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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Fish 104.7 celebrates 10 years on air

Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott, morning hosts at Fish 104.7. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott, morning hosts at Fish 104.7. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

On September 26, 2000, Fish 104.7 debuted on the Atlanta’s FM airwaves, the first metro-wide Christian pop station in town, with 40 days and 40 nights of uninterrupted music.

The station found its footing quickly and has shown remarkable stability over the past decade. Its morning team Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott remains. Both mid-day host Parks Stamper and afternoon host Dan Ratcliffe are original jocks. The sales staff? Virtually no turnover. And the music has been Christian pop all the way.

Even the slogan has held firm: “Safe for the Whole Family.”

No other music station in town can match this level of consistency.

Dan Ratcliffe has been Fish's afternoon host for 10 years.

Dan Ratcliffe has been Fish's afternoon host for 10 years.

“We’re loving on our listeners and they’re loving us back,” said Mike Blakemore, the program director. “We feel like it’s radio with a purpose. We’re not just entertaining people. We’re inspiring them.”

The Fish has been a top 10 station among 25- to 54-year-olds for years and does even better among women in that demographic. An average of 570,000 people tune in any given week, according to Arbitron.

“We compete with the big boys,” Stamper said. “I didn’t think this would end up so huge.”

Allen Power, the original general manager who now oversees other markets as a senior vice president, said he feels like a proud papa.”The Fish has been blessed with great personalities and great music but it’s more than that,” he said. “It’s the kind of station that connects with its listeners and becomes part of their lives, like church, school and their neighborhood.”

Avery, who resembles a musician with his long, wavy hair, said other morning shows might be out hitting the clubs or hobnobbing with celebrities. “On Friday night, I’m at a high school football game and Taylor is at her sister’s. That’s the world we live in, which is very relatable.”

Atlantan Barbie Briggs, a 42-year-old wellness coach with two teen-age daughters, calls herself a “big Fish geek.”

“I love how I am never offended by the DJ talk like I am with other morning shows,” she wrote in an email. “I love how they share stories of real listeners and how they promote family-friendly concerts and ideas.”

The station’s free Celebrate Freedom concert last month in Marietta headlined by rock band Switchfoot drew a whopping 52,000 people.

Parks Stamper, mid-day Fish host, joined the station in 2000.

Parks Stamper, mid-day Fish host, joined the station in 2000.

“When I am on my way to a tough or ‘extra grace required’ situation,” Briggs wrote, “I always make sure I turn it on and sing loudly so I can ‘get my Jesus on’ and be ready for the situation in a manner that would be pleasing to Him.”

Roddy Freeman, a media sales specialist who writes a blog about Atlanta radio called Atlanta Airwave Action, in June dubbed the station a “finely-tuned machine” with jocks that embody “wholesomeness, family and sincerity.”

Stamper tried to flesh out why so few people leave the Fish: “They pay well for a Christian station. And they seem to have respect for the employees. I can’t really imagine being anywhere else.”

Power said the station had to hustle in its early days to draw mainstream advertisers who were wary of the Fish’s intentions, worried it might be controversial. But the station is the opposite of controversial and now has a stable of advertisers that includes Kroger and Rooms to Go.

The station’s goal is to ensure content is okay for an eight year old.

Morning host Scott, for instance, has never mentioned the Bishop Eddie Long case in which four men have accused him of sexually taking advantage of them as teen-agers.

“That’s just too sensitive,” she said.

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13 comments Add your comment

Kim

October 4th, 2010
8:26 am

The Fish is a wonderful station that I listen to all day long. Whether it’s my morning wake up and mood lifter with Kevin and Taylor, lunch break with Parks Stamper, or driving home with my three year old listening to Dan Ratcliffe (and often being told by said three year old to “turn up the Jesus music”), I never have to worry about what is going to be played or said. It’s really nice to have a station available that promotes positivity, wolesomeness, and an attitude of service and encouragement. It’s no wonder they have been consistent and thriving for the past ten years, and will undoubtedly continue to thrive for ten (and then some) more years!

Toni

October 4th, 2010
8:35 am

I love the Fish, especially Kevin and Taylor. I can relate to them. Kevin has four kids and pretty much everything he says is right in line with how my husband and I believe (like 5th graders don’t need a cell phone!). I love listening to Taylor give the news report, she is always so compassionate when she has to deliver sad or bad news.

Radio Buyer

October 4th, 2010
8:36 am

Wholesome sucks…

Dana

October 4th, 2010
8:46 am

I love the Fish but Kevin and Taylor talk too much – they need to play more music.

Sheila

October 4th, 2010
8:59 am

LOVE U GUYS….God is DEFINITELY on your side!!! Keep playin those GREAT songs!!! Thank you and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE U!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

October 4th, 2010
9:46 am

I listen every morning on the computer from Tampa. I grew tired of the Tampa station (it was all about one DJ) so I found the FISH because my husband and I want to move to Atlanta one day. He commented one morning that this is really a great station. When we do make our move, we will be comfortable with this station all the time- it has been a blessing.

jake's mom

October 4th, 2010
11:26 am

LOVE the fish…have it on all day at home and again in the car. You guys rock!!

Jesus freak

October 4th, 2010
11:28 am

Am on the air myself with a talk show…can’t say I ever listen to it, but I never turn off The Fish!

jimmyd

October 4th, 2010
11:44 am

Jeremy

October 4th, 2010
1:04 pm

Yea ever since 104.7 the fish has come on the air it has taken Christian rock music to a higher level that it’s never been before.

Billy

October 4th, 2010
2:12 pm

Holy mackerel!

smh

October 4th, 2010
4:57 pm

Our family switched to the FISH and several years ago and are perfectly happy. Love the station! There were several pivotal moments that prompted our change i.e. the leap year massacre on another station, morning banter filled with innuendo that I should not have to discuss with children and too much bickering on other stations. Happy 10th anniversary to 104.7

Mel

October 5th, 2010
11:54 am

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Fish!!!! I have it on in the car, at home and on my i-pod whenever I have wi-fi access. The music is great, the dj’s are awesome, and I don’t have to worry about them saying something I have to try to explain to my 9 yr old. It’s good to know you can trust a radio station with the ears of impressionable children! Happy Birthday 104.7 The Fish! Keep on keeping on!!!!