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Archive for November, 2010

680/The Fan adds simulcast on FM dial at 93.7

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680/The Fan yesterday at noon began a simulcast of the sports talk station on an FM translator at 93.7.

“We wanted to add the FM option to help deliver 680’s content to people who only want to listen to the FM band,” said David Dickey, who runs the Fan.

The station has not made an official announcement because it’s still tweaking the processing and ensuring it works well. “It will take a few days,” he said.

The 93.7 signal does not cover the entire metro area but is certainly an improvement at night, when the AM signal has to power down significantly. This will help the Atlanta Thrashers, who usually play games at night and are aired on 680. The Braves will now be heard on 93.7, 680 and Rock 100.5. This also helps the morning show the Rude Awakening in the early part of the show when it’s still dark outside, especially in the winter.

The Federal Communications Commission in 2009 began allowing radio stations to simulcast on open FM signals. These “translators,” as they are …

Continue reading 680/The Fan adds simulcast on FM dial at 93.7 »

Frankie Lons on VH1’s ‘Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew’

frankie_lons_281x211Frankie Lons, the mother of R&B singer Keyshia Cole, became famous by   being outrageous and emotional on Cole’s BET reality hit  “The Way It Is” a few years. She even crafted her own signature catch phrases like “Man down!” and “Holla!” Lons was able to spin her notoriety into a BET spinoff with her daughter Neffe, which aired one season.

But drugs and alcohol have haunted Lons for years. Fame did not change that. The result: a stint earlier this year on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” the fourth season of the VH1 show featuring mostly C-grade “celebrities” trying to wean themselves off various addictions.

She joins the likes of supermodel Janice Dickinson, ’70s teen idol Leif Garrett, actor Jeremy London and former metro Atlanta resident and actor Eric Roberts.

“I was tired of people looking at me,” said Lons in an interview earlier in the fall the day after she got out of rehab and before she entered a special post-rehab facility.  She said she spent 18 days at Dr. Drew’s …

Continue reading Frankie Lons on VH1’s ‘Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew’ »

Richard Blais back for redemption on ‘Top Chef: All Stars’

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In 2008, Decatur resident Richard Blais was blazing his way to “Top Chef” victory – until the final meal.

For the first time, he seemed frazzled. His pork belly dish disappointed the judges. He lost. “I think I choked,” he said on the show.

In a recent phone interview, more than two years later, he admitted, “I had a little bit of writer’s block. I tried to do a little bit too much and tell too much of a story.”

Now, it’s time for redemption. On Wednesday, Blais joins 17 other past non-winning contestants in the Bravo series’ first “all star” competition. The stakes are higher – $200,000 instead of $125,000. And this hungry crowd features many of the show’s most talented and colorful characters, from arrogant Marcel Vigneron (season two) to intensely combative Dale Talde (season four) to chipper, ever quotable Carla Hall (season five).

“I really loved the competitive vibe of the show,” said Blais, “the inspiration that comes from  it. I really loved playing the …

Continue reading Richard Blais back for redemption on ‘Top Chef: All Stars’ »

Dr. Laura Schlessinger moves to Sirius/XM in 2011

DrLauraDr. Laura Schlessinger has found a new home at Sirius/XM starting in 2011.

“It’s the last bastion of uncensored free speech,” she said in an interview today. “Things are getting tighter and tighter on terrestial radio.”

She has a multi-year deal though Sirius/XM won’t specify how long.  (She is currently airing from 1 to 3 p.m. daily on 1160/WCFO-AM in Atlanta.)

Her major complaint is that there are too many political groups harassing her for every little things she says on AM/FM, citing Al Sharpton and Media Matters in particular. Media Matters posted the audio in August when she used the N-word 11 times to a caller who asked about how to respond to people who use racial epithets.

That was the last straw, she said.

“They go after my affiliates and sponsors, threaten them and boycott them” she said. “It was distracting and annoying.  It got ridiculous. I’ve had enough.”

Being called a racist, she said, was abhorrent to her. “I’ve supported inter-racial dating, adoption and …

Continue reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger moves to Sirius/XM in 2011 »

True Oldies 106.7 now officially Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 with 1970s the focus

50493_269104286092_8606_nThe word “oldies” apparently sounds too old.

True Oldies 106.7 is no more. It’s now dubbed Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 24/7. (The phrase “Atlanta’s Greatest Hits” was already being used in mornings and late afternoons, where Tripp West recently took over for Fred Brooks. )

On Thanksgiving, the music became much more  heavily 1970s mix as opposed to a blend of 1960s and 1970s.

So fans of the Dave Clark 5, Herman’s Hermits and the like won’t be hearing much from that crew anymore. A few choice cuts from big ’60s acts such as the Supremes, Elvis Presley and the Beatles remain but now it’s more about Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers.

On Thanksgiving, only 49 songs, or about two an hour, were from the 1960s. The 1970s? 256 songs, or more than 10 an hour. There were also 37 songs from the 1980s or one to two an hour. The average age of a song was 1973 and 74% of the songs were from the 1970s, up from 44% the previous Monday.

