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Archive for August, 2010

94.9/The Bull loses its program director Scott Lindy

BUS_00029213_0Scott Lindy, the program director who helped give country station 94.9/The Bull a major kick in the ratings, has left the building despite the fact the station just had its best month ever.

“I am not at liberty to discuss it completely because of the situation with the departure,” Lindy said ever so vaguely today. His former boss Clay Hunnicutt also hasn’t returned calls or text messages.

When Lindy arrived early last year, the Bull for two years had stumbled around trying to gain traction against mainstay Kicks 101.5. Lindy helped rejigger the music and the sound, hired Jason Pullman as part of the morning show and lifted the station’s ratings. (Interestingly, Kicks has not been hurt much by the Bull’s pick up. It’s actually held steady and had its best ratings last month in years, ranking second overall in the city behind only V-103.)

Lindy’s well respected in the country music business. He was also operations manager for the entire Clear Channel cluster, including 105.7/The …

Continue reading 94.9/The Bull loses its program director Scott Lindy »

TV best bets with season finales of ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ ‘Leverage,’ ‘Burn Notice’

98898_rising-star-brooke-elliot-in-drop-dead-divaSeveral cable series are wrapping up for the summer this week as the Emmy Awards hit NBC Sunday to celebrate the best of the past year’s programming.

Among those shuttering down until next year include Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” Monday, TNT’s “Hawthorne” Tuesday, “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains’ on USA Thursday, “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet Friday and “Drop Dead Diva” on Lifetime Sunday.

MONDAY
“Bond of Silence” 9 p.m. Lifetime — Kim Raver plays a widow trying to solve the mystery of her husband’s death.
The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT — Pope is still trying to get the police-chief post.
Invitation Only: Miranda Lambert” 9 p.m. CMT — The best female country singer today this side of Carrie Underwood.
“If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” 9 p.m. HBO — Spike Lee’s follow-up to “When the Levees Broke” from 2006. Part one. Part two is on Tuesday.
“2010 Miss Universe Pageant” 9 p.m. NBC — Bret Michaels and Natalie Morales host.
“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” 10 …

Continue reading TV best bets with season finales of ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ ‘Leverage,’ ‘Burn Notice’ »

WABE-FM beefs up its news staff, grows its audience

News director Michael Fields, morning host Steve Goss, GM John Weatherford and "Second Cup" host Lois Reitzes on August 19, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

News director Michael Fields, morning host Steve Goss, GM John Weatherford and "Second Cup" host Lois Reitzes on August 19, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This is an extended version of the column that’s running in print Monday:

When John Weatherford took over as general manager of public radio station 90.1/WABE-FM six years ago, the newsroom consisted of just two reporters and two part-time announcers. Today, the station is about to hire its 10th full-time newsroom employee.

As other radio stations have scaled back local news staffs, WABE has been filling a void. And despite the economy, it’s been growing listeners and individual donor monies.

Weatherford, 66, was himself in front of the camera at Channel 5 from 1977 to 1982 and in TV management for 11 years from 1982 to 1993. He ran a production company after that. His big picture rationale for beefing up the news department:

Whether through radio or some other medium or outlet, I think it’s critically important …

Continue reading WABE-FM beefs up its news staff, grows its audience »

Michael Vick says no to a second season of ‘The Michael Vick Project’ on BET

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CSNPhilly.com reports that BET’s “The Michael Vick Project” is no more.

The show itself didn’t do particularly well earlier this year, and the executive producer before the season began told me it wasn’t meant to be more than one season anyway. But Vick, the former Atlanta Falcon star and current Philadelphia Eagle, confirmed it with CSNPhilly, saying: “I put a stop to that. They asked me to do it. I don’t have that lifestyle.”

The BET show opened Feb. 2 at 1.7 million viewers but fell to 773,000 by week three and 488,000 by episode eight before rebounding to 727,000 for the finale. I didn’t watch anything beyond the first episode so I’m not sure if it was even all that fascinating to follow in and of itself.

The lack of a renewal meant there were no cameras rolling at his birthday party in June which involved a shooting Vick said he had nothing to do with.

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Q100’s Jenn Hobby co-hosting ‘Live With Regis & Kelly’ today

Regis-and-Jenn-HobbyQ100’s Jenn Hobby subbed out for Kelly Ripa this morning on “Live with Regis & Kelly,” one of four radio hosts who won a national contest to be on national TV.

She made no notable snafus and didn’t seem nervous. As a guest host, she wisely let Regis Philbin take the lead, especially during the celebrity interview segments.

Wearing a modest dark blue dress with a black belt, Hobby gave her radio family major props by name. They even aired the moment last week when she found out she made it on Regis.

“We talk about our personal lives,” she said. “We are invested in each other.”

She said she first met Bert Weiss back in 2002, a year before he hired her to replace Lindsay Brien. (She didn’t say it, but she started her radio career at the now-defunct 95.5/The Beat.)

