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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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B98.5 nixes the Steve & Vikki Show

steve mccoy

B98.5 has decided to end the Steve and Vikki Show less than two years after a ballyhooed launch in 2008.  Steve McCoy is out for sure, confirmed a Cox Radio official close to the situation who declined to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to give out such information.

Tony Kidd, Cox Radio market manager, said he wasn’t ready to discuss the situation just yet.

The pair’s contract is up June 30. B98.5 decided to take them off the air early because the soft-rock station had a deadline to give Steve & Vikki a third year. Management has chosen not to take the option.

Steve & Vikki on B98.5

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A friend close to Vikki Locke said she has an offer to stay on, perhaps as a solo morning host, starting July 1. She has not made up her mind but has until next week to say yes or no.

If she doesn’t, B98.5 could bring back Kelly Stevens and Alpha Trivette, the former morning team who helmed the B98.5 morning slot for nearly a decade. The team has not been able to find a radio job since B98.5 let them go in 2008.

Steve & Vikki have been together for more than two decades, most of it at Star 94, where they thrived for many years as the source for soccer moms across metro Atlanta. Star, wanting to veer younger, decided to dismiss them in 2007. B98.5 hired them soon after in 2008. They returned to the air in July, 2008.

Management figured they were a perfect fit for the B98.5 demographic, which is older than that of Star 94.

Steve & Vikki have drawn decent ratings but  probably not as good as B98.5 had hoped. Worse yet, the economy took a dive soon after they were hired, hindering B98.5’s ability to offset the higher costs of the morning show compared to the more economical Kelly & Alpha.

Steve & Vikki’s morning numbers lagged far behind B98.5’s  mid-day and afternoon time periods, though the station’s emphasis over the years has been to get the “listen while you work” crowd. And since the new people meter measurements have been in place, B98.5 has done extremely well. It even landed at No. 1 during the Christmas holiday season.

As of late evening Thursday night, the Steve & Vikki show remained on the Web site www.b985.com. Ironically, at 11:24 p.m., about 12 hours after McCoy was told the news, WXIA-TV ran an ad featuring Steve & Vikki advertising a free trip to see “American Idol.” The title said that B98.5 is the “new home of Steve and Vikki in the morning.” Yes, they still use “new” after all this time.

The staff has been informed of the situation Thursday. They will go to a more music format for now, led by producer Will Gara. [UPDATE: Steve & Vikki were indeed not on the air Friday morning and Gara was covering. The show aired from 5 to 9 a.m.]

Though B98.5 has emphasized more music, less personality over the years, management saw an opportunity when Steve & Vikki became available. Arguably, since B98.5 is the only pure adult contemporary station in the market, hiring Steve & Vikki was insurance nobody else would hire the pair and take on B98.5 directly. Indeed, nobody has, though 105.7/The Groove and Star 94 are certainly pivoting toward their audience.

There have been management shifts. Two big supporters of Steve & Vikki when they got there are no longer at B98.5: former VP/general manager Dave Meszaros and former market manager Chris Wegmann.

Steve & Vikki more or less replicated their Star 94 show on B98.5.  Program directors came and went trying to tweak it to their liking. Clearly, it didn’t work out.

McCoy has not returned a call for comment. In 2007 and 2008, McCoy didn’t talk about his departure from Star 94 until he was hired by B98.5.

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335 comments Add your comment

Kat

February 25th, 2010
3:25 pm

Maybe it’s the music, and not the hosts?

netradiojock

February 25th, 2010
3:36 pm

Take away the music and focus on talk on the morning show.

RJ

February 25th, 2010
3:38 pm

Our office stopped listening because of the music. Kelly Clarkson all the time. And, how long can it be the “New” home of Steve and Vicki. They are not your problem..It’s your music selection.

Steve "Oldman" & Ickki

February 25th, 2010
3:39 pm

What a lame morning show.
Steve sounds like a guy I would never want to know.
His sidekick is “Grandma Diva.”
Finally Cox does us a favor.

kelly&carriefan

February 25th, 2010
3:45 pm

Mannnn, Kelly Clarkson all the time!? Where the HECK have I been?!

Hey, Rodney!! “See you @ my home away from home!” ;)

Brainstorm

February 25th, 2010
3:57 pm

Wow! The radio biz is brutal, if this is true. But I would not mind having Kelly & Alpha back! What are the odds of that happening?

