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The cuts at Kicks 101.5 and Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 beyond Randy & Spiff

Atlanta-based Cumulus Media merged last month with Las-Vegas based Citadel Media, creating the second-largest radio company in the country. Cumulus in Atlanta already owned Rock 100.5, 99X at 98.9, Q100 and Journey 97.9. Cumulus added country station Kicks 101.5 and Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 and wasted no time snipping staff. (Mergers = cost cutting.)

Tim Michaels, former afternoon host of Kicks 101.5, was part of the job cuts there last week. CREDIT: Facebook page

Tim Michaels, former afternoon host of Kicks 101.5, was part of the job cuts there last week. CREDIT: Facebook page

While I was on vacation last week, my colleague Jennifer Brett was kind enough to cover for me and inform the readers here that Randy & Spiff were cut. I plan to talk to them soon and will post an interview. Good news there for fans of the morning team: they do not have a non compete so if another station is seeking a show, they are available immediately!

But there were other notable cuts as well:

- Tim Michaels, the afternoon host at Kicks 101.5, was let go, replaced by Mike Macho, the music director. “He’ll be a great personality for them,” said Steve Mitchell, a former jock at Eagle 106.7 until 2008.

- Traffic guy Greg Talmadge, who worked for both Kicks and Atlanta’s Greatest Hits.

- Bill Celler, the former afternoon host at Kicks 101.5, had been digital content manager for the two stations the past couple of years after Michaels took his slot.

- Christy Ullman, the long-time promotions director for Kicks, who also did work for 106.7

And curiously, Kicks 101.5 has not added a new song since August 25. Why? This is a fallow period for country music releases but that is an unusually long stretch to go without a new song.

Cutting the likes of Randy & Spiff may have been a simple economic business decision on Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, which had seen improving ratings for much of 2011 until a bumpy September, when the station fell from 13th to 17th with a 2.4 rating, down from 3.0 in August. (Market manager Paul O’Malley declined to comment, referring all questions to Cumulus corporate.)

But it has fueled speculation in radio circles that the Atlanta’s Greatest Hits format may not be long for the world, or could be moved to one of Cumulus’ lesser signals. The station, since it changed from country in early 2008, had originally been Scott Shannon’s 1960s/70s-oriented True Oldies format. A year go, the station shifted to Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, with a bulk of its songs from the 1970s (62% over the past month) and 1980s (25%).

Kicks had a very strong first half of the year but fell off sharply over the summer. Ranked fifth overall in April, Kicks was tenth in September with its weakest 25-54 demographic numbers this year.

Q100 and Kicks are the powerhouse stations in the cluster. Rock 100.5 has been struggling of late. 99X will probably stay as is now at 98.9 after several moves. Journey 97.9 has done about as well as it could so far with its limited signal.

And though Dickey Broadcasting is a separate company from Cumulus, its sports station 680/The Fan could potentially go on 106.7 as well. It’s currently simulcast on 680 and 93.7 FM, a weaker signal than 106.7. The two companies, though separate, have some common management.

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55 comments Add your comment

Mr Fernwell

October 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

This is why I love my SiriusXM Radio. No worries about cuts and everything stays the same.

PTC DAWG

October 11th, 2011
1:21 pm

Funny comment about Sirius and XM. I guess someone doesn’t remember they used to be different companies. Yeah, stays the same. LOL.

Kenny

October 11th, 2011
1:29 pm

Speaking of Atlanta radio….. Where has Clark Howard been? The show lately has been either in reruns or with a guest host. Is Clark away or sick? The show is rarely LIVE anyway and reruns are never announced/addressed nor will Clark ever tell listeners when he’ll be away. So what gives with Clark ?

GoodRidance

October 11th, 2011
1:31 pm

Randy used the show as a political attack forum. Spiff was not funny. Glad to see them both gone. It may not last much longer, but at least I will listen to it again until it changes.

ThinSkin

October 11th, 2011
1:36 pm

Everybody likes political talk unless their boy gets creamed; nature of the beast, i.e., human nature.

countryfan

October 11th, 2011
3:17 pm

Thanks for the info. Wondered what happened to Tim Michaels. If you didn’t keep us informed, we’d never know what happened!

[...] more The cuts at Kicks 101.5 and Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 beyond Randy & Spiff at Radio & TV Talk… You Might Also Like…Randy and Spiff let go Hello [...]

George Burdell

October 11th, 2011
4:58 pm

Any possible repercussions for Georgia Tech sports on 106.7?

GayTL

October 11th, 2011
5:13 pm

When are they going to cut/replace EVERYONE on the Steve Harvey Morning Show?

Mike

October 11th, 2011
5:17 pm

Hilarious comment about Sirius / XM staying the same.

