, I immediately switched stations to 106.7 … looking forward to Randy/Spiff in the AM’s.

KennesawDave

October 1st, 2009
11:42 am

Mike: I grew up with 94Q and Power99 so I’m right there with you.
Carlos: Tu tiene 3 estaciones Mexicana 2 estaciones musica y AM 660. For those that don’t have a year’s worth of Spanish under their belt I told Carlos that he has 2 music stations and an AM station that are Mexican.

Mr C

October 1st, 2009
5:16 pm

hey welcome back. now please bring back the oldie concerts we loved so much

layne A

October 2nd, 2009
6:31 am

Enter your comments here I never liked Randy and spiff. What kind of name is Spiff for a grown man.There is only l DJ for oldies in Atlanta and he is retired. Scott Shannon is doing great in the afternoons. When you have something that works why dont you just leavt it alone. Anyway Randy and Spiff (especially the latter one) YUCK. Bad move.

[...] Shared Confirmed: Randy Cook rejoins Spiff carner, this time at True Oldies 106.7 October 12 [...]

Justme

October 4th, 2009
2:47 pm

Yipee!! I’m so glad to see you two back together again. I’ve followed you all over the radio signal! LOL
At least I can pick up 106.7 at work (on my headphones, with minimal fading-LOL).
I wish you much success at you new ‘home’.

Marty

October 6th, 2009
4:52 pm

Memory? How about WQXI-Willis the Guard, JJ & Stacia, Randy & Spiff, concerts at the Atlanta Stadium, Little Richard having to be dragged off the stage at the dome. I love it all. Glad you are back guys. Please hold on to Shannon’s deaper play list–or deaper still.

sfl331

October 7th, 2009
9:33 am

I could not be more thrilled the guys will be back together again! When Steve & Vicki came back morning radio was over for me — finally, I can listen to radio in the mornings, again! Have to agree with the above please to retain the deeper play list — even deeper sounds great, too. But management be warned, we may listen in the mornings for Randy & Spiff, but we won’t stick with the station the rest of the day without the music being there. I have really been enjoying Scott Shannon’s playlist & music trivia/info/news. Don’t do something great for us and let the rest slide, now! Welcome back, Randy & Spiff! You were sorely missed.

oliver's choice

October 12th, 2009
9:25 am

The ONLY reason that I will leave XMradio is for Randy and Spiff……I’m not a morning person, but I can remember, years ago. listening to FOX 97 while driving to work and laughing out loud. I actually walked in the office door with a smile on my face………..now that’s talent. Good for them…and best of luck!!!

Dave

October 16th, 2009
7:38 am

I agree that Fox 97’s playlist was MUCH too short. And it wasn’t because they limited themselves to the early 70’s either. There were tons of songs that were very popular back then that I never heard them play and great stuff in the mid and late 70’s. 80’s had too much disco for me but they could have expanded to the 80’s sans the disco. My 20 something kids listen to a lot of the great stuff from the 70’s and late 60’s so if you mix in some stuff that they play on 97.1 “The River” you might get a younger audience.

Randy

November 3rd, 2009
7:25 pm

You must be kidding Cougarella! You can keep Steve and Vicki. 98.5 is one of the worst stations of them all. The playlist is simply pathetic. They play the same garbage over and over. They never change it! Play some 70’s music, people. I happen to love the true oldies of the 50’s and 60’s having been spoiled by WCBS-FM in N.Y.C. for many years. I’m thrilled Randy and Spiff have reunited. Now
bring on the good times and great oldies!

Lori

November 12th, 2009
4:23 pm

YAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!! I can wake up to Randy & Spiff again. I missed you guys!!!

john earlywine sr

February 15th, 2010
10:27 pm

i,m glade to here that you guys are back on the aire i miss you guys and ATL.when ileft atl all the oldies station die but good old cpr brought it back to life.now that i livein clarksville tn ther are few oldies staion innasville so kept up good work .if you get fire again you neeed to play song fire by aruther brown long live rock&roll whitefang out peace.