Lisa

February 25th, 2010
4:12 pm

Ugh…not Kelly & Alpha.

K&AFan

February 25th, 2010
4:18 pm

I haven’t listened since THEY cancelled Kelly & Alpha. Bring ‘Em Back!! You know they had the best ratings in their market segment. Do yourselves a favor!

RTibbs

February 25th, 2010
4:22 pm

Kate McCarthy in the Mornings. Coming soon.

Kittenmommy

February 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

I haven’t listened to B 98.5 at all since they hired that smarmy jerk and his braying nitwit sidekick. I’m glad they’re gone. Bring back Kelly and Alpha!!!

radiodaze

February 25th, 2010
4:32 pm

Sounds like their management couldn’t handle a Ferrari. Who’s better for the educated listener?

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
4:33 pm

Multiple comments on this… first of all, any station owned by Cox Radio is going to be a disaster… they destroy anything they touch. They are inept at managing anything. I would not put Cox radio in charge of a little league hot dog stand, much less a major-market radio station.

Second of all, I have enjoyed listening to Steve & Vikki over the years… some of us in our 30s get sick of the sophomoric, frat-boy humor that dominates a lot of radio station morning shows. Some of us are more mature than The Regular Guys crap… we would like something slightly better. Radio programmers seem to forget that the MAJORITY of radio listeners are between 30 and 50… people under 30 almost exclusively use iPods, music on their computers, music on their phones, etc. People from 30 to 50 are the ones commuting to work, working in offices, etc., and THAT group is the majority of radio listeners, NOT a bunch of 22-year-olds… so please quit catering to that age group!!!

Finally, radio programmers, producers and ownership groups need to realize that IT’S NOT 1977 ANYMORE!!! What I mean by that is that radio and TV ratings numbers don’t mean crap anymore, because there are INFINITE choices for consumers now. When I was a kid in 1977, there were 3 network TV stations in Atlanta, Channel 17, Channel 46, and a couple of PBS stations… a half-dozen options. On the radio, there was pretty much Z-93, WQXI, Peach, 96 Rock, Warm 100, Kicks 101, and Y-106… that and 3 or 4 AM stations, and those were your choices. Unless you had a car cassette player, those 8 to 10 stations got 95 percent of the audience. Now, in 2010, there are a dozen more FM stations, probably a few more AM stations, PLUS MP-3 players PLUS car CD players PLUS iPod connections PLUS iPhones… in other words, getting a solid Arbitron number is going to be much harder these days. Besides, radio listenership has ALWAYS been hard to guage… why still base things on an antiquated, unreliable system?

If you have a good, loyal audience, stay true to them… don’t make changes every other year… don’t try ideas all over the board… and for god’s sake, don’t try to compare yourselves to 30 years ago!

The radio & TV world is a different place nowadays… it’s time that media groups and programmers realized that.

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
4:34 pm

Bring back Kelly and Alpha and give them the same format as Steve and Vikki so they have more time to display their personalities and abilities.

Petunia

February 25th, 2010
4:36 pm

Bring back Kelly and Alpha!!!

gin

February 25th, 2010
4:36 pm

Well Jeff…if you talk as much as you type you couldn’t work for Cox anyway…it’s all about the music.

Kittenmommy

February 25th, 2010
4:40 pm

I agree with Jeff above – that would be unbelievably awesome! :D

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
4:47 pm

Hey, gin, sorry… i am long-winded sometimes! LOL But sometimes you gotta be to explain a point THOROUGHLY.

What B-98.5 is doing is the same as all these other stations… Z-93/Dave FM, Star 94, Project CRAP-9-6, 99X, etc. etc. etc… they wonder why their ratings don’t match up to 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago… and they base ad rates on THOSE stats. You just can’t do that in 2010.

I think if you find a niche audience and play THEIR music (hint to B-985… a few more lost classics and secondary hits from artists in the 70s and 80s and early 90s… a few less songs from 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson, Rob Thomas, etc.)… and if you find some personalities that are genuine and likeable… then you will be FINE. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel… we as an audience just don’t want to hear the same songs 10 times a week, and we don’t want announcers and hosts that TRY too darn hard! Just be yourselves!

Heck, if you guys will pay me and Kittenmommy HALF of what you give to big-time celebrities like Steve, Vikki, Kelly, Alpha, etc. than WE will come chat and play good music every single morning!

(Hope that’s ok that I volunteered you, Kittenmommy!)

