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Star 94 rejiggers its lineup

chase Daniels

Star 94, which has seen its ratings drop off the past six months, has rejiggered its on-air DJ lineup for the second time in a year.

Last spring, the station dumped the Morning Mess, moved Cindy & Ray to mornings and placed Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated show in the afternoons. Heather Branch became the mid-day host, taking over for Tripp West.

This week, Cindy & Ray (whose ratings have struggled in the face of tough competition since moving to mornings) have lost an hour, ending at 9 a.m. (More and more morning shows are ending at 9 and not 10 a.m.). Heather Branch moved from 9 to noon, instead of 10 to 3, shaving two hours from her shift. Ryan Seacrest gets moved up three hours to the noon to 4 p.m. slot. The new guy Chase Daniels (top left), who had come from Jacksonville, now runs from 4 to 8 p.m. and Darik starts an hour later, going from 8 to midnight.

Last month, Star had chased aggressively after Jeff Dauler of the Q100 Bert Show, hoping to break up that successful team. Instead, Dauler went back to Q100 after a painful negotiation, using Star as leverage and upping his pay to boot. I’m not sure what Star would have done with Dauler specifically. I presume he would have been given a solo afternoon gig, perhaps helping out Cindy & Ray, too.

Radio followers on wonder if Star is planning to drop Ryan Seacrest once his contract is up. The station now has more jocks than most stations, which typically rely on four major time blocks, not five. With economics so tight, this seems like an extra expense with no obvious benefit. I left a message with general manager Rick Mack and will update if he gets back to me.

The station has also dropped all pretense of being a top 40 station in terms of its music mix, which is now firmly “Hot AC.” Hot AC stations tend to skew older than top 40. Star is playing only 6 of the top 20 songs currently on the national top 40 charts. Among the songs Star is not playing: the No. 1 top 40 song by Kesha “Tik Tok,” No. 3 song by Iyaz “Replay,” No. 4 song by David Guetta “Sexy Chick” and No. 9 song by Jason DeRulo “Whatcha Say.” It’s now really late on anything remotely dance-like (such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” ) and is avoiding hip-hop completely. Star has never been a full-fledged top 40 station but earlier this past decade has played Eminem and OutKast.

Star is spinning 16 of the top 20 songs on the “Hot AC” chart, according to Mediabase 24/7. In comparison, Q100 gave 17 out of 20 of the top 40 songs at least five spins this past week.

The station is not exactly speedily adding new songs either. So far this year, Star has added only one new song to its playlist: “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, a country crossover hit which peaked at No. 1 on the country charts a few weeks back and is still getting big airplay on the Bull and Kicks.

Why Star has been losing steam is not 100% clear. Country, which shares a lot of audience with stations like Star, has been hot lately. (Note the Taylor Swift/Lady Antebellum crossovers.) And Atlanta now has a dance-pop station in Groove 105.7, which may be taking a slice out of Star’s pie, too.

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25 comments Add your comment


January 26th, 2010
2:45 pm

I didn’t realize anyone listened to music on terrestrial radio anymore? Why would you subject yourselves to all those commercial breaks?


January 26th, 2010
2:54 pm

Some people can’t afford satellite. I’m not one of them (I love my Sirius), but I do understand their feelings that it’s an expense that some people just can’t justify.


January 26th, 2010
2:55 pm

I flip right through 94.1 on the preset. There isn’t anything on that station I like anymore. Plus, I hate Ryan Seacrest.

Tim James

January 26th, 2010
3:16 pm

Maybe the Atlanta radio market will realize that the listening audience is older. Every time I see a new DJ face, they look like they’re high school sophomores.

CD player

January 26th, 2010
3:35 pm

I saw a billboard for 105.7 yesterday and tried it out. It was fun, a good mix of old and new. I actually found myself smiling at the song selection and singing along. Nice surprise. Thanks, I will tune in again. Not a fan of 94 or Seacrest either.


January 26th, 2010
3:41 pm

I don’t understand why every time there is an update here, there is always someone who just has to say something to the effect of, “I don’t understand why anyone listens to terrestrial radio anymore”. The fact of the matter is, many more people listen to terrestrial radio than any other medium. Personally, I like terrestrial radio and enjoy listening to people that are on the air from the area in which I live. Some days I like the talkiness of Q100 with a few songs, other days I just want to listen to music with a little bit of local talk time. Instead of making vicarious comments about stuff that is not on topic and disparaging those who happen to like terrestrial radio, pay attention to what the subject matter is and make a comment about that.
Thank you.

Mark Kanov handler

January 26th, 2010
4:17 pm

Come home Steve and Vikki.
Bob Neal doesn’t ;ove you.


January 26th, 2010
4:24 pm

Well when 105.7 launched I replaced Star with them. Since that morning show sucks I actually just changed it back to Star. I wasn’t really liking Cindy and Ray in the morning, perfer them in the afternoons. Anyways we’ll see what happens.


