Dave FM, which has gone through five morning shows since its inception in 2004, is now looking for its sixth after letting Jimmy Baron and Yvonne Monet go this morning.
General manager Rick Caffey declined to say why they were let go but said the station will be “taking its time” seeking a replacement. For now, Steve Craig will cover as interim morning host.
That name may be familiar to 99X fans. Craig was the mid-day host at that station from 1992 to 2007. He then spent near three years in New York under Leslie Fram (now at CMT) working as a jock at WRXP-FM, a rock station that recently switched to news.
As a result, Craig lost his job and rumors instantly popped up that he would end up at Dave. He quickly nabbed some part-time work there and even came in one morning to gab with Baron and Monet, who are also former jocks at 99X.
[UPDATE on Friday, 11/11/11: Craig did his School of Musical Knowledge bit he used to do on 99X and WRXP. The quiz question was what was the theme song of "Chuck." Answer: "Short Skirt, Long Jacket," which he then played.]
It appears Christopher “Crash” Clark, the traffic guy, may stay on at V-103 but not Dave. [UPDATE: Renee Washington who had been doing traffic during afternoons on Dave, took over Friday morning.]
Dave FM’s ratings have fluctuated up and down over the years. Earlier this year, the station had some strong months but numbers sunk sharply over the past five months.
In January, the station had a 4.5 share, tied for eighth and a 6.2 rating among 25 to 54 year olds, worthy of third place. By October, it had sunk to a 2.0 overall share, of 18th place and a 2.6 rating among 25 to 54, ranking them 15th.
Baron and Monet’s morning show, which was recently cut back to 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., lagged behind the rest of the station. Management kept the show fairly music intensive.
In January, among 25 to 54 year olds, the show ranked 11th. By October, it was down to 20th. (Dave’s strongest day part for years has been mid-days featuring Mara Davis.)
Baron had an amusing gathering he’d do every month called “Dads Between Gigs” where unemployed dads could meet and commiserate in this lousy economy. Baron himself was unemployed for three years between 99X and Dave FM.
Scott Jameson, the station’s third program director since 2004, joined the station in 2009 and hired Baron. (The general sales manager John Riemenschneider was recently let go.)
People who listened in this morning heard Baron joke to a listener that his simple wish was to still be employed by his birthday, which is Nov. 13. “You’re good to go,” the listener said. “It’s only Thursday,” Baron said. Before the morning was out, his joke came true and he was unemployed.
Going back to the time when the station was Z93, the signal under different owners has been unable to find a stable morning show. None has lasted more than three years.
Here’s the parade of hosts since 1989. I’m repeating some info I wrote back in January, 2008.
1989: Barry Chase.
1989-1992: Chase & Woodside. The pair worked at Z93 when it was a top 40 station, the very first FM morning team in Atlanta back in 1974. Managemtent thought it would be cool to bring them back together as a team. Woodside, in an interview in 2008 recalls that their ratings were moving up (No. 3 25-49 at one point) until management told them to pull back on talking about themselves and shortening bits and such. Ratings went down and they were soon goners.
1992-93: Slats. Does anybody remember him and what happened?
1993-96: The Greaseman (Above, WZGC’s only syndicated show) He was a grating, loudmouth shock jock type who often got in trouble. He split the audience. Some loved him; too many hated him.
1996-98: Gary McKee (right). After a long illustrious run in radio, he was at the tail end of his career and was burned out. He has since retired from the business.
1998-99: Charlie & Company. This was a comedy-oriented show that wasn’t quite ready for primetime.
1999-2002: Dave Marino. He’s a talented guy who was never utilized properly or given room to breath.
2002: Moby. After a long successful stint at Kicks, Moby simply didn’t fit well in the classic rock mode and lasted only a few months. Management shoved him to traffic to try to get him to leave but he stuck around for several months getting a big paycheck and doing traffic while the “Mission Impossible” theme played behind him. He’s now doing a syndicated morning show heard on country stations in Rome and Athens.
2003-04: Mara & Dunham: This was a quick fix after Moby. The pair was just starting to congeal as a team when CBS pulled the plug on Z93 and switched to Dave.
2004-06: Barnes & Firfer: Hoping to resurrect the magic of 99X, CBS hired Steve Barnes (right) with CNN’s Holly Firfer but without Leslie & Jimmy, it wasn’t quite the same.
2006-07: Firfer & Orff: This was a stopgap show, which actually did as well, if not better, than the Barnes days.
2008: Zakk Tyler. A complete non starter. Zakk couldn’t hack it and was out after less than ten months.
October, 2008: Tim Orff: Orff came back from a night jock spot to cover mornings for the next 11 months. He is now a night jock at Star 94.
August 17, 2009-November 10, 2011: Jimmy Baron paired with Yvonne Monet.
November 11, 2011– ??? : Steve Craig becomes interim host.
Coincidentally or not, local media planner Roddy Freeman wrote a column this week in his blog about Dave FM’s woes this week.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk