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Archive for February, 2011

Gayle King: being Oprah’s BFF has its benefits

Gayle King attends The Heart Truth's Red Dress fashion show at Lincoln Center in New York, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

Gayle King attends The Heart Truth's Red Dress fashion show at Lincoln Center in New York, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

Despite her resume as a news reporter, radio host and magazine editor, Gayle King has been and will forever be known as Oprah Winfrey’s best friend.

The upside of that affiliation is far greater than the persistent jokes about their relationship, which preceded Oprah’s rise to international acclaim.

“I’ve seen the Oprah phenomenon as it developed from the very beginning,” said King in an interview earlier this month after a visit to Atlanta to be on BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show.” “Who knew it was going to turn out like this? It’s just nice to know you have a friend who is so well developed and well respected. You meet her in person and she does not disappoint.”

King does not feel like she’s in Oprah’s shadow: “We’re very similar. We’ve been friends for so long we have a lot of the same mannerisms. We have the same life philosophies. …

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Q100’s Bert’s Big Adventure sends kids to Walt Disney World for 9th year

Bert Weiss with Melissa Carter on Feb. 17, 2011 at the Bert's Big Adventure kickoff at Sheraton Gateway Hotel. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Bert Weiss with Melissa Carter on Feb. 17, 2011 at the Bert's Big Adventure kickoff at Sheraton Gateway Hotel. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

For much of the year, Bert Weiss tackles the world of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and ridiculous relationship problems.

But for a few days each year, the Q100 team flies to Walt Disney World with a dozen families with kids who have terminal or chronic illnesses. Most of these are families who can’t afford to take vacations, often sucked dry by medical bills and stress.

Bert’s Big Adventure, now in its ninth year, gives those families a break from reality. The parents don’t have to plan anything. They pay for nothing. They were picked up by limo to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel by the airport for a send-off party this morning. As I write this, they are already in Orlando, having been flown on a free donated Atlantic Southeast Airlines charter flight. They will get VIP treatment at Disney, meet the Disney characters, partake in the parades, the …

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A talk with “Doctors” doc Lisa Masterson

CREDIT: The Doctors

CREDIT: The Doctors

Dr.  Lisa Masterson, a gynecologist on the syndicated show “The Doctors,” visited Atlanta last week to tape a segment for “The Mo’Nique Show.”

I spoke with her for a few minutes to discuss the show. Late 30 minutes, she was all business.

“The Doctors,” a spinoff of “The Dr. Phil Show” is in its third season and has become a mid-level success, drawing around 2.5 million viewers a day. (Dr. Phil is in the 3.5 to 4 million a day and “Oprah” tops the talk-show circuit with more than 6 million a day.) The show, which features four doctors talking about an array of medical topics, is now guaranteed through 2011-12. Locally, it airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 2 WSB-TV.

Masterson had already done guest spots on various TV shows when a friend recommended she try out for “The Doctors” in 2008. “I was doing a lot of charity work in Africa. My friend said, ‘You go to Africa as an individual to see one patient at a time. This is a way for you to provide information …

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Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name?’ has reached eight weeks on top of Atlanta radio

AP photo

AP photo

I’m tired of saying this, but for the eighth week in a row, Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” is the most played song on Atlanta radio.

The good news for folks tired of that song: it’s finally losing steam, down 49 spins week over week. Hot pulled back a bit (52 spins) while V-103 (47) and Wild (95)  stubbornly kept it at the top of their rotations the past week. Q100 (550 has kept it in mid-heavy rotation for a second week. Majic played it twice, too. So it’s at 249 spins, 14 spins ahead of Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

Perry is at top rotation on three stations:  Star (47), Wild (94) and Q100 (93). Third place, jumping from 10th a week ago, is Britney Spears, who is also at the top on Wild (95) and Q100 (95) but getting only 12 spins from Star 94.

I anticipate the new Lady Gaga song “Born This Way” that sounds suspiciously like Madonna’s “Express Yourself” will be up there pretty soon. It got more than 100 spins on three stations (Star,  Wild, Q) since last Friday.

It was a …

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Dale Cardwell’s DUI case dropped by DeKalb County

Dale Cardwell. CREDIT: file photo, 2010. Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Dale Cardwell. CREDIT: file photo, 2010. Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

The DeKalb County solicitor’s office today dropped a 2010 DUI case against former TV reporter Dale Cardwell. Cardwell agreed to a reduced charge of texting while driving and will tape a public service announcement about the topic.

On June 3, 2010, Cardwell was pulled over just after midnight at the intersection of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Motor Drive, Doraville police spokesman Officer Gene Callaway told the AJC at the time.

“What caught the officer’s eye, is (Cardwell) sat through a green light,” Callaway said. Cardwell took the field sobriety test but was arrested when he refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, police said.

He was held in the Doraville jail and released on $1,210 bond, Callaway said.

Cardwell, in a phone interview today, declined to comment but emailed a lengthy statement:

“I’m happy to report the resolution of my case.  Today, I accepted responsibility for operating my vehicle in …

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790/The Zone’s newest slogan: ‘Outspoken, irreverent and fun… we’re the other sports station!’

790logo.300_reasonably_small

790/The Zone has created a new slogan: “Outspoken, irreverent and fun… we’re the other sports station!”

