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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Kelly McCoy leaving B98.5 after 27 years in afternoons

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Kelly McCoy, who has manned the mic at pop-rock station B98.5 for 27 years in the afternoons, is leaving Friday.

“I’m a very blessed man,” said McCoy, 59. “I have no complaints. I have no regrets. It’s been a great place to work. They treated me fairly.”

McCoy’s warm voice and upbeat personality on air has been truly a constant on the station, even as it has transitioned over the years from a softer rock format with plenty of Rod Stewart, Elton John and Phil Collins to a more current-based mix featuring Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.

McCoy, heard from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays as well as voice-tracked on weekends, began his Atlanta radio career in 1978 at 790/WQXI-AM (”Quixie in Dixie”), which was the flame-throwing top 40 station of its day. He segued over to what was then called WSB 99 FM in early 1985.

One song McCoy said he thinks he’s played regularly since that day? Wham’s “Careless Whisper.”  “Can’t say I’m not tired of that one,” he said.

When asked by people how he’s survived this long, McCoy said he gives a simple, lighthearted answer: “I do what I’m told.”

Tom Taylor, who runs radio news site radio-info.com, said this type of longevity is a combination of skill and luck. It’s rare for anyone to last 20 years in the same time slot at the same station, much less 27. Factors, he said, that helped McCoy: stable ownership in Cox and reliable pop radio format targeting soccer moms.

“He’s had consistently good ratings,” said B98.5 program director Lee Cagle, “and a consistently great name in the market.”

Cagle said he had known for awhile so he had time to find a replacement, who will be announced on Friday. He said it’s someone who is from out of town and not known in the Atlanta market.

Update on Friday April 27: Cagle said McCoy’s replacement is Mike Shannon from Louisville.

McCoy, not to be mistaken for B98.5 morning host Kelly Stevens, said he and his wife Cary will spend a month at his beloved beach home in St. Simons Island before moving forward. “I plan to retire from radio right now,” he said. “The possibilities are endless in the online world. I have some entrepreneurial ideas up my sleeve.”

In other B98.5 news, Cagle said the station is experimenting by dropping its long-running specialty weekends featuring either all 1980s music or a mix of 1980s and 1990s the past two weeks. Instead, the station is playing its regular rotation on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s too early, he said, to judge if ratings are being impacted, good or bad. “I’ve received some complaints,” he said. “But not a lot.”

Here’s an insider’s read on B98.5’s recent changes by Roddy Freeman.

Oddly, McCoy started a blog on the radio station’s site just a month ago here.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

75 comments Add your comment

Aaron

April 24th, 2012
4:59 pm

Kelly McCoy is AWESOME!! It has been a privilege getting to know this man as both my mentor and my friend!! I wish him all the best

Aaron

LT

April 24th, 2012
5:00 pm

A true class act, always engaging and fun. You’ll be missed, bossman!

bulldogbubba

April 24th, 2012
5:16 pm

I have listened to him since the ‘QXI days.As has already been said “a class act” all the way. Hate to see another Atlanta tradition leaving. Best Wishes!!!

Bill Anderson

April 24th, 2012
5:23 pm

Kelly has been a class act since I listened to him at WQXI. He is the one bright spot at B98.5. All the best to you and your family Kelly. Atlanta will miss you.

Billy

April 24th, 2012
5:40 pm

All the music that’s popular now is garbage. I don’t know if that had anything to do with his departure, but if I were in his shoes, having to listen to crap all afternoon long, I would have left already. Rap is all they play now–the 70s and early 80s were head and shoulders above the charmless sludge that passes for music today.
Best wishes, Kelly. You were a joy to listen to…

KennesawDave

April 24th, 2012
5:43 pm

Wow, I’m happy for him but sad at the same time. I have listened to him for so many of those 27 years. Best wishes to you Kelly, you’ll be missed a great deal.

Flocko

April 24th, 2012
5:45 pm

A consummate broadcaster and the epitome of a great human being. Kelly Mac, congratulations on 27 awesome years, and good luck with your future endeavors. You will be missed in the Atlanta Radio market.

phil

April 24th, 2012
6:07 pm

Fire Kelly McCoy while you still can!! ;-)

Best of luck to him.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

April 24th, 2012
6:13 pm

This is a real loss for B98.5. Kelly McCoy will definitely be missed. A good man!

TK

April 24th, 2012
6:16 pm

I have listened to B98.5 since it came on the air back when the artists actually sang. Many of the personalities have came and left, but Kelly has been a constant. I will miss hearing him on the evening drive. Good luck Kelly!!

Eric

April 24th, 2012
6:34 pm

I haven’t been listening to B98.5 lately. Kelly McCoy displayed longevity on Atlanta radio, and his presence will be missed.

I got burned out on the Big ’80s Weekends, as well as got burned out on hearing the same Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, and Matchbox 20 songs being over-played… and wasn’t too pleased with B98’s decision of disbanding Steve and Vikki’s morning show. I notice Larry Lane hasn’t been doing his late-night hosting duties in quite some time, and would typically hear him hosting the community affairs promos.

