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Archive for January, 2010

Exclusive interview with Joyce Littel, formerly of V-103’s ‘Quiet Storm’

joyce Littel

Joyce Littel recently celebrated 19 years at V-103 hosting the late-night “Quiet Storm,” playing sexy tunes by the likes of Luther Vandross, Robin Thicke and Teddy Pendergrass.

But on January 13, Littel received bad news from her bosses: she had to be let go.

“I was shocked,” she said. “It was totally unexpected. Yet, I was prepared. Whenever that day came, I was prepared.”

She said the brass told her the move was purely economic. Her ratings were fine.  But she aired at a time when the station generates relatively fewer dollars (10 p.m. to 2 a.m  Sunday through Thursday.) The station, which is going  jockless during “Quiet Storm” for now, may seek a cheaper syndicated solution. “I am not bitter,” she said. “It’s just a time to readjust and keep moving forward.”

Rick Caffey, the market manager who runs the station locally, declined to comment about why he let go Littel (he’s not big about discussing personnel issues) but he hopes to have a replacement for that time frame no …

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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. …

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Remember ‘Teen Wolf’? MTV shooting pilot of TV version in Atlanta

‘Teen Wolf’ as a TV series

  • Brilliant! Enough with the vampires. Bring on the werewolves – with a side of teen angst!
  • Another sign of the creative abyss that is Hollywood

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I hear MTV, which recently shot its horror flick “My Super Psycho Sweet 16″ in Atlanta, is back in town to shoot a TV version of the ’80s camp comedy “Teen Wolf,” which starred Michael J. Fox.

The new version stars Tyler Posey, who’s a regular on ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights.” (The fact that he’s doing this show indicates “Lincoln Heights” is probably not coming back.)

The creator of “Criminal Minds” penned this pilot, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The show will focus around the dorky teen wolf, Scott McCall (Posey), as he maneuvers his way through high school after he gets a bunch of superpowers, including the ability to attract the ladies, after a wolf attack. No word on if Jacob Black will be making any appearances.

It’s only a pilot. There’s no guarantee …

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Monstrous ratings for AFC/NFC football games

The riveting Minnesota Vikings/New Orleans Saints overtime game Sunday night on Fox brought in monstrous ratings locally and nationally.

Nationally, the NFC Championship game drew 57.9 million viewers, Nielsen reports. That’s more than twice as much as “American Idol” last week. And it’s the second highest NFC game ever in terms of ratings. The highest was 1982 (49ers/Cowboys) with 68.7 million, which featured the Joe Montana to Dwight Clark “catch.” Last year’s NFC championship (Arizona/Philadelphia), which aired in the afternoon, took home 38.4 million.

Locally, the game did better than the national average with a 36.2 rating and 49 percent of TVs that were on tuned to the game on Fox. (Nationally, those numbers were 30.6/45). That equals 2.26 million people, peaking at 2.6 million at 10 p.m.. For a relative scale, the typical top-rated show in Atlanta might draw 300,000 to 400,000 viewers. UGA games often draw 600,000 to 700,000, as does “American Idol.”

The AFC game …

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New radio station coming on 102.9

Last year, for a brief moment last April, Atlanta had a rival to Hot 107.9 called Streetz 102.9. It only aired a couple of days before it was unceremoniously yanked.

The problem: a former executive for Radio One had purchased the signal, using a nephew Keenan Heard as cover, but proceeded to air mixes of songs that folks at Hot 107.9 recognized. Radio One sued the exec Steve Hegwood and his company Extreme Media for stealing proprietary goods and got him to take Streetz off the streets. The lawsuit also claimed Hegwood purchased the rival signal before he had even left Radio One.

Recently, the two sides settled. The result: Radio One got the 102.9 translator signal and plans to air something. The likeliest candidate, given that the company specializes in formats geared to African Americans, is an older-skewing R&B station, along the lines of Kiss 104.1. (Radio One’s Majic plays oldies, too, but of more recent vintage than Kiss, in general.)

Tim Davies, market manager over at …

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Usher creates TNT video to promote NBA All Star Game

This is what one would call Atlanta synergy: TNT has joined forces with local R&B crooner Usher in a marketing campaign to promote the upcoming 2010 NBA All Star game Feb. 14. They’ll be using his song “More,” and he shot a special video for TNT. Here’s a clip:

From the press release:

Usher’s full-length music video for “More” will debut in 600 Regal Cinemas on more than 4,000 screens across the country.

“Usher’s “More’’ is the perfect song to depict the energy, intensity and drama of the NBA and a great metaphor for what it takes to become an NBA All-Star,” said Craig Barry, senior vice president/creative director of Turner Sports. “NBA All-Star is about honoring the league’s brightest stars and providing a weekend of entertainment and excitement to the fans. This is the perfect stage for Usher who is both a huge fan and a captivating entertainer.”

