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Ryan Seacrest loses his Star 94 weekday gig

ryan_seacrestStarting this week, Dunwoody High School grad Ryan Seacrest is off Star 94’s weekday lineup several months before his two-year syndication deal is up.

In early 2009, Seacrest started in mid-days at Star, then moved to afternoons a couple months later after Cindy & Ray were shifted to mornings. He did okay, certainly no worse than the rest of the station. And he was a cheaper alternative than hiring another jock while giving the station the sheen of Seacrest’s celebrity.

But a few months later, Star 94 actually did hire another jock: Chase Daniels. Suddenly, the station had enough full-time DJs so it didn’t really need Seacrest. In fact, until this week, Heather Branch and Daniels had relatively truncated air shifts to accommodate Seacrest, who moved back to a mid-day slot.

Ryan Seacrest's departure from Star 94's weekday lineup

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As quickly as he arrived, Seacrest’s syndicated show seemed superfluous to a station that has now recommitted itself to an all-day local lineup. (Radio blogger Roddy Freeman, who broke the news yesterday, dubbed Seacrest’s syndicated show “canned and bland.”)

It doesn’t appear Seacrest’s departure will mean much to the station in the grand scheme of things. Star’s ratings have suffered the past few years, partly because of Q100’s growth and its inability to build a morning show that could reach the heights of Steve & Vikki in the 1990s.

Nonetheless, Seacrest has a special connection with Star 94.

Seacrest began his career at Star in the early 1990s. As an ambitious high school student, he became an eager student to Tommy Sullivan, then an evening jock. He eventually got a job as a fill-in and weekend jock for the station while still in high school.

After a brief stint at the University of Georgia, Seacrest moved to Los Angeles and got a gig at a station called Star 98.7. In 2002, he began hosting “Idol,” the job that made him who he is today. It propelled him forward, enabling him to expand his brand into TV production (”Keeping Up With the Kardashians”), his E! hosting duties, ABC New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, his morning KIIS-FM syndicated morning show, a syndicated afternoon show and the American Top 40 countdown show. And I’m probably not covering everything.

But all is not lost for Seacrest fans. Star still airs his weekend countdown show.

Sullivan, who left Star 94 in 2008, remains in touch with Seacrest after all these years. “He took a lot of pride being on Star,” Sullivan said. “He really customized content for the station.” While Sullivan admires how well Star made the show sound seamless, “I didn’t feel a connection to it.” He said he told Ryan, “It sounds good but there’s no relatability to the live factor” since the show was taped. [Indeed, as Roddy noted, Star would insert Chase Daniels into the show to do live local endorsements, traffic and contesting.]

I have left messages with GM Rick Mack and PD J.R. Ammons for comment and will add anything if I get it.

Seacrest’s contract with Clear Channel Radio is up at the end of the year, too, leading to speculation about his next step, which could be another talk show (his last one in 2004 failed) or taking over for Larry King on CNN. In fact, he told Forbes in a story that came out later Tuesday that he won’t renew with Clear Channel. This could make Star’s move merely a prelude to the inevitable.

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36 comments Add your comment

AB

June 29th, 2010
9:34 am

Seacrest’s Out! First.

Huh?

June 29th, 2010
10:27 am

A bland, no talent clown is no longer on a station that plays bland, boring music.
A real loss for 13 year old girls and moronic adults everywhere.

TrafficHeadache

June 29th, 2010
11:09 am

He’s a Hollywood tool whose pay does not commensurate with what little talent he has.

Chuck

June 29th, 2010
11:42 am

The notion that there are people who would call themselves ‘fans’ of Seacrest just boggles my mind. There’s no ‘there’ there…

karen

June 29th, 2010
11:50 am

I quit listening to Star 94 in the afternoons when Ryan started. His show was so bland and boring. If I didn’t change the station I could have fallen asleep on my drive home! I liked Cindy and Ray in the afternoons.

Rich

June 29th, 2010
11:52 am

I think he is a great guy. He does his job well and the shows are always clean for everyone to listen to.