Andrew Saltzman, co-founder of the Zone, said the first three words are key. “The personalities we have are outspoken, irreverent and fun,” he said. “That is really who the station is. That’s our positioning as that sports station.”

The Zone’s new slogan

  • Great! Reflects the station well!
  • Not so good. Is the use of “other” smart?

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The use of the word “other” alludes to the fact they are not rival sports station 680/The Fan and also implies that the “other” station is not outspoken, irreverent or fun.

“You can draw your own conclusions,” Saltzman said.

The Fan and Zone have been battling for listeners for years. The Fan, which recently added an FM signal at 93.7, has been gaining the upper hand in recent years. It’s the official home of the Thrashers and with 99X, picked up the Hawks from the Zone last year.

David Dickey, general …

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CBS drama pilot ‘Hail Mary’ to be shot in Atlanta

CBS is planning a buddy P.I. drama pilot called “Hail Mary” set to be taped next month in Atlanta, href=”http://www.deadline.com/tag/hail-mary-pilot/”according to deadline.com.

The article says it’s a drama based in Atlanta that “focuses on a suburban single mom who teams up with a streetwise hustler to solve crimes.” No lead actors have been named yet for the pilot.

This doesn’t mean if CBS picks the show up that it will stay here though the fact it’s supposed to be set in Atlanta improves its chances. CBS draws the largest audiences of any network by a wide margin nowadays and has the fewest holes in its lineup for new shows. So it’s also a very competitive field for pilots.

The executive producer/showrunner is Ilene Chaiken, who created Showtime’s “The L Word.”

Pilots are sometimes shot in Atlanta but moved elsewhere  later. Last year, ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7″ taped its pilot here but moved (appropriately) to Detroit for the rest of its freshman season. TNT’s upcoming drama …

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TV best bets with returns of ‘Survivor,’ ‘The Amazing Race’

Russell Hantz and "Boston" Rob Mariano face off again. CREDIT: CBS

Russell Hantz and "Boston" Rob Mariano face off again. CREDIT: CBS

CBS is unveiling the latest seasons of two of the longest-running reality shows out there: “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.”

In its 22nd incarnation Wednesday, CBS’s “Survivor” this time will allow contestants who get eliminated to come back via competitions on something called Redemption Island. And for better or worse, “Boston” Rob Mariano is the first person to participate in FOUR “Survivor” shows. This will be the first time “Survivor” will regularly compete against “American Idol.”

“The Amazing Race” on Sunday is also working on the “redemption” theme for 11 teams who didn’t win the past few years. Besides lovable duo Jet and Cord, the Harlem Globetrotters and the deaf kid and his mom are back.

And CBS is introducing a spin-off of “Criminal Minds” Wednesday because the network can’t get enough of more gruesome crime investigations.

UPDATE: I almost forgot! IBM has created a Watson computer that is …

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ reunion, part one: who’s verbally abusing who?

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA -- "Reunion" -- Pictured: (l-r) Cynthia Bailey, NeNe Leakes, Andy Cohen -- Photo by: Wilford/Bravo

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA — "Reunion" — Pictured: (l-r) Cynthia Bailey, NeNe Leakes, Andy Cohen — Photo by: Wilford/Bravo

If “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member NeNe Leakes’ wanted to salvage her shredded reputation last night during part one of the reunion, she failed. (There’s always part two next week!)

NeNe spent much of the hour at the Georgia Aquarium taped a month ago looking like she had been sucking on a lemon all day. Even host Andy Cohen acknowledged her sour attitude at one point.

Here’s what we learned: she is still in the midst of divorcing her husband Gregg. “We’re both in a peaceful place,” she said. “We’re beyond that footage” we saw on TV. Did he cheat on her? “Gregg is not an angel,” she said “I’m not going to say whether he has or hasn’t. I don’t think that’s everyone’s business is what I will say.”

NeNe says she hates verbal abuse. Who is more verbally abusive: Kim or NeNe?

  • Kim
  • NeNe

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And she has …

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Rock 100.5’s The Regular Guys get roasted at The Funny Farm

Larry Wachs, Eric Von Haessler, toastmster Marshall Chiles, Tim Andrews and "Southside" Steve Rickman. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Larry Wachs, Eric Von Haessler, toastmster Marshall Chiles, Tim Andrews, "Southside" Steve Rickman and John Rocker. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

The Regular Guys roast at the Funny Farm Friday night was scheduled for 90 minutes. It ended up going for more than two and a half hours.

That wasn’t a bad thing. The insults flew around like a swarm mosquitoes in a swamp and bit their targets with regularity. But these mosquitoes contained no malaria. By the end of the show, there were no hard feelings. Because the point of roasts is to mock out of love.

The roasters of the Rock 100.5 quartet featured a heavy dose of stand-up comedians, led by Atlanta native Costaki Economopoulous.

Larry Wachs is bald and beautiful, as always.

Larry Wachs is bald and beautiful – at least when he's not wearing a wig.

The other roasters included show regulars such as Big Kenny, Herman from Dunwoody, Vinny Bucci, Steve Haigh and arguably the biggest name: former Braves pitcher and friend of the Regular Guys John Rocker. Sebas, who regularly does …

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