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Archive for December, 2009

Top Atlanta radio stories of the decade: Bert Show, Regular Guys , V-103, 2 Live Stews

A radio person in town suggested I do a list of the top radio stories of the entire decade. I’ve been covering radio here since September, 2001, so I did this off the top of my head. Feel free to add your own stories of the decade. This is not in any particular order and I’m sure I forgot a few things.

bert Show q100

The Bert Show and Q100 overtaking Star 94. Back in 2000, dominant CHR station Star 94 was already facing competition on the young end via 95.5/The Beat. Then the Bert Show arrived in the spring of 2001 on new top 40 rival Q100. With straight man Bert Weiss, ever rational Melissa Carter (and first openly gay on-air host in Atlanta), snarkmaster Jeff Dauler and ditzy gossip queen Lindsay Brien, the show began to gradually slice away Star’s 18-34 female demo. (Jenn Hobby eventually took over Brien’s role.) The program focused on Springer-like relationship nonsense and used bits such as “War of the Roses,” in which a man was offered free roses and send them to a mistress instead of …

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Where is Q100 Bert Show’s Jeff Dauler?

jeff daulerQ100’s Jeff Dauler has been mysteriously taken off the Q100 Web site.

His boss Rob Roberts today gave me a categorical “No comment.”

Jeff is on vacation this week, along with the rest of the Bert Show. (The top 40 station has been airing “best ofs” this week.)  I texted Jeff to ask him if he was no longer with Q100. At 1:33 p.m., he responded, “Why do you ask?”

When I explained that he was off Q100’s site and  Roberts said no comment, he wrote with a non-answer: “Must be a virus. :) ” When I suggested this might be a stunt, he wrote, “Why waste a stunt when listenership is off due to holidays?” I then asked if he’s negotiating a new contract.

At 1:52 p.m., he finally gave me the right answer once I asked the right question: “My current deal expires on 12/31/09. We’ve been negotiating in some form since July.”

So it appears Q100 has taken him off the site as some sort of hardball tactic in preparation for Jeff not being on the air come Monday if he doesn’t come to terms by …

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More ‘Full Throttle Saloon’ is possible after successful first season on TruTV

full throttle saloon sign

Massive biker bar Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D. this past August got throttled by a massive hailstorm, sticky-fingered bartenders and a lousy economy. Owner Mike Ballard bemoaned his economic problems and wondered if he’d be able to last another year.

But TV viewers on Atlanta-based TruTV may have saved him and his business.

An average of 1.3 million viewers caught the show’s six episodes, better than average for the network and a solid enough performance to merit a second season. TruTV has not announced a renewal but Atlanta rock star and a show executive producer Jesse James Dupree is optimistic.

“We knew we had something real America would connect with,” he said by phone from his office in Kennesaw, where he is developing other TV shows. “Luckily, it was validated.”

He admitted the show is amazing marketing for Full Throttle next year, virtually ensuring an increase in attendance at the annual bike rally and a greater chance for the saloon to make a profit. …

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TV’s biggest local and national stories of 2009: Real Housewives, Adam Lambert, Kevin Gillespie

Paula Abdul announced her departure from “American Idol” with a Tweet. CNN’s Rick Sanchez lives on Twitter. Local TV stations now offer Twitter updates.

So in honor of the Twitterverse, here are notable local and national TV stories of 2009 in no particular order — in 140 characters or less.

tardy-for-the-partyReal Housewives of Atlanta: wig pulling, chronic narcissism, “Tardy for the Party.” Atlanta’s shame or pure entertainment? Both!

Oprah leaving her show in 2011. Celebs with secrets (Mackenzie Phillips’ incest) or promoting books (Sarah Palin) losing a perfect platform.

Taylor Swift acts on ‘CSI,’ delivers laughs on “Saturday Night Live,” sweeps awards shows, swats away Kanye West. She sings, too.

David Letterman rivets audience with surprise admission: he slept with coworkers. Viewers and advertisers don’t flee.

Jay Leno takes over NBC’s 10 p.m., kills off five hours of pricey dramas. Profitable? Yes. NBC’s brand image? Deeply tarnished.

Sitcoms make a modest …

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New HGTV spinoff ‘Curb Appeal: The Block’ shot in Atlanta, debuts January 1

John Gidding

Atlanta gets a new TV show and it should make the city look better — one block at a time.

HGTV has spun off “Curb Appeal” by expanding it to an entire city block. Well, not exactly. But rather than just improve the “curb appeal” of one home’s front yard, the show will work on multiple homes in the same vicinity.

The debut 13 episodes were all shot in the metro area. Each episode takes about two weeks to tape, said host John Gidding, who has also participated in the show “Designed to Sell.”

The focal point is one home that is deemed an “eyesore.” The typical suspects: an unkempt, weed-filled yard, ugly porch fixtures, peeling paint. Often, neighbors nominate said home. The guilty party, once confronted, is usually okay with the idea of a free renovation and is well aware of the “eyesore” problem, Gidding said. Usually, the family has neglected their front yard area due to lack of funds or a focus on other priorities.

The show will spend up to $20,000, most on the eyesore but …

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‘It’s Me or the Dog’ casting call in Atlanta January 16

victoria-stilwellMany of Animal Planet’s popular “It’s Me or The Dog” shows are shot in Atlanta. It’s also hosted by Atlantan Victoria Stilwell. Now the network is seeking more local families with problem pooches.

The casting call is at Red Bandanna Warehouse at 245 Hembree Park Drive, Suite 110, Roswell, GA on Saturday, January 16 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Better yet, Stilwell will be there to not only hear your story but also sign copies of her book, “It’s Me Or the Dog: How To Have the Perfect Pet.”

Stilwell’s approach is far different from that of “The Dog Whisperer,” focused much more on carrot than stick.

The casting call production company has handled casting for other shows such as “Supernanny” and “Real Housewives of New York.”

 For  more info email:  

Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur is handling the book sales.
Here’s a basic description of Red Bandanna:

For the past 10 years Red Bandanna has provided Atlanta with the best healthy & nutritious …

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Top Atlanta radio stories of 2009: Groove 105.7, Neal Boortz, Randy & Spiff, Chris Rude

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

2009 was a disquieting year for Atlanta radio, with executives scrambling to cut costs amid lower revenues and figuring out a new ratings measurement system. Business did show signs of life toward the end of the year.

There was also a retro feel to some of the changes in 2009. 99X found a way back on the FM dial, former 99X morning host Jimmy Baron finally landed a new radio gig and a new format featuring disco tunes and old Prince nuggets grooved onto 105.7. Heck, even Randy & Spiff (left) reunited.

Here are a few of the biggest stories of the year:

– Bury that saxophone. Smooth jazz died in January. The home of Dave Koz was a victim of aging listeners and a new radio measurement system called “people meter,” which hurt this particular format. Radio One dumped Smooth Jazz 107.5 earlier this year, moving its R&B station Majic in its place, with a simulcast at 97.5. Despite the stronger signal, Majic didn’t do much better but remained a solid …

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Interview with Judge Mathis

judge-mathisGreg Mathis, host of his long-running judge show “Judge Mathis,” stopped by Atlanta earlier this month and I grabbed coffee with him at the Mansion hotel in Buckhead.

Mathis, 49, is affable in person but clearly does not embrace slackers. (He firmly castigates an associate for waking up late and not meeting me and him for the interview on time.)

He expressed concern that in Atlanta, his ratings were down because he had switched affiliates. Actually, he hadn’t switched affiliates. The CW affiliate, which has aired him since he debuted in 1999 when it was a UPN affiliate, changed his air times from 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., when viewership is generally lower. While he doesn’t pull in huge numbers, he has some of the strongest numbers of all shows on the CW during the day.

“All this week people thought I was cancelled,” he said, citing at least a dozen people he’s run across over two days.

When told his lead-in in the afternoon is “Street Court,” where court …

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Tyra Banks leaving talk show world before Oprah



Tyra Banks is quitting her talk show this spring after five years.

Oprah Winfrey a few weeks ago announced the end of her show, but she isn’t leaving until 2011.

Banks broke the news to

Banks will focus on the launch of Bankable Studios, a N.Y.-based film production company currently reviewing possible projects. “My next huge steps will allow me to reach more women and young girls to help us all feel as fierce as we truly are,” Banks says.

Banks’ show has done well among younger viewers but is far behind the likes of “Dr. Phil” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in overall ratings. Locally, she airs at 3 and 4 p.m. on the CW affiliate WUPN-TV. She is typically far behind “Oprah,” “Judge Judy,” “Springer” and “Ellen” in the ratings in Atlanta.

Tyra Banks leaving her talk show

  • She’s fierce! I’m going to miss her!
  • I can live without her over-the-top narcissism.

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Right now, the CW’s ‘America’s Next Top Model,” hosted by …

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TV best bets with football, New Year’s Eve specials and the worst cooks in America

This is not a busy time for your DVR with most TV series still on hiatus, but you can catch plenty of live football action.

The Georgia Bulldogs, after a disappointing season, play the Independence Bowl today at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Yup, ESPN2. You can also see the Gator Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

And if your New Year’s Eve plans revolve around the tube, you don’t have to watch Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest on ABC. Carson Daly (on NBC), Carmen Electra (Fox) and Anderson Cooper (CNN) are among your other options.

Plus, check out an amusing series on Food Network Sunday called “Worst Cooks in America”:

“Monday Night Football” 8:30 p.m. ESPN (40th season finale) — The Vikings and the Bears conclude the regular season.
“Intervention” 9 p.m. A&E — Amy W is a potpourri of problems: self-mutilation, limited diet, bipolar disorder and drinking.
“American Masters: Louisa May Alcott” 9 p.m. GPB — The “Little Women” author, not …

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