Jason

June 29th, 2010
11:54 am

Seacrest is, perhaps, one of the most overrated talents in broadcasting. Those who drool over him for whatever reason have likely not listened to his morning show in Los Angeles. Phoners with girls about celeb news. Yawn. Just as Roddy Freeman states, “canned and bland.” And this is the live version I’m talking about. Hey, he’s done well, but a thing called luck, not talent, has helped to pave his way. Am I jealous? No. Envious? Yes.

Dan Deacon

June 29th, 2010
11:55 am

Great music without so many commercials and carrying on is hard to find. Has anyone listened to
an internet station devoted to playing on Georgia music artists? It’s
http://www.georgiamusicchannel.com
Just sharing some good stuff!! Enjoy.

Dan Deacon

June 29th, 2010
11:56 am

Should have states “devoted to playing only Georgia music artists.”

Kristen

June 29th, 2010
12:03 pm

I cannot wait to hear more of Chase, he is awesome!

[...] him go” on Friday but keeping his A.T. 40 countdown on Sunday’s.   Read two blogs.  Rodney Ho (AJC) and Roddy [...]

Phil

June 29th, 2010
12:22 pm

Chase is not awesome, he’s a bad look and sound for that station. Star tries to be hip but every jock on is far from it. From Cindy and Ray to what they call a night show but is actually a condescending ego maniac, it’s just blah

Rodney Ho Moe

June 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

Rodney thinks Seacrest is sexy

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

June 29th, 2010
1:02 pm

Melaine

June 29th, 2010
1:07 pm

Anything will be better than listening to all the celebrity gossip crap that fills more than half his show.

What

June 29th, 2010
1:16 pm

What is seacreast’s “talent?” (why does he make millions????)

Michael C

June 29th, 2010
1:29 pm

Once again a crap article. You and Seacrest are nothing but tools.
How do you keep this job??

Jeff

June 29th, 2010
1:57 pm

Folks, this is no big deal… we could have seen this coming months ago. To me, it’s a simple question of demographics. To those of you in my age range (mid 30s to mid 40s)… what did we do in the mid 1980s? We listened to the radio ALL the time. Why? It was the ONLY place to hear all the latest music and the only place to hear the latest hit singles from our favorite rock groups. I remember vividly the days and nights as a teenager, listening to 96 Rock, Z-93, Power 99, etc. etc.

Now fast forward 25 years to 2010… imagine you’re a 15-year-old kid… is radio that big a priority anymore? NO. They have Ipods and phones and play music and online music stations and CDs burn from their computer and 800 cable TV options and Netflix and Playstations etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. See where I’m going? the entertainment options are MUCH more vast (to compare, when I was a teen, my parents didn’t have cable nor a video game machine… so I was stuck with 5 or 6 Atlanta area TV stations and my radio and my Sony Walkman that played cassettes.)

The music industry has not grown and changed appropriately… it’s why CD sales are down, the Napster and online issues have come up, and why radio stations are struggling. IN MY OPINION, one reason is that the powers-that-be are ONLY trying cater to the 13-to-25 crowd, DESPERATE to get teens and young adults hooked onto their product. Sadly, that ignores a huge segment of the population — financially secure, intelligent, ADULTS who have buying power. Yet advertisements and music and entertainment seem to ignore you if you’re over 35.

Solutions? quit catering to the 13-year-old girl market (Justin Beiber needs to be sent to Mars). Quit making everything so instant and shallow — develop some REAL BANDS who write REAL MUSIC, not just some hip-hop-sounding wanna-be. And don’t make 8,000 changes a YEAR on your radio station just because the Arbitron ratings show you slipped a few points… you HAVE to give DJs, shows and program formats time to WORK (and that means more than a few months.)

If people do all that, along with paying attention to and seeking what adult audiences might actually like, then I think things will be fine. But if you are a radio excec or record producer and all you want to do is find the next teen-star-boy-band-rap-star to be the flavor of the month… well, then, good luck chasing your tail.

Stale

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

All these shows just talk about what was on TV last night and what’s going to be on tonight…thrilling stuff…

Orff

June 29th, 2010
2:23 pm

You mean canned, bland, syndicated radio DOESN’T work in a city that loves it’s local talent? Get out of town. Later Ryan, see you December 31st.

Toren Forbes

June 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

can you SPELL….LOOOOOSerrrrrrrrrrr

LYNN

June 29th, 2010
3:20 pm

I will miss him- People are so mean to say these things. I like him- His ego does not rest on the ceiling like some others. He and JulieAnne make an adorable couple.