On November 22,  in comparison, six …

Continue reading True Oldies 106.7 now officially Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 with 1970s the focus »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, ep 9: Dogs don’t bark at parked cars

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“If you’re not stirring it up, they’re not going to talk about you. Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.” - WXIA-TV anchor Karyn Greer to NeNe Leakes.

Drama between NeNe Leakes and her husband Gregg escalated during episode 9 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” after a phone conversation Gregg had leaked onto the Web.

He said he had spent $300,000 building NeNe up and now she had gotten a big head and wanted out of the marriage. He said he wanted that $300,000 back.

Radio host Corey King, a friend of Gregg’s, apparently taped and released the early June conversation without Gregg’s knowledge. But King did so because Gregg owed him money, according to news accounts at the time. Gregg apologized to NeNe later.

Gregg is not a drama kind of guy. He always struck me as very low key and barely tolerant of the TV cameras around him. He seemed supportive of NeNe’s affairs when I last saw them together last year while she was promoting her book at a Buckhead Barnes & Noble. But as we have …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, ep 9: Dogs don’t bark at parked cars »

TV best bets with ‘Top Chef: All Stars,’ season finales of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘Walking Dead,’ reality shows starring David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget

Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott), Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) arrive at the CDC (which in reality is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre)

Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott), Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) arrive at the CDC (which in reality is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre)

Georgia is salted throughout the week:

- AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” shot in Atlanta, concludes its hugely successful six-episode debut season Sunday in climactic fashion. You’ll never quite look at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts  Centre the sasme again. There are 13 more set for next year.

- Georgia music artists get much love in multiple specials this week. Little Big Town and Sugarland are on “CMA Country Christmas” Monday on ABC. B.o.B. and Justin Bieber are on “Grammy Nominations Concert Live” on CBS Wednesday. On Friday, “CMT’s Artists of the Year” include Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean and the Zac Brown Band. And Sugarland is back Sunday with Keri Hilson in “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops.”

- In reality TV land, former Atlantan David Hasselhoff has his own show Sunday on A&E. Decatur’s Richard Blais is on “Top …

Continue reading TV best bets with ‘Top Chef: All Stars,’ season finales of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘Walking Dead,’ reality shows starring David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget »

Love blossoms between rival local journalists

Joe Avary Katilyn PrattCBS Atlanta’s Joe Avary sent me this Friday:

Fox 5 reporter Kaitlyn Pratt became engaged to CBS Atlanta photojournalist Joe Avary over the Thanksgiving holiday. They met on the job last December in the Old 4th Ward, surrounded by flashing blue lights and yellow crime scene tape. Soon after that, the couple had their first date at Ria’s Bluebird in Grant Park and fell in love on subsequent dates.

“It’s the toughest question I’ve ever asked,” quipped Avary on popping the question. “I wanted to propose on a romantic moonlight walk in Candler Park, but in light of Monday night’s fatal shooting in Virginia Highland, Kaitlyn wasn’t going anywhere with me after dark.”

Continue reading Love blossoms between rival local journalists »

Shaun Robinson of ‘Access Hollywood’ comes to Atlanta

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Earlier this month, Spelman College alumna Shaun Robinson of “Access Hollywood” came into town to interview Mo’Nique and be interviewed by her. (Yes, this is the circular world we live in.)

“She’s very grounded,” Robinson said at the Midtown W Hotel. “The way she treats her audience, she’s like a mother to them.” In her interview, she said Mo’Nique wanted to clear up misconceptions about her marriage. “They don’t have an open marriage,” Robinson said. “But infidelity is not a deal breaker for them.” Mo’Nique has also lost 30 pounds since she last saw her at the Oscars earlier in the year.

Robinson, who has been with “Access” for 11 years, said she’d love to have her own show like Mo’Nique.

She is also in the midst of a “Living Legends” series of interviews for “Access,” including Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel and Smokey Robinson. Robinson talks about life during the Civil Rights era and how he’d have to use the outhouse in the back of a gas station in the South.

Joel …

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The fall season so far: ugly, uglier, ugliest

New show "Mike & Molly" is doing well for CBS. It stars Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell.

New show "Mike & Molly" is doing well for CBS. It stars Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell.

A year ago at this time, broadcast networks could celebrate several genuine new hits: ABC’s “Modern Family,” CBS’s “Good Wife” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” and Fox’s “Glee,” to name a few.

This fall, the prognosis is significantly bleaker. At least five shows are already dead and buried. NBC’s “The Event” could hardly be dubbed as one. The new program getting the most buzz (and an Entertainment Weekly cover) isn’t even on broadcast but cable: AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” a zombie-based drama shot here in Atlanta.

Here’s a synopsis after two months of mostly disheartening results:

CBS: Although none of its five freshman programs have become runaway smashes, all have potential to be around awhile. “Mike & Molly,” about two overweight, average joes, fits well on the Monday night schedule and hit a season high this past Monday. The reboot of “Hawaii Five-O” is escapist fun. Cop drama ”Blue …

Continue reading The fall season so far: ugly, uglier, ugliest »