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Night jock Darik Kristofer leaving Star 94 after three years

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Night jock Darik Kristofer is leaving Star 94 after three years.

What was unusual about his departure was how amicable it was and how honest both parties were about it.

“Darik is going to make a killer addition to whatever station is smart enough to grab him up,” program director Scott Lindy wrote. “He was hired at Star 94 at a time when he needed to play a role that is no longer one we have for him. He’s a pro and a good friend.”

In an interview last night, Kristofer said when he walked into Lindy’s office at 5:30 p.m. before what would be his final shift, he knew quickly what was about to happen. He said he respects Lindy and understood why his contract was not renewed. “I’m leaving with clarity,” he said. ‘I get it. There’s a level of humanity and understanding Scott has. I was taken aback by his kindness when I was in the office with him. He was so incredibly complimentary. We see eye to eye. I said I feel the same way. You just articulated the fit or lack there of.”

Kristofer said, as a single, 26-year-old man, he had to work extra hard connecting with Star’s target audience, which is the soccer-mom crowd. “I respect that lifestyle but can’t really relate on a fundamental level,” he said.

This is the first major on-air personnel move by Lindy since he took over last fall. The station also recently changed its slogan to “Your life and your music” (instead of its long-running “Atlanta’s Hit Music”) and added an all-90s weekend. Lindy has instilled more personality, humor and energy into the station’s overall presentation.

Before Star, Lindy helped propel country station 94.9/The Bull into respectability. When the Bull let him go last August under mysterious circumstances, Star quickly nabbed him. Star needed help. Over the years, it had seen its ratings fall steadily against B98.5 and Q100.

Since Lindy’s arrival, Star’s fortunes have been shining brighter. Star’s February Arbitron ratings numbers were its strongest since the people meters were put to use two years ago, progressing especially well among younger listeners. The station ranked No. 5 18-34 in February and No. 10 25-54.

“The station over the past three years has made a lot of changes formatically,” Kristofer said. “We were hurting there for awhile. The station is now the strongest it’s been since I’ve been here. The progress is fantastic, including at night. It wasn’t a personnel or performance issue. Scott really took care of me.”

Kristopher would like to work at a pure-play top 40 station, perhaps on the West Coast. (He last worked in Denver before Star 94, which is considered a “Hot AC” station, or an adult-leaning top 40 that avoids a lot of the rap-heavy hit songs.)

Star is now seeking a replacement. This is the job description being sent out to the trades:

Atlanta’s legendary Star 94 has begun a global hunt for our next night time celebrity. Candidates possessing superior understanding and ability to connect with our female target demo, advanced social media/digital skills and those who live their show prep go to the head of the line. Your passion for live and local radio, high creativity and a relentless work ethic get you into the conversation. Send your audio, resume, references and anything else you think will get our attention. P.S. If you call us about this job you’ll have 15 seconds to be brilliant or we’ll hang up

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

37 comments Add your comment

finally

March 25th, 2011
9:08 am

This sucks, he is a great, friendly guy! I hope they don’t replace him with some goofy bar hopping girl!

qdouthinkur

March 25th, 2011
10:05 am

They both sound like a couple of class acts…refreshing!

Suze

March 25th, 2011
10:49 am

I’m one of those soccer moms who usually listens to Star when in the car, day and night. Darik was alright but before him Nudge (sp?) was awesome. What’s HE up to these days?

Steve Who?

March 25th, 2011
10:50 am

Two words……TOM SULLIVAN

Rodney Ho

March 25th, 2011
10:52 am

@Suze Nudge is doing some sort of syndicated show out of Hollywood. Not sure where he’s heard though. http://www.facebook.com/nudgeradio

atl girl

March 25th, 2011
11:04 am

Definitely, TOM SULLIVAN!!!

laura

March 25th, 2011
11:19 am

hopefully that wasn’t the actual job posting that was sent out considering that the first word, which is also the name of our city, is spelled wrong! nice work on proof reading.