Reg

February 25th, 2010
4:48 pm

B98.5 is looking forward…not back…Kelly & Alpha will never return.

Lame show

February 25th, 2010
4:56 pm

I can’t stand that producer Will.
That guy is lame and should be tending bar.

Bob

February 25th, 2010
4:56 pm

Gary & Yetta, Steve & Vikki, Chase & Woodside, Rhubarb Jones…Real personalities, real radio. Z93, 94Q, Peach, 96 Rock, Power 99…Those were the days. Nothing compares.

As for mornings, Jimmy Baron on Z93 is a nice guy but the music is horrible (format flip coming soon), and anyway, DAVE-FM is a suck name for a radio station. Snore 94 is all jangly guitar-rock under the false “Atlanta’s Hit Music” slogan. I stopped paying attnetion to Clear Channel stations so I have no idea what’s on 94.9, and 96.1 had a retard on for a while, right? THA-NOO 97.1 the River is the same 40 songs over and over. B98.5 is out now. I used to enjoy Bert on Q100 but now it’s all fake voice disguiser crap and “How much did Bert drink this weekend?” I hate country and I’m not a homeboy prone to listening to V103.

Maybe the new WZGC will be interesting. How about a current-based Hot AC with Steve McCoy in the morning?

Bill

February 25th, 2010
5:00 pm

Apparently there is no talent outside of Atlanta, GA so, let’s all make a list of who’s been fired, left on their own and even retired from this market and pick only from them. Steve and Vikki get another 6 month sabbatical and then get back in line for another trip through the radio revolving door!

Barbara

February 25th, 2010
5:07 pm

It is about time B98.5 wakes up and gets rid of those 2.They are the most annoying people on the face of the earth.
I have not listened to B98.5 since they let Kelly and Alpha go.
BRING THEM BACK

McCoy posts

February 25th, 2010
5:17 pm

How many of these positive posts are from either Steve’s keyboard or that of his “dragon lady” wife?

Norine Garey

February 25th, 2010
5:21 pm

PLEASE bring Kelly and Alpha back! I have not listened to 98.5 in the morning since they left but I will be a devoted fan again when they return. Thank you!

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
5:35 pm

By the way, no offense ot some people, but are Kelly and Alpha THAT interesting? Always sounded to me like two accountants talking at a coffee shop… not interesting at ALL. I am sure they are nice people, but I think they need to find some LIVELY people with personality.

By the way, I like Bob’s comments… I forgot about the Power 99 days back in the mid-to-late 1980s… that was THE station when I was in high school! I miss the days of 1980s Atlanta radio… was beter quality stuff then.

And does anybody other than 15-year-old girls and 22-year-old skater and snowboard frat boys listen to Star 94 anymore? Every time I hear it it’s playing some mind-numbing hip-hop trash or John Mayer for the 1,000th time… I have not listened to them 10 years since they dropped the Friday Night 80s.

I hope Steve McCoy lands somewhere… I’ve always liked him and his personality and he’s really an Atlanta icon… I can’t keep up with new people in the revolving door of radio personalities in the Atlanta market (what was that Morning Mess crap on 94 for like 3 months)?

Oh, well, to each his own.

WSB FM

February 25th, 2010
5:51 pm

Cox Market Manager Tony Kidd uses a radio name.
His real name is Anthony Keit. What a business!!
It’s like your CPA using a bogus name just in case you get audited by the IRS.
“Excuse me is Mr. Keit in? He’s not? Could I speak with Mr. Kidd. . great..I’ll hold.”

sue

February 25th, 2010
6:37 pm

I was a loyal 98.5 listemer for years. Kelly & Alpha left and so did I. (Been loyal to the Bert Show 99.7 since – B98.5 is going to have a tough time getting me back) Here’s a thought; give K&A the gig back for 6 months. Let them run it how they see fit. (They are the experts!!!) If they do well, extend the contract, set new goals… repeat.

Kelly

February 25th, 2010
6:41 pm

Bring back Kelly & Alpha! What else needs to be said? Oh, and get rid of Will too!

THE FLASH

February 25th, 2010
6:43 pm

Steve McCoy wasn’t fired … his SALARY was fired! Too bad, because S & V were the right show for the right audience, saddled with a terrible music selection!