David

June 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

I agree with Jeff. He’s hit the nail on the head!
I also agree with the comments about Seacrest’s “talent”…..don’t think he has any…..

Barry

June 29th, 2010
3:48 pm

This is an internal human resources issue being harvested by a greedy and lazy media.It is certainly not newsworthy in any sense,any more than second rate talent shows are entertainment. We are being dumbed down at an alarming rate….

Mountain Man

June 29th, 2010
4:08 pm

Where’s Gary McKee, Yetta, Willis the Guard? Star 94 started circling the drain when they changed their call letters.

1911A1

June 29th, 2010
4:23 pm

Jeff FTW, and I second Mountain Man’s opinion. 94Q, we miss ya.

Lucy Grace

June 29th, 2010
4:25 pm

Ditto Jeff. Mountain Man…I think Willis the Guard died. Seems like I heard that some years ago.

Jeff

June 29th, 2010
5:01 pm

Thanks David, 1911A1, Lucy…. I appreciate it. I’m glad it’s not just me…. I think radio in Atlanta has dropped in quality at an alarming rate… I think we had better stations, programming, variety, on-air talent, and management in the 70s and 80s and 90s. When everybody when “corporate” and panicked at every Arbitron rating each month and started shifting DJs around almost weekly, people lost touch with our stations and lost a connection that seemed to be pretty strong years ago.

I miss the days of Z-93, 94-Q, 96 Rock, WSB-FM 98.5, Power 99, etc. Each station seemed to appreciate its own niche and its own audience. Heck, I can STILL remember the 96 Rock on-air lineup from 25 years ago! Mark and Steve in the mornings, John Boy mid-day, Kady Kiley (sp?) in the afternoon drive, Willard at night, and McKenzie Scott and her sultry voice on the overnight shift.

Radio in Atlanta may not be completely dead, but it’s on life support… thank God for my Sirius satellite radio and my Ipod.

Johnny O

June 29th, 2010
6:36 pm

Even I’m a fan of Star 94. In fact, I admire them so much that I decided to have a “commercial free” ride home just like them. The truth is that I play commercials, but I thought the name sounded cool.

Highlander

June 29th, 2010
7:23 pm

I don’t have anything against Ryan or his show. I can take it or leave it. But that goes for most of the radio jocks I’ve heard in Atlanta.

DJ’s like Gary McKee (and some of the others previously mentioned) had a great radio voice AND great wit. They got their point across in a couple minutes (sometimes seconds) and moved on to the music!

Lately, it seems most of these programs are more “talk radio” than “music radio.” And if I’m listening to what ’s supposed to be a music station, I want to hear MUSIC! Not 30 minutes of mostly mindless banter!

Tiny

June 29th, 2010
8:40 pm

Star 94 is terrible. They have made so many mistakes over there. The PD needs to be out on the street and replaced with someone who doesnt have their head up their butt

Likes Music not Stupid Bantor

June 29th, 2010
9:07 pm

The whole thing about radio “MUSIC” stations is that they don’t play enough music to keep me interested and I know I’m not alone. Who wants to sit in Atlanta traffic for hours and listen to stupid jokes by morons? The only people who think they are entertaining are themselves! What I want to hear is MUSIC. I counted one morning and in the 45 minutes I was in traffic, I heard 2 songs and the rest was imbecilic opinions from “dj”s, if that’s what you want to call them. Isn’t that overkill on the talk side?

Shari

June 30th, 2010
4:56 am

Hmmm, there was some talk years ago that Ryan was slated to replace Larry King..we’ll see.

Suprise...surprise !

June 30th, 2010
12:35 pm

Now, we know who will take Larry King’s gig !

war eagle

June 30th, 2010
1:01 pm

ryan is not a good looking dude-and he is boring on dick clarks rockin eve-which is getting worse and worse every yr-dick sounds like an 89 yr old man-they need Ted Nugent to do that gig. Or Ringo Starr or Julian Lennon. Hey Ryan! BALL GAME-You’re out! and Star 94?-stick a fork in it-you are done.

Garrett Daskawicz

July 2nd, 2010
2:49 pm

aww no more american idol chat boo hoo