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2 Live Stews are off 790/The Zone. Are they 92.9 bound?

StewsGolfing_400x274

The Stews will have some time to golf now that the Zone has taken them off the air with more than three months of their contract to spare. PHOTO Courtesy of Big Brothers and Big Sisters

It’s official but not surprising: 790/The Zone has taken the 2 Live Stews off the air three months before their contracts are up.

This may ease the transition to another gig. The most obvious place for Ryan and Doug Stewart to go is the new sports talk station at 92.9, owned by CBS, which launches next month, obliterating adult rock station Dave FM in the process.

There is a problem: a pesky non compete clause that is six months long and technically prevents them from being on air in Atlanta until July 1, 2013. Their agent Norm Schrutt is trying to get them out of their current contract early so the non-compete could kick in sooner. Obviously, 92.9 is trying to solidify its lineup as soon as possible and this non-compete is a hindrance for them do so since the station is interested.

Schrutt said he was a little upset with Zone management because they told him earlier this month they were going to possibly offer the Stews a contract extension next week. Instead, the Stews were told they were off air yesterday and could take a three-month paid vacation instead.

The Stews’ rise and fall on 790/The Zone was epic. The brothers started at night in the early 2000s, given a lot of leeway to learn the radio craft and built a following as African-American sports talk hosts in a world where minorities are still relatively scarce. Via their fraternity Omega Psi Phi, they would call each other affectionately as dogs.  Soon, they began calling their regular callers the same. And since calling a female caller a “dog” sounded inadvertently harsh, the pair began dubbing the ladies “poodles.”

They were loud and proud and would mix in entertainment/pop culture news in between comments about the Falcons and Hawks. They were not “wonky” stats guys but entertainers.

The Zone gave them gradually better time slots and soon, they were the station’s most popular show, pulling in huge  ratings in the afternoon. They nabbed a syndication deal with Sporting News, heard at one point on more than 20 stations. They also had a regular gig on ESPN. The Stews were flying high – until they weren’t.

In 2010, Lincoln Financial took over management of 790/The Zone and the Stews quickly found out their hip-hop approach didn’t appeal to the new guys in charge. Hip-hop songs that used to lead into their show were replaced by the Goo Goo Dolls. They were told to tone down the “urban” sound and entertainment news about Usher and T.I. They did as they were told. And to many readers of this blog, their schtick was starting to feel stale. Others felt they weren’t doing enough show prep. Some listeners were not thrilled by their support of Michael Vick in 2007 during the dogfighting scandal. (See the comments below.)

Then they lost their syndication deal last year. Their hours were cut. Ratings slipped. Then in May of this year, their show was diluted  into something called “The Red Zone” mid-days with Hans Heiserer and a rotating set of hosts. At the same time, ESPN chose not to renew their contract.

This past Wednesday was the Stews final hurrah on the Zone after nearly 11 years. Or as they often yelped about callers:  “And they’re gone!”

“They’ve been consummate pros,” said program director Bob Richards, who arrived 18 months ago.”I really respect the time and energy they put into this radio station. Without them, I’m not sure the station would have launched the way they did years ago.”

Doug Stewart, in an interview, chose not to dwell on the negative. “It’s incredible what we’ve done there over 11 years,” he said today. “I want to thank the fans who supported. This isn’t the last you’ve heard from us.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

241 comments Add your comment

Chi Town

September 14th, 2012
12:33 pm

Thats racist!!!!!!!

Eddie J

September 14th, 2012
12:35 pm

Been a huge supporter of the 2 live stews for years. Can’t wait to see where they land. I am ready to see Ryan and Doug back bringing their fans the “Sports Talk with Hot Sauce” once again.

Stevie Black

September 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

WHAT AM I GOING TO LISTEN TO NOW???
SOMEONE CALL AL SHARPTON, THIS IS RACEISM AT ITS FINEST.

