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Archive for November, 2010

Groove 105.7/96.7 goes Wild as part of format shift

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Groove 105.7 billboards still dot the landscape, but the station has gone Wild. (Check out the new logo on the right).

This completes the station’s transformation from a dance/pop station when it launched in October 2009 to its current hip-hop/pop incarnation. When 95.5/The Beat went away in August, the Groove quickly pivoted its music, adding more T.I. and Trey Songz and cutting out virtually all songs pre-2000.

The station quickly hired Maverick and Mami Chula from the Beat and program director Dennis Martinez (who had been there all of five months) left.

Comparing the old Groove to the current Wild, “the two stations sound completely different,” said Melissa Forrest, who runs Clear Channel Atlanta, which also includes 640/WGST-AM, 94.9/The Bull, 105.3/El Patron and Project 9-6-1. “The on-air hosts are different. The name reflects the shift.”

For its first six months, the Groove was home to music from the Bee Gees, Madonna and Prince as well as some more recent songs by the …

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Talk with new WGST morning host Rob Johnson

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For Rob Johnson, this is either an opportunity of a lifetime or a fall into the rabbit hole that is Clear Channel Atlanta.

Johnson, a talk show host for more than eight years in Modesto, Fla. (market No. 113), is now manning a morning show in the No. 7 market in the nation on 640/WGST-AM, the troubled news/talk station.

“It’s a big  jump,” he admitted in an interview after his first show today. He airs from 6 to 9 a.m. “I still have a nosebleed! I was a good match for what they were looking for.”

Johnson has the mellifluous voice of a soft rock DJ because he was indeed once a jock for that type of music station. His opinions are relatively conservative, he says, with a mantra of small, less intrusive government. But he does not come across as angry or confrontational. He uses a gentle, quietly persuasive cadence.

“That’s my natural style and delivery,” he said. “They hired me to make an Atlanta show. It will take some time to understand Atlanta and Georgia, its issues, events …

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 7: Dancin’ and drivin’ with Sheree

There haven’t been that many moments of conspicuous consumption this season, save for Kim Zolciak and her limo full of luggage when she went to California for that gay circuit party.

imagesBut then Sheree Whitfield pops up Sunday night with a brand new Aston Martin. (The cheapest 2011 Aston Martin is $133,750 though since this was shot in the spring, that had to be a 2010 model.)

“I can’t keep putting my desires on the back burner,” she explains. “I’m living now! Can I downsize? Yah. Do I want to? Not really. I’m in a place where I’m happy. It’s about me.”

Where she got the money to actually buy that, who knows. But according to TMZ, the vehicle was repossessed earlier this month by one of the law firms that she owes money to related to her divorce. (She owes at least $180,000 between the two of them.) I’m not sure which law firm was able to grab it. Reps from both law firms have not returned my calls.

Though Sheree’s spokesman last week declined to comment, Sheree tried to shrug it …

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TV best bets with American Music Awards, return of ‘Human Target’ and Christmas films

Local department stores have been filled with Christmas decorations since Halloween. Now TV networks are starting to serve Christmas-themed movies – even before Thanksgiving. Hallmark Saturday releases the first original film of the season: “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas.”

American-Music-AwardsBut if that’s too early, there are plenty of other distractions this week. For pop music fans, there’s  “The American Music Awards” Sunday on ABC. While it’s hardly prestigious, the AMAs bring out the stars, including Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

For those still fascinated by JFK’s assassination 48 years ago,  Jesse Ventura will indulge your palate with his “Conspiracy Theory” this Friday on TruTV.

And for those who like hot male celebrities, ABC celebrates 25 years of People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issues Wednesday night.

MONDAY
“House” 8 p.m. Fox — The hospital is in lockdown when a girl may have smallpox.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Former Atlantan Kyle Massey is the last …

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Local football player in Disney’s ‘Avalon High,’ viewing party at Fuze

120557_1662Chris Tavarez, a senior at Westlake High School here in Atlanta, plays a supporting role on tonight’s Disney film “Avalon High.”

The movie focuses on a Allie, who attends a  Avalon High as a new student, played with aplomb by Britt Robertson of CW’s “Life Unexpected.” Her parents are King Arthur experts. Naturally, a King Arthur-style plot line occurs around the high school students. Britt’s potential love interest is Will Wagner. Tavarez plays his best friend Lance.

Tavarez, who has been acting and modeling since he was a wee child, also loves football. And naturally, his character Lance is a star running back. “I’m just like Lance – minus the taking my best friend’s girlfriend part,” he said. Oh, and he plays safety and linebacker at Westlake.

Once cool thing: the film was shot in New Zealand. Tavarez missed spring football but all’s well that ends well: he will be attending Duke University with a football scholarship. At Duke, he’ll be able to play football as a freshman …

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Ryan Seacrest finding work/life balance

Ryan talks about his new media center at the Children's Hospital in Atlanta at Egleston Nov. 5. His mom Connie beams behind him. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Ryan talks about his new media center at the Children's Hospital in Atlanta at Egleston Nov. 5. His mom Connie beams behind him and Julianne Hough is behind her left shoulder. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Ryan Seacrest is known for being an incredible workhorse: a morning radio show, “American Idol,” production work and E! hosting duties, to name a few.