Valtool

March 25th, 2011
11:54 am

Who do we contact to get Chase Daniels to stop the stupid “name the mystery song” bit?

Jeff

March 25th, 2011
11:58 am

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: FM radio in Atlanta is struggling mightily, and it will continue to do so until station managers and programmers realize the following:

Nobody under 25 listens to the radio anymore. They are the digital-Ipod-computer music generation — they don’t consume radio. Ignore what they want.

People between 35 and 55 should be THE target audience. That demographic has the money to spend and the ability to make large purchases (cars, vacations, condos, boats, home mortgages, etc.), which are the advertisers that use radio.

Every station can’t be everything to everybody — you need to carve out your niche. The country stations have their audience… the urban, hip-hop loving audience has The Beat or V-103… and the young pop music listeners (early 20s) has Q-100. So quit trying to hone in on those markets — find YOUR market. Reach the adults that are largely ignored by most pop culture, TV, radio and movies … and once again, that group seems to be the 35-to-55 group. The group that doesn’t give a crap about the Beibers or Rihannas or Chris Browns or Black Eyed Peas or Buckcherrys or Lady Gagas of the world… the group that actually works and provides the backbone of the society that advertisers crave to dig in to.

So, radio stations, I challenge you: get back to being REAL, the way radio was a few years ago. Quit relying on gimmicks or rap music or uber-trendy stuff or what teenage girls like or what some marketing genius said will work here… find a DECENT music format that plays a lot of classics and lost favorites and B-sides, play a MIX of music (not the same top-10 crap ad naseum) and target the middle-class and upper-middle-class adults, who HAVE the money to spend… if you do all that, you might get some of us back to FM radio in Atlanta. Otherwise, we will stick to AM or satellite radio or newspapers and your advertisers will NEVER REACH US!

Just a few thoughts from a consumer who is largely ignored by the advertising masses…. and, as Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman…. “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”

mmmmmm

March 25th, 2011
11:59 am

This guy had to go after he made a crass comment on air about of course parents should kick out their pregnant 16 years old daughters or vice verse. It was and awful and inappropriate statement. Made by and ignorant young guy who is probably bopping 16 year olds himself.

Calandro the unemployed radio boy

March 25th, 2011
12:15 pm

Bring back the Kimmer

Ron

March 25th, 2011
12:21 pm

The pregnancy discussion was had by Dawson McAllister. NOT darik.

Kevin

March 25th, 2011
12:39 pm

I’ve never heard of this guy.

Guess it shows the power that satellite radio has over me . . .

who

March 25th, 2011
1:01 pm

who was this guy? never listen to Star

Brenda

March 25th, 2011
1:04 pm

“Soccer mom demographic”…I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

WAR EAGLE

March 25th, 2011
1:17 pm

Does anyone REALLY listen to Star 94? Too many stations playing the same songs every three hrs- ala repeat every 3 V103. Ipods have taken over since no one wants to wait thru a song they don’t want to hear. They want to hear THEIR tunes and right now. Radio will be a thing of the past, music wise, in a few yrs.

Suze

March 25th, 2011
1:55 pm

@Brenda – You might have “thrown up in your mouth” a bit, and I would have rolled my eyes at the expression a few years ago. But now that I’m part of that “soccer mom” demographic, I understand why advertisers love us: we have CASH and don’t hesitate to spend it on good products/services. I DO draw the line, however, at owning a minivan. Never gonna happen…. :)

Fred

March 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

Love the comments from arm chair programmers who gripe if stations don’t program to their basement likes and satellite radio lobbyists who, like those before them, call radio dead when industry news says the exact opposite. Sure radio and other traditional media have been forced to adapt in the digital age, but Lindy and the folks at Star are doing exactly what any media should be doing–creating content that people want to consume. Guess what? It’s working! Listeners are returning to this station and the medium in droves. Darik will go on to create amazing content for another lucky outlet. Dog radio all you want. In the meantime, you’ll be adding to content on this, gasp, newspaper site and encouraging consumption of the very station you mock! Thanks for your contribution!