We have yet to find out who’ll be taking the afternoon time-slot. I assume Jordan Graye will stay in the midday time-slot. Don’t know if B98 will start back to airing Delilah’s show from 7PM-Midnight, when the show is aired live… instead of the 8PM-1AM delay. Don’t know if we’ll be seeing another morning show shake-up again anytime soon.

Oh no!

April 24th, 2012
6:35 pm

Don’t drop the 80’s weekends! I was wondering what happened lately. When 98.5 plays 80’s music, they have my ear. And my 14 year old son loves 80’s music. He said he wished he could have grown up in the 80’s because the music was so cool! Best wishes to you Kelly! We’re gonna miss you!

Tami

April 24th, 2012
6:53 pm

Sorry to see Kelly go. I have listened to him his entire 27 years on air here…quite a feat. It won’t be the same without Kelly in Atlanta radio for sure.

McCoy, not to be mistaken for B98.5 morning host Kelly Stevens

Rodney: I know you wrote that line because of me….LOL. Thanks for straightening me out!

Kim

April 24th, 2012
7:07 pm

Afternoons won’t be the same without Kelly McCoy behind the mic. All of the nice comments (and lack of snark!) are a true testament to how much you are loved and will be missed. Godspeed!!

Tom Paleveda

April 24th, 2012
7:19 pm

Simply the best on and off the air, period
end of story, B 98’s loss.

Vince Doodly

April 24th, 2012
8:18 pm

Glad he is leaving…Boooooorrring…. And Fire Jordan Gray next please.

CG

April 24th, 2012
8:44 pm

What a career. I remember receiving a record “A Horse with No Name” from him and driving a MGB for the first time. Congrats

Phil Terrana

April 24th, 2012
8:47 pm

Damn, they already hired a replacement? I’m here, rested, tanned and ready, just damn.

Anderson

April 24th, 2012
8:49 pm

I will miss Kelly McCoy. It will be really weird initially when he is gone.

I’m not too keen on B98.5 dropping its 80’s or even 80’s/90’s themed weekends.

Atlanta radio leaves a lot to be desired these days….fortunately there are other outlets due to today’s technology.

80s Girl

April 24th, 2012
9:01 pm

PLEEEEEEASE bring back the 80’s weekends!!!! While you are at it PLEEEEEEEASE stop playing Adele, Daughtry and Kelly Clarkson EVERY 45 minutes!!! You say you play the 80s, 90s and Now? Ok well that would be thousands of songs right?? So play them!!!!

RegularGuy listener

April 24th, 2012
9:03 pm

Now if only Larry W.A.C.H.S. would leave the RegularGuy program on WNNX 100.5 f.m. we would all be happy. But he has to take his boy toys SouthSideSteve and SeaBass with him.

MA

April 24th, 2012
9:08 pm

Love Kelly in the afternoons on my way home from work. Best of luck to you and your family!! Please, 98.5 don’t get rid of all 80’s weekends. PLEASE!!!!!

Lamar

April 24th, 2012
9:14 pm

In 1985 soon after Kelly coming to B98.5, I was the “lucky” caller on his show and won the “grand prize” to Diana Ross…(at the Omni),..the only thing I’ve ever won in my life, complete with Limo, dinner at a nice Buckhead restaurant, DVD’s, diamond necklace, etc.. and Kelly came to our home, picked us up and he and his wife went with us to the concert, dinner and back home. They were both so very genuine. He even called me a couple times and stayed in touch. He is an icon in Atlanta radio and like everyone else has said..he will be missed. Good Luck in the next season of your life Kelly !

TPM

April 24th, 2012
9:28 pm

Enjoy your time off Kelly. Any chance of you taking Jordan Graye with you? Her voice is so annoying

Margaret Carey

April 24th, 2012
9:30 pm

Congratulations DP! You make all your friends and classmates in Hartwell proud!

Early Cuyler

April 24th, 2012
9:33 pm

Only losers listen to this crap. Get Sirius.

Jenny in Cobb

April 24th, 2012
9:37 pm

Kelly will be missed for sure, but I hope B98 management stops trying to be like Star 94. 80’s, 90’s and Now means playing 80’s and there’s fewer of them now and more of the same now songs that star plays. Differentiate, sameness not so smart.

Mary-Beth Garver

April 24th, 2012
9:46 pm

Love Adele, Pink and many other more modern artists, but please continue the variety of showcasing the 80’s as my kids are being exposed to some of this music for the first time and love it.
I”m a Q 100 and Star listener as well but prefer the variety of B and have noticed fewer and fewer of them especially on weekends. Thank you.

DD

April 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

Early Cuyler
April 24th, 2012
9:33 pm

Only losers listen to this crap. Get Sirius.

Only losers post terrestrial radio sucks, get Sirius in response to Every radio story Rodney writes.

Wink

April 24th, 2012
10:21 pm

He didn’t retire. Cox wants to save money. Just wait and see.

80s Girl

April 24th, 2012
10:27 pm

Hey Early Cuyler, take your stuckup Sirius a** off of this RADIO & TV TALK board (notice it doesn’t say SIRIUS anywhere in the name????????). No one gives a crap what you think LOSER!