“As a huge fan of the NBA I had a great time working with TNT to shoot a new video for NBA All-Star that infuses basketball …

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Groove 105.7 goes for personality over music in mornings

This was my weekly print column from a week ago. For some reason, it never posted. So here it is:Groove 1057

FM radio stations typically face two options when it comes to morning radio: focus on music or focus on personalities.

The former strategy is low cost, low risk, modest reward. Hip-hop station 95.5/The Beat and rock station 97.1/The River emulate this philosophy well, playing 10 to 11 songs an hour in the mornings while keeping gab to a minimum.

The latter strategy is high risk, but potentially high reward. The Bert Show on top 40 station Q100 and the Regular Guys on Rock 100.5, which play little or no music, are the financial engines for those particular stations, with deep listener loyalty that’s hard to duplicate.

New dance-pop station Groove 105.7, which boogies from disco to Prince to Lady Gaga, last week launched a personality-packed syndicated morning show led by veteran jock Elvis Duran. The high-energy show features phone pranks, celebrity gossip and topics such as the …

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‘Idol’ tops Atlanta ratings, Miranda Lambert big on Atlanta country radio

I was out last week so here are the ratings for the week of January 11-18 in Atlanta primetime just for the record. The opening episodes of “Idol” broke one million viewers in Atlanta. That doesn’t happen much anymore period.

1. “American Idol,” Fox 1/13: 1.041 million
2. “American Idol,” Fox 1/12: 1.017 million
3. AFC playoffs, CBS 1/17 756,000
4. AFC playoffs, CBS 1/16 620,000
5. House, Fox, 1/11 406,000
6. Fox 5 10 p.m. news, 1/12 399,000
7. Grey’s Anatomy, ABC, 1/14 379,000
8. 60 Minutes, CBS, 1/17 370,000
9. Bones, Fox, 1/14, 369,000
10. 24, Fox, 1/17 350,000
11. Golden Globes, NBC, 1/17 328,000
12. Bachelor, ABC, 1/11 299,000
13. Simpsons, Fox 1/13, 295,000
14. Private Practice, 1/14, 292,000
15. Desperate Housewives, 1/17, 282,000
16. Fringe, Fox, 1/11 270,000
17. The Mentalist CBS, 1/14, 263,000
18. NCIS CBS 1/12 261,000
19. CSI, CBS 1/14, 250,000
20. Fox 5 at 10, Fox 1/13 248,000

SOURCE: Nielsen Media

Some top cable shows nationally
–As usual, the WWE on USA drew …

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TV best bets with ‘Damages,’ Grammy Awards, end of ‘Dollhouse’

It’s a fairly routine week in TV.

The most notable series return is FX’s critically acclaimed and often convoluted drama “Damages” Monday night starring Glenn Close.

The most notable departure is Fox’s “Dollhouse” on Friday. This Joss Whedon-created drama probably would have thrived on SyFy but died after two seasons on Fox:

And the show that used to matter many years ago: the Miss America pageant is on TLC Saturday night.

 

Plus, the Grammys arrive on CBS Sunday with many of the usual suspects. In case you care, here is a quick review of the nominations:

MONDAY
“The Bachelor” 8 p.m. ABC — Jake takes ladies on trips to Big Sur, a winery and dune-buggy racing.
Chuck” 8 p.m. NBC — Chuck meets a love interest on a plane while on his first solo spy mission.
Top Gear” 8 p.m. BBC America (13th season debut) — The hosts race from London to Edinburgh via train, car and motorcycle.
Damages” 10 p.m. FX (third season debut) — Patty helps victims of a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi …

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‘Street Court’ is in session in Atlanta

Judge Mazz grills a defendant Leon Lott in Atlanta over $1,500 he owes his ex-fiance's sister

Judge Mazz grills a defendant Leon Lott in Atlanta over $1,500 he owes his ex-fiance’s sister

In 1981, avuncular Judge Joseph Wapner hosted a little show called “People’s Court,” where Wapner dropped the gavel on people’s small claims cases. This was an early example of “reality TV” featuring everyday people with everyday problems.

The show became a huge hit, spawning an entire sub-genre of TV that has since taken time slots away from game shows, soaps and talk shows during the day. Today, there a dozen judge shows trolling the airwaves, from “Judge Judy” to “Judge Mathis.” They all hew to the original “People’s Court” formula: an austere wood-lined faux courtroom featuring a judge behind a desk wearing a black robe and a stern bailiff by his or her side.

This past fall, “Street Court” arrived to break down those walls. Brooklyn Italian Michael Mazzariello, who goes by Judge Mazz, dispenses with the robe and takes the show on the road, going to the scene of the crime when …

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