In its first on-air move since its inception in 2000, Christian pop station 104.7/The Fish has hired a new afternoon host, moving long-time on-air personality Dan Ratcliffe to an off-air post.
According to a memo sent to staff by program director Mike Blakemore, Ratcliffe takes on a “new department head position as Creative Services Director for Salem Atlanta. He will be taking his creative and production talents to a new level overseeing production for all stations, including web streaming. He will also, over time, be overseeing the digital and social media platforms for all the Atlanta properties. Dan’s voice and production skills are unmatched in this market. This is a huge step for him and we are very excited to have someone of Dan’s caliber to be heading up this critically important initiative.”
Ratcliffe will be replaced in late July or early August by Beth Bacall, who is currently on Star 99.1, a Christian station in the New York/New Jersey area.
Here is Blakemore’s take on her (and CCM in the music world means Contemporary Christian Music):
She is a legend in the CCM world as a top notch talent, specializing in communicating with our target demo in a way that no one else can. She also is the proprietor of “She Prep” a service that radio personalities all over the world use to better connect with women on the air. Beth travels the country working and heading several CMB [Christian Music Broadcasters] and GMA [Gospel Music Association] events, and even provides talent coaching for many shows. Having her on our team focused on afternoon drive is a huge win for Salem Atlanta
The Fish is one of the most popular Christian contemporary stations in the country and has been a steady performer over the past 11 years in Atlanta. It draws nearly 600,000 listeners a week and is frequently ranked in the top 10 among 25 to 54 year old listeners. It has also had the most stable line-up of any radio station in town, with the same morning, mid-day and afternoon hosts since its inception.
Blakemore later added this in a follow-up email to me:
With four stations, our production and social media needs have evolved to the point that we needed one dedicated person to head that new department. Dan’s skill set perfectly matched that need. That left a hole in afternoon drive and Beth was our number one choice for the job. In my opinion she is at a talent level few have seen in this industry and I have every expectation she will be a game changer during Atlanta’s afternoon drive.
Here’s the story I wrote a year ago on its tenth anniversary.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog