Rashan Ali has rejoined Ryan Cameron, this time at V-103.
Cameron, now an afternoon host, gave Ali her big break on radio in 2002 on his morning show on rival Hot 107.9. He left for V-103 in early 2005, but Ali stayed behind, leading her own morning show until Hot dumped that show in 2008 for Rickey Smiley. She left Hot last May.
In the meantime, she has since had her second baby and awaited her next big career move. “It’s been a journey going from billboards to walking to the unemployment line pregnant,” she said on the air today. “Just to be able to come back is a true blessing.”
In an interview Saturday morning, Ali said the deal had been in the works for a long time but declined to detail why it took as long as it did. She signed the deal on April 12 and kept it under wraps until Friday.
“It was the most obvious place for me to go” after Hot, she said. “It fit so perfectly.” She said V-103 Program Director Reggie Rouse has been after her for awhile, even while she was still at Hot: “To be able to learn under his tutelage is wonderful.”
She did enjoy her break from work to raise her child but was ready to get back to work this year.
Growing up in the 1990s, she listened to Mike & Carol in the morning and Ryan in the evenings. “To be there now is a dream come true,” she said. She said it was a little strange to say “V-103, the people’s station” instead of the various Hot 107.9 slogans. “I had note cards in front me,” she said, to avoid slip ups.
She also signed a deal to do be a “Game Day” reporter for NBA-TV. “I got two jobs in one day!” she said.
Radio revenues are starting to stabilize and even go up at some stations. It appears V-103 is opening up its wallet for Ali, perhaps using money freed from cutting Joyce Littel in January. V-103 remains the top-ranked station in Atlanta by a wide margin.
Ryan has been without a full-time female sidekick since Elle Duncan last year took over the mid-day slot from Porsche Foxx, who was let go late in 2008.
“While everybody is cutting back on personality and talk in today’s PPM world [that's the new meter system], V-103 has stuck by its guns,” said former V-103 morning host Mike Roberts. “It’s a personality-driven radio station. If you’re going to do it, you need strong personalities. It’s a good move for V-103.”
I first posted a rumor of her talks with V-103 back in early February. I figured it was a solid rumor because the players involved didn’t even call me back to tell me they couldn’t talk to me. And after I posted the rumor, I heard absolutely nothing. If it were false, someone would have told me. The boss at V-103, Rick Caffey, is not a fan of personnel leaks. He likely told the parties involved that the deal would be off if they even talked to me.