For years, the 1993 Dunwoody High School grad left little time for non-work pursuits. And while he’s a public figure himself, he has always been the conduit into other celebrities’ lives  - not his own.

But a few months back, he began dating 22-year-old Julianne Hough, an actress, country singer and professional dancer seen on “Dancing With the Stars.” The couple has been spotted at a Los Angeles Lakers game, shopping in Malibu and vacationing in Italy.

Over the summer, while Hough was shooting “Footloose” in metro Atlanta, they were seen noshing with Seacrest’s parents at Bistro Niko in August and picking up …

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Apolo Anton Ohno skates through Atlanta to promote his book ‘Zero Regrets’

Apolo Ohno signs his book "Zero Regrets" at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble November 11, 2010

Apolo Ohno signs his book "Zero Regrets" at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble November 11, 2010

Apolo Ohno speed skated through Atlanta yesterday on a book tour marathon, hitting 19 stores in 15 cities in seven days. The Olympic medal winner’s new book “Zero Regrets” is part inspiration, part autobiographical.

At the Buckhead Barnes & Noble, he arrived in a huge bus with his photo on the side of it. He signed quickly and efficiently. He answered questions politely and eloquently. He was in and out in an hour. Later that day, he did the same at a Lawrenceville Books-a-Million.

Using a ghost writer, who taped his commentary while he sat in a sauna, Ohno described how his single father inspired him, how difficult it was to miss the 1998 Olympics and the controversies that dogged him at the 2002 Winter Olympics. He also spends a few pages on his “Dancing With the Stars” victory in 2007. He is now a motivational speaker and charitable spokesman for Century Council’s Ask, Listen, Learn …

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Zac Brown Band’s duet with Alan Jackson becomes the band’s fifth No. 1 country song

Wyatt Durrett with his pal Zac Brown. CREDIT: Marilu White

Wyatt Durrett with his pal Zac Brown. CREDIT: Marilu White

Last night, after the Country Music Awards and taking home Best New Artist, the Zac Brown Band eschewed after parties where folks like Gwyneth Paltrow or Taylor Swift might be seen.

Instead, they ended up at a Nashville bar ironically called Losers.

“It’s where all the old timers go,” said Wyatt Durrette, a co-writer of many a Zac Brown hit.  I caught him this morning as he was driving home after the CMAs. “An off the beaten path, a hole in the wall bar. They gave us the back room. We got to just hang out.”

This win comes the same week the band’s duet with Georgia native Alan Jackson “As She’s Walking Away” hit No. 1 on the country charts. It’s the act’s fifth No.1 song, following “Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” “Highway 20 Ride” and “Free.” And yes, Georgia owns the country charts right now. No. 2? Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue.”

Zac and Jackson performed the song live for the first time last night on the CMAs.

Durrette said …

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Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ takes over top spot on Atlanta radio

Teenage-Dream-Katy-Perry-Album-cover1Just a few weeks after topping the Atlanta radio chart with “California Gurls,” Katy Perry follows up with “Teenage Dream.” The pop song overtakes Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” which lasted a month on top.

Her song was heard 276 times this past week: 64 times on Star 94, 90 times on Q100 and 122 times on the Groove.

That’s 59 spins ahead of Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” which is getting comparable spins on Q100 and the Groove but is getting no love from Star 94.

Among the songs added by local stations this month:

“No BS” – Chris Brown (Hot 107.9)

“Love the Way You Lie Part II” – Eminem & Rihanna (V-103)

“Love Like Woe” – The Ready Set (Star 94)

“Give a Little More” – Maroon 5 (Q100)

“Get Back Up” – T.I. (Groove)

The Bull hasn’t added any major songs this month that I can tell.

“I Wouldn’t Be a Man” – Josh Turner (Kicks)

“Sound Off” – Trapt (Project 9-6-1)

“Scissor Runner” – Jenny & Johnny; “Phoenix Burn” Alpha Rev; “Animal” Neon Trees; “Dead American Writers” Tired Pony (Dave …

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Fox Business Network hired Lou Dobbs

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Lou Dobbs, ousted last year partly for being too opinionated as a CNN anchor, has found a new home: Fox Business Network.

The network, in a press release, said he signed a multi-year deal and will start a new daily program in the first quarter of 2011. He will also make appearances on other FBN programs. Given Dobbs’ long-time interest in economic issues, this sounds like a good fit.

“FOX Business has always been about putting the smartest, most interesting people on television and the addition of Lou Dobbs will serve to strengthen the best lineup in business news. Teaming Lou with Managing Editor Neil Cavuto will make FBN a tough network to beat,” said Kevin Magee, Executive Vice President for the network on the press release.

Dobbs noted in the same press release: “I’m excited and feel privileged to join the great team that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Neil Cavuto have created, and I can’t wait to make whatever contribution I can to FOX Business.” (Dobbs wasn’t available …

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