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Archive for December, 2011

Marcus Sakey’s ‘Hidden City’ explores Atlanta Dec. 27

Former Atlantan Marcus Sakey hosts "Hidden City" on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. CREDIT: Travel Channel

Former Atlantan Marcus Sakey hosts "Hidden City" on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. CREDIT: Travel Channel

In 1996, Marcus Sakey landed his first job out of college in Atlanta at Turner Broadcasting behind the scenes in animation. At the time, he never imagined himself in front of the camera.

Fifteen years later, Sakey’s hosting his own TV show on the Travel Channel called “Hidden City,” where he travels to one particular city each episode to dig into iconic historical crimes. On Tuesday, he ventures back to Atlanta, a city where  he resided from 1996 to 2003 and met his wife G.g.

“The idea is to explore cities through their stories,” Sakey said in a recent phone interview. “I go into each city from the viewpoint of a novelist. The idea is to understand the people as characters, to know what they were going through from my perspective.”

A fictional crime author, Sakey said “Hidden City” takes a slice of foodie traveler Anthony Bourdain’s whimsy, a taste …

Continue reading Marcus Sakey’s ‘Hidden City’ explores Atlanta Dec. 27 »

Could El Patron lose its 105.3 signal?

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Fans of Mexican regional music on 105.3/El Patron have a reason to be worried. But fans of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck who prefer FM over AM might be heartened.

Rumors have been rife in recent weeks that Clear Channel Communications – which in Atlanta operates El Patron, 94.9/The Bull, 640/WGST-AM, Project 9-6-1 and Wild 105.7/96.7 – may move El Patron to a much weaker signal.

El Patron, whose ratings have cratered the past three years, earlier this month canned its program director. I heard from a good source that management got rid of some staff this past Thursday, just in time for Christmas. Melissa Forrest, market manager for Clear Channel Atlanta said recent openings hardly constitute the entire staff.

In an email, she also belittled the rumor mill and Arbitron’s measurement methodology for Hispanic audiences:

Why do you guys waste your time on that thing? You could be more constructive by publishing that Arbitron should have Spanish language weighting and a more …

Continue reading Could El Patron lose its 105.3 signal? »

TV best bets with ‘N.Y. Ink,’ ‘Rachael vs. Guy,’ New Year’s celebrations galore

rachael-ray-guy-fieri

Traditionally, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the quietest of the year on TV, save for football.

Yet while the broadcast networks play repeats, some networks have decided to pump out several new and returning reality series.

On Tuesday, WE brings Texas moms who happen to have twins, triplets or quintets. On Thursday, TLC offers the sophomore year of “N.Y. Ink” and a new series “Hook, Line & Sisters,” which is yet another series based in Alaska. Animal Planet on Friday brings back “Infested!” On Sunday, Food Network combines Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray for a celebrity cookoff featuring the likes of boy-band vets Joey Fatone and Aaron Carter.

And Saturday night is packed with New Year’s celebrations on several networks. The newest twist is on Fox, which has added a country music twist to its New Year’s proceedings as counter-programming to Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark over on ABC.

MONDAY

“Monday Night Football” 8:30 p.m. ESPN —  A well-rested Atlanta …

Continue reading TV best bets with ‘N.Y. Ink,’ ‘Rachael vs. Guy,’ New Year’s celebrations galore »

Bruno Mars (’It Will Rain’) edges out Rihanna (’We Found Love’) for top Atlanta radio song

Bruno-Mars-It-Will-Rain-LyricsIt’s a barn burner for most played song in Atlanta this past week.

Bruno Mars, who has had a string of hits lately with “Just the Way You Are, “Grenade” and “The Lazy Song,” hits the top spot in Atlanta with “It Will Rain” from the latest “Twilight” film. Three stations spun it 231  spins.

It saw a whopping gain of 83 spins this past week, with mid-rotation on Star (28 spins) and top rotation on Q100 (91) and Wild 105.7 (112).

Rihanna has been pumping out even more big songs over a longer period of time. Over the past two years, she has been at the top of Atlanta radio with songs such as “Rude Boy,” “S&M” and “What’s My Name?” Now she has “We Found Love,” which has top rotational spins on Q100 (89) and Wild (a whopping 125). She has one spin each on Star, Hot and V-103. But she falls 14 spins short of Bruno Mars with 217.

The No. 1 song for eight non-consecutive weeks, Maroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger, took a major tumble, losing 99 spins in the past week and falling to 12th …

Continue reading Bruno Mars (’It Will Rain’) edges out Rihanna (’We Found Love’) for top Atlanta radio song »

Jennifer Hudson 2004 meets Jennifer Hudson 2011, courtesy of Weight Watchers

Jennifer Hudson opens a Weight Watchers Center in her name in Chicago. CREDIT: AP

Jennifer Hudson opens a Weight Watchers Center in her name in Chicago. CREDIT: AP

Weight Watchers gleaned Jennifer Hudson’s wild-card performance in 2004 when she was a bit weightier and wore a “hideous” (as Simon called it) pink dress. And she duets with Jennifer Hudson 2011. It’s oddly mesmerizing:

Then you watch the original performance below and have to appreciate the video magic. Clearly, the CGI folks had to do a LOT of work to make the ad above even look halfway convincing:

Hudson will be at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble January 18 at 7 p.m. signing her new book “I Got This.”

- Ratings update: “X Factor” finale drew 12.4 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating. That’s not bad but less than half of what “Idol’ draws.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

Continue reading Jennifer Hudson 2004 meets Jennifer Hudson 2011, courtesy of Weight Watchers »

Top songs on Atlanta radio in 2011 by Trey Songz, Adele, Train, Casting Crowns

As the year draws to a close, here’s the annual compilation of most played songs at each of the major stations in Atlanta, as measured by Mediabase 24/7.

Amazing how similar the top 5’s are for both Majic and Kiss.

Trey Songz - Love Faces (FanMade Single Cover) Made by LuvAmaru279

V-103
1. Trey Songz “Love Faces”
2. Kelly Rowland “Motivation”
3. Marsha Ambrosius “Far Away”
4. Kanye West “All of the Lights”
5. DJ Khaled “I’m on One”

Hot 107.9
1. DJ Khaled “I’m on One”
2. Chris Brown “Look at Me Now”
3. Kelly Rowland “Motivation”
4. Lil Wayne “6 Foot 7 Foot”
5. YC “Racks”

Kiss 104.1
1. Jill Scott “So In Love
2. Charlie Wilson “You Are”
3. Marsha Ambrosius “Far Away”
4. R. Kelly “Love Letter”
5. KEM “Share My Life”

So-In-Love-Lyrics-Jill-ScottMajic 107.5/102.5
1. Jill Scott “So In Love”
2. Charlie Wilson “You Are”
3. Marsha Ambrosius “Share My Life”
4. KEM “If It’s Love”
5. R. Kelly “Love Letter”

Wild 105.7
1. Pitbull “Give Me Everything”
2. LMFAO “Party Rock Anthem”
3. Katy Perry “E.T.”
4. Black Eyed Peas “Just Can’t Get Enough”
5. Nicki Minaj “Super Bass”

Q100
1. …

Continue reading Top songs on Atlanta radio in 2011 by Trey Songz, Adele, Train, Casting Crowns »

Who won ‘The X Factor’?

THE X FACTOR: Finale: Melanie Amaro performs on THE X FACTOR Dec. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE X FACTOR Finale airs Wed., Dec. 21 and Thurs., Dec. 22 on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

THE X FACTOR: Finale: Melanie Amaro performs on THE X FACTOR Dec. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE X FACTOR Finale airs Wed., Dec. 21 and Thurs., Dec. 22 on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

Melanie winning ‘The X Factor’

  • She had it in the bag. Good for her!
  • It should have been Josh!
  • it should have been Chris!

View Results

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So season one of “X Factor” is over and we will never have to watch robo-host again!

Early favorite Melanie Amaro upped the Mariah quotient to the very end and won the $5 million. (Oh, and that pesky Pepsi commercial!)

