Rashan Ali announced on air today that she is leaving V-103 after just one year.
She said she’d like to pursue a full-time career on television. V-103 decided not to renew her contract after her last one was up. But they did allow her to announce her departure on air, which isn’t all that common in this day and age.
“It had been toiling in my heart for a month,” she said in an interview after the show. “We just decided it would be best on both ends. It’s all in positivity. I can walk away with my head held high.”
After having a baby, Ali came back to radio last year excited for the opportunity to reunite with Ryan Cameron, who helped get her on radio in the first place. The pair worked for several years on Hot 107.9. After Cameron left for V-103 in 2004, she stayed behind to host the morning show. She lost her job at Hot in 2009 after the station opted for a syndicated Rickey Smiley show.
“It was the most obvious place for me to go” after Hot, she said a year ago. “It fit so perfectly.”
In a poll I posted at the time, an impressive 82 percent liked the reunion.
But she said today that her passion for radio wasn’t quite there as it had before. “I have to do what makes me smile,” she said. “I have to go at TV full speed ahead. Ryan is my mentor and my big brother. He’s been supportive.”
[UPDATE 11 p.m. March 24: I've heard from two inside sources that Ali wanted the mid-day job Ramona Debreaux ended up getting and was not happy when she didn't get it. I have not heard back from Ali about whether that factored into her decision-making.]
[UPDATE: noon, March 25: I hear that Elle Duncan is set to return to Cameron's afternoon show to replace Rashan. Elle's brief foray in the mornings, I fathom, may not have worked out so well. Curiously, Elle was on this morning. Wanda Smith was not. If this actually does happen, it would be Elle's third move in two years. She had already gone from Ryan's show to mid-days to mornings in relatively quick fashion.]
[UPDATE: 11:09 p.m., March 27: Rashan responded to the allegation she was peeved about not getting the mid-day job. She said in a Facebook message to me today that this was not the case at all: "I was nothing but ecstatic when Ramona got the gig! She is a talented veteran and deserved to finally have her own show. Being 'livid' (as you stated) is not even in my character. But that's neither here nor there because people will believe what they want. As I told you when we spoke, this was something that had been pulling at my heartstrings for a while so knowing that CBS Radio did not want to move forward with me either only confirmed what my spirit had been telling me. This is a faith walk and I don't expect a lot of people to understand."]
On air, Ali dismissed a rumor. “No, I’m not going to ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ ” Ali said at 5:46 p.m. today on air. “My husband said no three years ago. Then they said no to me!”
She said she is doing some substitute hosting on WXIA-TV’s “Atlanta & Company” April 15 and 18 and some NBA-related TV work.
Today was her last day.
Funny. I was supposed to visit the studio today to interview Debreaux about her new mid-day gig but Reggie Rouse, the boss, inexplicably canceled at the last second.
By Rodney Ho, email@example.com, AJCRadioTV blog