Perkle

October 11th, 2011
5:24 pm

Loved Randy & Spiff. Wherever they land will be the morning show I’ll listen to.
Until then, just listen to my iPod on the way to work.

David

October 11th, 2011
5:31 pm

I have always enjoyed Randy and Spiff….had just started tuning into 106.7 in the am but no more….will follow Randy and Spiff where ever they go….When I was an elementary school principal Randy and Spiff took time to make our school some great spots for our local radio station…..Great guys……

john

October 11th, 2011
5:31 pm

sirius is so much better then the crap you here on local radio. Sirius bought XM, big deal it brought more content to us subscribers-

Jake

October 11th, 2011
5:32 pm

Cumulus is a sweatshop.

Lisa T

October 11th, 2011
6:24 pm

This is what comes of FCC deregulation – goliath companies buying each other out and co-owning numerous stations in the same market. A lot more focused on profits than on listeners. So much for healthy competition. WHAT competition??!!

The Miz

October 11th, 2011
6:25 pm

Atlanta sucks for music, Thank god for Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.

elnuestros

October 11th, 2011
6:39 pm

Spotify lets you be your own Sirius/XM. A scary proposition for the herd, but exhilarating to those who can find wit and humor in the world without the aid of sophomoric radio personalities.

Patrick

October 11th, 2011
6:40 pm

That’s why I prefer my mp3 player. Don’t have to worry about who was cut and which station to listen to now. The only time I listen to Atlanta radio (or Georgia radio, for that matter – I live in west Georgia) is if I’m driving around town on the weekends, running errands, driving from work to somewhere for lunch, or if I want to tune in to AM 750 for a traffic update. Otherwise I’ve got my Dell DJ cranking out tunes from all over the place. One moment you’ll hear Steve Miller, the next moment Glenn Miller.

jed clampett

October 11th, 2011
6:43 pm

Echo the other comments about atlanta having the SORRIEST stations probably in the us. SAME LAME songs all daaay loooong evvvvryyydaaaay. I would LOVE to hear that HIGH SCHOOL morning bert show broadcasting from Q100 HIGH SCHOOL with all their HIGH SCHOOL DRIVEL, got the AXE. If you’re an adult & you listen & call in to kiss those 30-40 something JACKASSES ASSES, who ACT & TALK like their STILL in HIGH SCHOOL, playing that TEENYBOPPER HIGH SCHOOL GARBAGE that they call music, then you NEED TO GROW UP! ESPECIALLY all the LITTLE GIRLS out there of all AGES who call in need to GROW UP & STOP YOUR LITTLE HIGH SCHOOL GOSSIPING! GROW UP AND ACT LIKE WOMEN and not LITTLE GIRLS!!!

Radio listener

October 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

Any chance the cuts will soon include Buck and Kincade? Fingers crossed.

radio....aka I hate Georgia

October 11th, 2011
6:47 pm

Like I said a while back, when Rhubarb was fired Atlanta radio went to hell. Now I’m not trying to say anything about the other stations or genra, but look at them. I still don’t like Q100 (oh poor poo poo broke up w/Bo BO). About the only thing worth listening to is the sports stations. 680 as long as they don’t harp on ‘georgia is still my favorite. I’ll listen to ‘Wes on 790 during Falcons games.

whm

October 11th, 2011
6:47 pm

Not a fan of XM/sirius. The wife got it for me for Xmas one year. The reception is actually worse than FM. I lose reception when I go under trees, or sit in the bank drive thru. Their variety is no better than many FM stations. Yes, they play different songs than FM, but they play them over and over. The sole benefit is that you have no commercials. I would not recommend it.

Kat

October 11th, 2011
6:48 pm

The appearance of so many CAPS scared me with Jed Clampett’s post, but I have to admit – he is SO RIGHT ON TARGET!

rookie

October 11th, 2011
7:09 pm

fire tripp west he sucks your ratings fell when you hired that big mouth losser

Hannah

October 11th, 2011
7:13 pm

Tim! Greg! Bill! I’ll miss them!! :(

AtlantaFM sucks

October 11th, 2011
7:41 pm

I stopped listening to 106.7 when they changed from True Oldies to their current format….so now all FM stations have the same playlist.

Southside Steve

October 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

Why in heaven’s name would ANYONE want to get into broadcasting? You are around back-stabbing scumbags all day long, you work remotes surrounded by teenybopper yahoos, get fired every time the station changes hands, and make under $30k a year. Better to be a greeter at Walmart.

yellafella

October 11th, 2011
8:02 pm

now that EDDIE MONEY is the new morning guy at 97.1 they will be #1 soon

Radio?

October 11th, 2011
8:05 pm

I only listen to death metal and gangsta rap… it’s not on the radio.

Old Hippie

October 11th, 2011
8:11 pm

Agree with Radio Listener above – 680theFan needs to lose Ole Buck (Kincaide is okay, certainly better than the Valdosta mumble-mouth). And I also quit listening to 106.8 as soon as they dropped Scott Shannon’s feed.