January 26th, 2010
4:48 pm

AJ: Regarding commercial breaks, you must be kidding. Are you sure you listen to your Sirius? Because I know on XM there are plenty of commercials. They just happen to be for other XM channels and/or shows. And they are far more annoying than any local commercial you’ll hear on regular radio. And at least you’re not fooled into paying for “commercial-free” radio when, in fact, it isn’t.


January 26th, 2010
4:49 pm

Sorry, my previous comment is directed at Keith, not AJ.


January 26th, 2010
6:29 pm

I know you directed at Keith, but while some XM music stations have commercials, all Sirius music stations are commercial free. Don’t really understand since they’re now owned by the same company. The talk stations do have commercials and they are low tier commercials. I just listen to music for a few minutes :-)


January 26th, 2010
7:15 pm

Who has the dreaded midnight to 6 AM time slot?


January 26th, 2010
7:41 pm

I stopped listening to Star when they got rid of Nudge and Steve & Vikki. I was a fan of Cindy and Ray in the afternoon (loved Dead Guy in the Envelope) but Ray became rude to the listeners. I even took them off my presets! Q100 and 95.5 are my stations now.


January 26th, 2010
8:29 pm

Love Shannon Holly on the weekends. Thats the only time I listen to Star

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by WSB-TV, ajc dot com, Jenni Hilton, Kim Underwood Lyons, Atlanta Rio and others. Atlanta Rio said: Star 94 rejiggles its lineup: Star 94, which has seen its ratings drop off the past six months, has rejiggered it… [...]

Steak Shapiro's Gout

January 27th, 2010
7:27 am

Bring back 94Q


January 27th, 2010
8:47 am

I am surprised no one knows why XM has commercials on some of their top channels. It is because Clear Channel invested in the company in 1998 and programmed those channels. They refused to have commercials and Clear Channel took them to court in 2006 in which Clear Channel won in essence saying that since the channels were programmed by Clear Channel that they owned them and could do whatever they wanted. So, being the company that loves cash, they added revenue by adding stupid commercials. In response, XM added more channels. It isn’t like there are a ton of commercials regardless. I do listen to regular radio most of the time and Star 94 is obviously trying everything they can to get ratings. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be something that will happen in the near future. The worst thing they did was move Cindy and Ray to the Mornings.

Tired of the racist remarks.

January 27th, 2010
10:33 am

Rejiggered? That’s racist! I am reporting this blog!


January 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

I liked to listen to cindy and ray in the afternoons, but whenever I turn to 94 in the mornings, all I get are commercials – no talk, no music, just commercials. The same is true for Ryan Seacrest – all commercials. Who wants to listen to a quick 60 second gossip clip followed by 3 minutes of commercials, 1-2 songs, 3 minutes of commercials, 60 seconds from Ryan, etc….BORING!


January 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

Cindy and Ray would be better if they dropped Cindy’s daughter singing songs (overly childish). Some of their antics are fine… but they’re starting to act more like the “Mess” which was great when they discussed music related stuff, but not forcing Shannon to guess what stuff was in a box and prank calls.

Cindy and Ray’s thing about which person was lying was fun.

Ryan Seacrust is horrible and that’s why I NEVER listen to them in the afternoon.

And not that they can change their commercials $$ but Shane Co. and Geico have got to go!


January 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

94 is getting really tired. everytime i hear a commercial from cindy and spoon, i change the channel. lily’s lyrics are old. too many commercials on ryan’s show and they keep repeating interviews.

war eagle

January 27th, 2010
1:51 pm

Atlanta radio just plain stinks-just like their baseball broadcast. It is boring. Perhaps that is what atlanta wants-boring. Plus-the music stinks. Today’s msuic sounds the same. screeching or some guy about to barf his meal or some guy that sounds like he is in pain or is in need of metamucil or the angry rap person. Rap is pathetic. steve and Vicky are rehashed and I turned off Dick Clark b/c I can’t stand Seacrest-he is like a song played 90 times in a row. songs of the 60’s 70’s and 80’s need to be played. not this GARBAGE. the record companies are turning out Garbage and forcing it down our throats. The IPOD has replaced radio. No commercials, no boring Steve and Vicky, no crap rap-just the songs you want to hear. Music radio is over. and the old people have been listening to talk radio anyway so they gave up on music radio long ago. Next up Music free radio-all commercials-all the time.

Greg from Marietta

January 27th, 2010
5:30 pm

Star 94 shot themselves in the foot and started their decline when they got rid of Cindy & Ray and replaced them with the abomination that was “The Mess”. The management alienated listeners with “The Mess” and lost audience share by trying to skew to a younger demographic with that group of degenerates. If cuts are to be made at Star 94 they should start with the station manager. The guy has lost touch with reality and has constantly made bone-head decisions. It’s to bad really, because it was once a really good station.

Greg from Marietta

January 27th, 2010
5:31 pm

Correction: “When they got rid of Steve & Vicky.” I guess i had the beautiful Cindy on my mind.


January 27th, 2010
11:28 pm

God, Star94, there is more to life than “I Gotta Feeling” and “Use Somebody”. Enough already!