Frank

February 25th, 2010
7:00 pm

About time…. Atlanta has changed over the last 20 years and it is about time Steve and Vicki move on… They should have left Atlanta after they were off the air on Star…

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
7:05 pm

Nobody has answered my question yet… what is the appeal of Kelly and Alpha? Not being mean, I’m just asking an objective question… why are they so popular? Every time I heard them they just seemed dry, boring and uninteresting… I did not know they sparked such fierce allegiance from people, but apparently they do. Just asking what the draw is for them….

To be honest, you could put ANYBODY in that slot, and as long as they had a lively show, played GOOD music and had quality news, weather and traffic, they would be a good-sized audience of people 30 to 50.

Janice

February 25th, 2010
7:13 pm

THANK GOODNESS. If I had to hear the producer Will and the uninvited guest stories one more time…… That was the most stupid segment ever!!!!!
Not to mention the music selection. Please make a good choice this time around.

null

February 25th, 2010
7:13 pm

Steve and Vicki sucked. End of story. They overstayed their welcome in Atlanta by about 25 years. Not to say anyone else is any better. Atlanta radio sucks as a whole.

Rick&BubbaFan

February 25th, 2010
7:14 pm

Bring on Rick & Bubba!!!

Good News!

February 25th, 2010
7:16 pm

Their act was old years ago. Bring in some edgier stuff with more music. Drop the soccer mom show–too boring.

Julio

February 25th, 2010
7:18 pm

Maybe 98.5 needs to come up with a neat catch phrase to really bring in the listeners, like “more music, all the time” or “music matters” or give themselves a weird name like Dave or Bill.

JD in Marietta

February 25th, 2010
7:20 pm

Steve and Ickie are likes fingernails on a chalkboard;unbearable to listen to. I’ve never heard 1 funny thing come out of their mouth in 15 years of listening to Atlanta radio. Good move 98.5; cut your losses and get rid of these 2 lame egomaniacs of radio.

TPM

February 25th, 2010
7:22 pm

Something does not add up. Their last ratings book was excellent.

KK

February 25th, 2010
7:27 pm

What about Greaseman? Anyone know where to find him???

kennyh

February 25th, 2010
7:29 pm

xm and who cares..lol

BlondeHoney

February 25th, 2010
7:35 pm

Turned off terrestrial radio 4 years ago & have never looked back. Sirius XM all the way…and bababooey to ya’ll :)

Dennis

February 25th, 2010
7:36 pm

I liked the Uninvited Guest stories and so did everyone in my office.

esa

February 25th, 2010
7:42 pm

“Vikki Locke said she has an option to stay on, perhaps as a solo morning host”

Please kill me before that happens. It doesn’t have to be quick or painless. Just make sure it’s done before she goes on air.

Randy

February 25th, 2010
7:43 pm

I’m with Jeff. They don’t get it. 97.1 The River another example. hey you’re not “new” anymore. It’s the music. All these stations have a very narrow play list. They play the same songs till the kill them and then keep going with. Put Jeff and me on in the morning and you’d have something!

Junior Boss Jock

February 25th, 2010
7:43 pm

Greaseman is back in Jacksonville on the classic rock station that hosts Bubba the Love Sponge.

Don

February 25th, 2010
7:51 pm

They played the most irritating music to wake up to at 6:00 a.m. and the mindless chatter between the two of them certainly didn’t keep my attention either. I hope the station comes up with something that’s geared to the demographics they are supposedly trying to reach.

Radio GaGa

February 25th, 2010
7:55 pm

I never could understand the attraction of Steve & Vikki. The music sucks as well. Too much teenie bop and quasi-thug noise on the air. Let the ghetto stations play that sh*t.

xm in the a.m. and sports in the afternoon

February 25th, 2010
7:55 pm

Steve has always sounded like a phony, with that used car salesman fake enthusiasm. Vickie? Well, Willis the guard was a radio personality for years so I guess anyone can do it. Maybe 98.5 should try to talk McKee out of retirement. Or just cut their losses and shut down like their newspaper is doing.

Switched to Satellite

February 25th, 2010
7:55 pm

Thank Goodness for SIRIUS-XM !!!!!!

NorthGaDawg

February 25th, 2010
7:59 pm

Atlanta radio & most everywhere else plain out sucks. If you don’t like hip hop or whiny pretty boy bands, you’re out of luck. I miss the days of Power 99 and even Star 94 when it was good. 97.1 the River would be good if they would realize there are more songs they could play than the same 20 or 30 songs. I also miss 96 Rock……. & they wonder why sat. radio & mp3s have so many fans!