Lojack

October 11th, 2011
8:18 pm

I don’t listen to any radio at all. Too predictable. Back in the day DJs would free-style their plays but now it’s all programmed and it’s mostly crap music. Plus, I can’t stand all that yakking that goes on that’s even more crap!

Dave

October 11th, 2011
8:52 pm

Old Hippie, you’re right. Buck never met a non-sequitur or cliche he didn’t love, while clicking his tongue every other sentence. “Johnny, baby, gotta love whatever nonsense I’m saying.”

I'm Shocked

October 11th, 2011
8:56 pm

Boortz all the way–Wake up America !!!!!

Sheila

October 11th, 2011
9:05 pm

I listen to 106.7 for the conversation, the jokes, the goofing off. Music is the last reason I listen. (hint: when the 80’s at 8 song starts repeating, the rotation needs some help). I MISS Randy & Spiff.

i

HRPufnstuf

October 11th, 2011
9:53 pm

They fired Randy and Spiff, I fired them! Programming otherwise was abysmal since they dropped Scott Shannon.

Drive Time Dawg

October 11th, 2011
9:59 pm

How bout canning Suck and Turn-off (better known as Chuck and Chernoff). I want to hear local sports talk but not from these two clowns. Chernoff has potential, maybe a new partner?????

Vince

October 11th, 2011
9:59 pm

Local radio is just about dead. Satellite Radio will continue to grow. Also, you can’t beat Pandora.

afrosheen

October 12th, 2011
12:24 am

“I’m Shocked” Dont you really mean, Wake up white people. Its over, Mexico is taking over.

Atari

October 12th, 2011
1:19 am

Atlanta needs a format like LA’s KCBS-FM “Jack FM” that plays like my iPod on shuffle: Just. Good. Music.

Journey has come close, but still has some growing to do. Atlanta radio, in my opinion, died when 96 Rock disappeared. I miss Kimmer on WGST along with Z93, 96 Rock, and late-90’s-era 99X (and even Fox 97, where Randy & Spiff thrived)

Huh?

October 12th, 2011
3:03 am

If you don’t listen to radio why r u reading/commenting on the article?

bigdaddyj

October 12th, 2011
6:05 am

Oh please, oh please cut Buck and Kincade. The only show worth listening to on 680 is Chuck and Chernoff. The rest is awful. Best show on radion without a doubt is Barnhart and Durham (and I’m a dawg fan).

jv

October 12th, 2011
6:53 am

106.7 hasn’t been the same since they stopped being True Oldies, HUGE mistake, HUGE! I really like Tripp West, but also am really angry that Randy and Spiff were let go, like many others, I will follow them to any station that hires them. I am glad 100.5 is struggling, TRG are clearly a joke whose time has long since passed.

Laurie

October 12th, 2011
12:36 pm

I miss Randy and Spiff, have always enjoyed them over the years, they can do away with that Tripp dude, he is full of himself!

TheLazyComic

October 12th, 2011
12:43 pm

And Kicks hangs on to Dallas? Why? She is more burnt-out than the light in my basement. Steve Mitchell? I’d heard he moved to Egypt.

bandmom09

October 12th, 2011
2:54 pm

Have any one heard Eddie Money? Sounds like a drunk from New Jersey. No personality at all. Just give me my Ipod. No music on in the mornings at all.

Staci

October 12th, 2011
3:26 pm

I stopped listening to Kicks years ago. Now its 107.1 out of Rome/Cartersville or Sirius/XM. I tune into 94.9 on Saturdays @ 9pm for ‘Backyard Country’. Didn’t care for Dallas & Caddy as a team.

dickhead

October 12th, 2011
5:23 pm

if you read the story 106.7 want be around to much longer 2012 will air a new station whatch and see

AtlantaFan

October 12th, 2011
8:21 pm

Miss Tim and Greg on KICKS. :( Both were good listeners and very fun at remotes.

Sandra

October 12th, 2011
8:34 pm

106.7 made a BIG mistake! Randy and Spiff was the best thing about that station. I only listened to that station in the morning because I enjoyed them. They kept me laughing all the way to work, and since I’m not a morning person it really helped. I will miss them both. Hope they find another job soon.

JDonJ

October 12th, 2011
9:51 pm

R&S made the morning death match around I-285 a little less daunting — obviously the money guys don’t give a rat’s @$$ as to what makes the station attractive. Soon they’ll be auctioning off towers and equipment to the highest bidder on the front steps. I miss the days of real people, who actually had a brain and a personality! Gary Lee McKee, Skinny Bobby Harper, Ludlow Porch, Randy & Spiff, Kim Peterson — pretty barren place now, ain’t it !