Eric

April 24th, 2012
11:31 pm

I’m not sure about Jordan Graye’s future at B98. I don’t know if former Star94 (and Q100) personality Tracy St. George would be interested in coming back to Atlanta radio. She seemed very likeable. I don’t know about other names, like Jimmy Baron, Tom Sullivan, Tripp West, etc.

Kevin O'Connell

April 24th, 2012
11:56 pm

Kelly, as a former colleague at Quixie, I have always admired your rock steady performance. You are a true professional… one of the last of the all-time great jocks, my friend. I know you will be a success at whatever challenging and creative endeavor you undertake. All the best, buddy. That’s my input and feedback, for what it’s worth. You just keep being a class act!

finally

April 25th, 2012
1:26 am

I will miss Kelly McCoy, I have won prizes from him over the years and he was always a great person to talk to and always thanked me for listening to B985. He and Greg Fitzgerald from the long gone Jazz station were such a delight to listen to. I hope you enjoy your time off and your well earned future. It is sad that most deejays are screamers and rely on lame stunts and gags to get attention the greats are vanishing from our dial.

Steve From Dalton

April 25th, 2012
1:56 am

If B98.5 drops the 80’s weekends for good, I will take them out of my presets.

Just Sayin'

April 25th, 2012
4:12 am

Congratulations Kelly for a wonderful run in radio and best wishes to you in the next wonderful adventure in your life!

James Greek

April 25th, 2012
5:48 am

I live in Alabama now and Asa teenager growing up in Atlanta from 1999-2001, B 98.5 was my favorite station. I remember listening to Kelly McCoy just about every afternoon. I often got him confused with Klly Stevens from the old Kelly and Alpha morning show. I am fortunate to grow up with B 98.5 back when it was good. And, as a fan of 80s music, I LOVED the all 80s theme weeks they did. As well as the other special weeks they did. But this was back when I was naive and didn’t realize the played the same old songs day in and day out. As I got older I realized the corporate mess involved. But Kelly is one of my fave DJs and I’m with Billy, I would have retired fom radio a long time ago. all the ap and mess that they play.

James Greek

April 25th, 2012
5:59 am

Oh and Amar, DVDs didn’t exist in 1985. you moment VHS tapes. Am I right?

James Greek

April 25th, 2012
6:00 am

Lisa

April 25th, 2012
6:02 am

80s Girl, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO with you. Kelly McCoy is a great guy and I will miss his voice.

NOW I will complain. There are enough songs out there from the 70s till now that B98.5 would NEVER have to replay the same songs in a month’s time.

I LOVE Adele and Kelly Clarkson but 98.5 make me despise their music. Hearing Mr Know it All 6 times during an eight hour shift is ENTIRELY too much in one day. It has become a joke at work. Whenever the song comes on, my boss will say “Lisa – have you heard this song yet – I love it and just wish they played it more!!”

If I NEVER hear that Bruno Mars song or Soul Sister by Train again, it will be entirely too soon!

Sluggo

April 25th, 2012
6:25 am

I will miss Kelly McCoy. He voice was almost a signature for the station.To me, McCoy came across as a personal friend (never met him) rather than a silly distraction.A class act all the way. I wish him and his family the best.

Real DJ

April 25th, 2012
7:25 am

Wishing Kelly McCoy all the best.
Congratulations on claiming your spot for a great run in the #6 radio market in the nation.
You are a link to fine Atlanta radio history.
Impressive, sir!

Alex

April 25th, 2012
8:28 am

Wow, I feel like a longtime friend just told me he was moving away. I was actually young when Kelly started in Atlanta. I listened to him then and I still listen some now. Best wishes.

kimbo

April 25th, 2012
8:35 am

I was wondering what was going on this past weekend with the music. Keep playing the 80’s . . . otherwise I will be forced to the ipod! Everyone in the house from 10 to 50 enjoys the 80’s music.

Shannon

April 25th, 2012
8:46 am

I grew up listening to you on the radio, Mr. McCoy. You’ll be missed. Best of luck~

Lyn

April 25th, 2012
9:05 am

He will be greatly missed! I am very pleased for him to be taking the next step in his life. Its well deserved!

As for B98.5….I love the 80’s weekends. Its a different format from the day to day formats on all the stations. Hate to see that go.

Anderson

April 25th, 2012
9:24 am

Mr Cagle,

Are you paying close attention to this blog? An overwhelming majority of your listeners LOVE the 80’s music themed weekends.

arlene

April 25th, 2012
10:42 am

I will mss Kelly…he used to keep me company on my drive home in the evening.When I e-mailed a comment to him, he quickly replied, and that impressed me. I will miss his calm voice, and I wish him and his family the best of everything. God bless you all.

DG Williams

April 25th, 2012
10:53 am

Say it ain’t so!!! The sexiest voice on Atlanta radio – no more!! To say he will be sorely missed is an understatement. Why is it that all good things must come to an end? Love to you Kelly. xoxoxox

30 something

April 25th, 2012
10:54 am

sound like a nice guy, good luck on your future…..also B98.5 if you are reading this, bring back my BIG 80′S WEEKEND……