Satellite

March 25th, 2011
2:31 pm

Go with satellite radio—–listen to the best nationwide 24/7 instead of being stuck with the mediocre local stuff in atlanta. This town doesn’t know good radio, like their sports teams.

Sam

March 25th, 2011
2:56 pm

Suze – you don’t know what you are missing. Once you go mini-van, you’ll never go back.

Amanda

March 25th, 2011
3:36 pm

I really liked Darik and I’m so sad to see him go…

Kat

March 25th, 2011
3:50 pm

Sam: I completely agree with you. We had an SUV up until a few years ago. Now, we can get all three kids in there PLUS all their gear, plus plenty of room for guests, etc. It’s awesome. I thought the same way Suze did a while back, and then I realized that I am secure enough in myself and my lifestyle that my care does not define me – thank goodness, because it’s a messy minivan!

Carlos

March 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

The all 90s weekend was a genius move.

And advertisers love soccer moms because they spend all their husband’s money while he is at work and the kids are at school.

DeadAir

March 25th, 2011
4:52 pm

Star 94 is still around? Do they still play the same 10 songs over and over and over again?

TRUTH

March 25th, 2011
5:53 pm

What is Star 94?

matt

March 25th, 2011
6:33 pm

who knew people still listen to radio?

CMP

March 25th, 2011
9:21 pm

It is a night shift and the demographics of the listeners change from those listening in the daytime. They need someone who is going to capture the listeners attention and keep it. The person needs to be very personable, who is the same on air and off, understand the market, and have a sense of humor. This leads to one person…Tim Orff. He was great on DaveFM, especially when he was able to show his personality more when he was on nights compared to when they went to music mornings with him. Star would benefit from having him.

Lizzy

March 26th, 2011
10:42 am

@valtool – YES YES YES – I HATE that bit – I listen to Star 94 all the time in the car, but when that stupid mystery history comes on, I switch. That is the most ANNOYING bit ever.

DPCS

March 26th, 2011
2:39 pm

Bring Orff back on air!

Rodney Ho Moe

March 26th, 2011
10:03 pm

Larry Wachs wife left him AND took him to the cleaners. Even took the last two hairs off his head.

Kev

March 27th, 2011
1:44 am

Can someone enlighten me as to how Chase Daniels is any different than Darik at night? They’re both the same age range…

Katie

March 27th, 2011
10:25 am

@Kev apparently Chase “gets it” and can play a part. Maybe Darik couldn’t?

Josie

March 27th, 2011
7:50 pm

O.M.G! Come on people! I’m sorry…But…I, can N.O.T handle the fact that Darik is N.O.T working the night shift at Star94!! I’ll have you know, that I’m obsessed with Star94, I flipping L.O.V.E Cindy Simmons, Cindy Simmons daughter(Lilly),Ray Mariner, Heather Branch, Casey Tate,Crazy Mike, Darik Kristofer A.N.D the rest of the crew, that work at Star94! I think of them, as if they were my second family! Who am I kidding, they A.R.E my second family!! I can N.O.T and will N.O.T picture my life without them! Honestly, I don’t want some unknown person taking over Darik’s place!! I want Darik back, on Star94!!!

JimBo

March 28th, 2011
3:11 pm

I agree with DPCS. Bring Orff back. He was good!!

Mike Weiss

March 28th, 2011
6:46 pm

Rodney touched on a good point that the younger demo 18-34 was coming up in ratings with Darik. That’s not the direction whatsoever that they want that daypart (or any other for that matter) going. Props to both sides for seeing the silver lining and not trying to reinvent the wheel. Star is moving in the right direction for the choice that they have made as a station for which demo they are targeting, which is W 25-54.

Calzone

March 28th, 2011
8:51 pm

Wish Star would bring back the woman who filled in on the morning show with Nudge when Steve and Vikki were fired. Think her name was Holly. She was awesome!!!!

John Garry

March 30th, 2011
1:03 am

Scott Lindy: Scott, as you know, I always liked you best. Love, Dad