She also told Regis how she met her fiance Grant Rivera, a principal, who was in the audience. Regis asked Grant about how American students are lagging behind others. Grant joked how his students are smarter than he …

Continue reading Q100’s Jenn Hobby co-hosting ‘Live With Regis & Kelly’ today »

New cast photo for season 3 of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’

As earlier reports noted, Lisa Wu Hartwell has been relegated to “recurring” status (like Dwight Eubanks) for season three starting Monday, October 4 at 9 p.m. So she is no longer in the cast photo, which Entertainment Weekly got today:

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From left to right, it’s Phaedra Parks, NeNe Leakes, Shereé Whitfield, Cynthia Bailey, Kim Zolciak, and Kandi Burruss.

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Upcoming season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”

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Phaedra Parks and Cynthia Bailey (right), as noted months ago, are the new cast members.

I can’t embed the code but here’s a link to Bravo’s website with a juicy two-minute trailer for the upcoming season featuring plenty of potentially fun plot elements.

In the trailer, you see NeNe Leakes struggling with her marriage with Gregg, denying she was cheating on him. (”I have never done you …

Continue reading New cast photo for season 3 of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ »

Steven McQueen (’Vampire Diaries’) talks ‘Piranha 3D’

Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles / The CW

Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles / The CW

Steven McQueen. That name sounds a lot like legendary actor Steve McQueen and there’s a reason: he’s a grandson.

The 22-year-old McQueen never had the opportunity to meet the star of “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Great Escape,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “Bullitt.” His grandfather died at the relatively young age of age 50 from cancer in 1980.

Steven R. McQueen was born in 1988.

“It was the name I was born with,” McQueen said over pan-seared scallops at Shout restaurant in Midtown earlier this month. He never thought of changing it.  “People really respected him.”

So far, he’s doing just fine on his own. He got the acting gene, too: he plays a major role in both “Vampire Diaries,” shot here in Atlanta, and a new horror flick “Piranha 3D,” opening Friday.

He had great fun with “Piranha 3D.” As a surfer, he’s used to being in water. His only concession: he quit smoking so he could have better lung capacity …

Continue reading Steven McQueen (’Vampire Diaries’) talks ‘Piranha 3D’ »

Is Dagmar Midcap leaving WGCL?

SP-100-DAGMARNewsblues.com is reporting that popular WGCL-TV CBS Atlanta weather reader Dagmar Midcap is leaving the station later this year, citing an unnamed inside tipster.

Midcap declined to comment and  her news director Steve Schwaid is on vacation.  Midcap joined the station around since 2006 and despite her lack of meteorology credentials, became popular for her looks, fashion and warm, silky voice. The station at one point even placed her on billboards around town.

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I also left a message with Schwaid’s boss Kirk Black.

Doug Richards, before he joined WXIA-TV, on his Live Apartment Fire, dubbed her popularity the “Cult of Dagmar.”

Here’s a photo gallery of Dagmar.

Continue reading Is Dagmar Midcap leaving WGCL? »

Atlantan Tracy Nailor makes it on Fox’s ‘Masterchef’ with Gordon Ramsay

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Atlantan Tracy Nailor became a pediatric doctor many years ago, but she’s always felt as comfortable wielding a kitchen knife as a scalpel.

She is the Atlanta representative who made the top 14 last week on Fox’s new show “MasterChef,” featuring non-chefs who work in other professions vying for $250,000 and a cookbook deal. The ubiquitous Gordon Ramsay is one of the judges.

“It was definitely a huge leap of faith,” she said in an interview last week. “I think the essence of the show is we are all people passionate about cooking whether we have an intention to go into the culinary field or not.”

In the first episode two weeks ago, Nailor told the judges her inspiration was her mom, a great cook, who had died suddenly in 2007 of bacterial meningitis.

“There wasn’t a moment she wasn’t on my mind” while she was cooking, Nailor said.

She said given the time constraints, she purposely chose a family recipe that did not take long to prepare: smothered chicken with braised brussels …

Continue reading Atlantan Tracy Nailor makes it on Fox’s ‘Masterchef’ with Gordon Ramsay »

Norcross’ Kruti Dance Academy has a shot for ‘America’s Got Talent’ finals tonight

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The Norcross Kruti Dance Academy was eliminated in Las Vegas weeks ago from the biggest summer show “America’s Got Talent” on NBC.

But future CNN talk show host and current “AGT” judge Piers Morgan brought them back for the wild-card round last night. And a shot to perform in front of 10 million TV viewers trumped the lead instructor’s honeymoon.

Here they are Tuesday night with a very clean performance:

“I think my decision was completely vindicated,” Morgan said after the group’s performance. “I didn’t want to lose you in Vegas. I was overruled by these two halfwits to my left. As America has seen, you have talent. That was a great performance. I really enjoyed it.”

Sharon Osbourne was more measured but still very positive. “It was very exotic, very beautiful. Now that America is becoming used to the Indian culture, it’s not only the dance but Indian characters in sitcoms and adverts. I think that you know you could have the Kruti dance in competition with the Riverdance …

Continue reading Norcross’ Kruti Dance Academy has a shot for ‘America’s Got Talent’ finals tonight »