She kneeled in prayer and was attacked by her friends and family as robo-host tried to get her to say something. He failed miserably.

“She will represent this country. She is a star,” Simon said instead.

After she sang “Listen,” robo-host finally got her to croak out a few words. “God is good!” she said. “This is something I wanted all my life!”

Amaro beat out Josh Krajcik, the wonderfully sweet rocker who …

Continue reading Who won ‘The X Factor’? »

Fox gives reporters a 25-minute ‘Idol’ season 11 preview; Adam Lambert arrested in Finland

american-idol-2011-2012-seasonBelieve it or not, we are now up to season 11 of ‘American Idol,” which debuts on January 18.

As a preview, Fox has given reporters access to screen 25 minutes of footage from auditions this past summer on the same day “The X Factor” concludes.

“Idol” acolytes (and there are many) who miss the show after weeks of “The X Factor” onslaught will enjoy the clips (though this set of clips probably won’t be available to you all until the auditions begin.)

The producers went out of their way to create colorful background vistas for the judges, be it boats, airplanes or colorful trees. (The audition cities included Portland, St. Louis and Charleston, S.C.).

They included a segment out of San Diego, where auditions are held on the U.S.S. Midway, the first open-air auditions in the history of the show. This also mean far more noise problems than normal. The producers play it for laughs.

The backdrop where the “Idol” contestants audition no longer features past winners. Photos of the …

Continue reading Fox gives reporters a 25-minute ‘Idol’ season 11 preview; Adam Lambert arrested in Finland »

2011 Atlanta radio year in review: Randy & Spiff, Jimmy Baron, Elle Duncan, Herman Cain

Randy and Spiff are seeking work after losing their fifth job in Atlanta in October. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Randy and Spiff are seeking work after losing their fifth job in Atlanta in October. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I’ve covered Atlanta radio for ten years. 2011 was a relatively quiet one.

We lost a few morning shows but otherwise, there was not a single major format change, at least as of today. (We still have nine days left in the calendar year but the latest a station has changed format in a calendar year since 2001 is Dec. 18. That was in 2006, when Lite 94.9 dumped Christmas in a total bah humbug move and switched to country station 94.9/The Bull.)

Here are the biggest (mostly) Atlanta radio stories of 2011:

Big merger: Atlanta-based Cumulus Media closed a merger in September with Citadel in a $2.5 billion deal. This makes Cumulus the second-biggest radio company in America behind only Clear Channel Communications. Locally, Cumulus added Kicks 101.5 and Atlanta’s Greatest Hits at 106.7, along with 99X, Journey 97.9, Rock 100.5 and Q100.

For hire – again: Randy & …

Continue reading 2011 Atlanta radio year in review: Randy & Spiff, Jimmy Baron, Elle Duncan, Herman Cain »

‘The X Factor’ finals recap: did they make it their own?

THE X FACTOR: Top 3 Perform: Melanie Amaro performs on THE X FACTOR Dec. 21 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE X FACTOR Finale airs Wed., Dec. 21 and Thurs., Dec. 22 on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

THE X FACTOR: Top 3 Perform: Melanie Amaro performs on THE X FACTOR Dec. 21 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE X FACTOR Finale airs Wed., Dec. 21 and Thurs., Dec. 22 on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

Bottom line: who should win “The X Factor”?

  • Chris Rene
  • Melanie Amaro
  • Josh Krajcik

View Results

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Sure, this show suffered from over-production, annoyingly bickering judges and a host who shouldn’t even be hosting a small-town pageant.

But through all that dreck, they managed to come up with three decent finalists. And I watched this via DVR so I was able to fast forward through much of the dross.

Round one, the trio all showed deference to their celebrity duet partners, as in Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne and R. Kelly. So for me, that didn’t really help us determine their worth as individual artists.

Then we watched them repeat their original audition songs in fully produced form. And each one in their own way proved why they are here tonight.

Josh …

Continue reading ‘The X Factor’ finals recap: did they make it their own? »