AND IM GONE AIGHT AIGHT AIGHT :)

coscro

September 14th, 2012
12:46 pm

bye bye Zone

JMac

September 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

Great news. Now let’s bring Barnhart and Durham back to midday

Chodde Scatt: cowllege footballs most dangerous blogger

September 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

HIRE ME ! HIRE ME ! HIRE ME!

Malcolm

September 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

All yallz Crackas just jealous bc Stews get all the white women here in the A.

Obama 2012!!!!

Chodde Scatt: cowllege footballs most dangerous blogger

September 14th, 2012
12:53 pm

Auburn is 0-2. ALL IN FAMILY
SABAN CHEATS

Steve

September 14th, 2012
12:54 pm

This story is such revisionist history it’s amazing.

Scooter

September 14th, 2012
12:56 pm

Racism? Cmon man. At least spell it right if you’re gonna scream it. Yeah, the man is really holding them down, giving them THREE MONTHS PAID VACATION.

Hopefully, this change will result in Steak Shapiro moving to the midday slot, so he can bore Atlanta with his elitist anecdotes of hobnobbing in Buckhead’s finest restaurants. Hey Steaky, nobody gives a damn, CHA CHA.

BigGTMike

September 14th, 2012
12:59 pm

They got a little too full of themselves and loved the spotlight. They stopped doing all the research they needed to. Doug especially would say some things that were just completely incorrect.

K from Da Wood

September 14th, 2012
1:08 pm

How does Steak stay and everybody else who is much more talented and likeable have to leave? I understand that he was once a founder/ owner or something, but without the surronding cast he is useless! I am going to listen to whatever station has some diversity!

LadyEagleFan

September 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

Enter your comments here

Stevie Black

September 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

DOUG AINT NO RACEIST! HE JUST SPEAK DA TRUTHS TO DA WHITE FOLKS AND THEY DONT LIKE IT. YALL DONT LIKE A STRONG OPINIONTAED BROTHA WITH SOME CHEESE DO YA ???

Donny and Sher

September 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

Steak Shapiro is the most annoying person on Atlanta radio.

ATLGIANT

September 14th, 2012
1:10 pm

Well, I’m done with 790. I’ll move over to 680 until the Stews find their new home.

Slaps

September 14th, 2012
1:10 pm

Hellooooooooo ?????

LadyEagleFan

September 14th, 2012
1:10 pm

I will miss The Stews. Bye 790! I look forward to their next venture! Loyal fan!!

Josh Payne

September 14th, 2012
1:11 pm

Atlanta is just a racist city and jealous of the Stews.

Cha Cha, Steaky!!!!

Soooooooooooooooooooo

September 14th, 2012
1:11 pm

Bring back the Kimmer, Pete “Snake” Davis and Wayne “no offense”.

Gotta go… your killing me.

Steaky needs Propecia

September 14th, 2012
1:14 pm

What I leeeeeeeeeaaaaaaarned is no one likes the Stews but the brothaz.

RTA

September 14th, 2012
1:14 pm

Some of you people shouldn’t be allowed to respond to this stuff. People who cry racism, and the people who respond to the racial responses especially. Also goes for the guy who wants to bring back Barnhart and Durham, only reason you would bring those guys back is if you need a bedtime story, because these guys will put you to sleep.

Jim S.

September 14th, 2012
1:20 pm

I used to listen to them frequently and watch them with Skip Bayless on First Take, but my interest has leveled off over the years. Perhaps the new ownership’s limitations had a negative affect on their style. As a white guy (not boy, Ryan) in his 40s, I’ll look forward to giving them another shot on 92.9. I wish them nothing but the best.

Blake

September 14th, 2012
1:22 pm

Rhonda Duffey Rocks!

biggerthanbigdawg

September 14th, 2012
1:23 pm

N They’re gone! All Right….All Right….All Right!

790 was printing money

September 14th, 2012
1:24 pm

The Stews made millions for that station – a 3-month paid vacation pales in comparison to the bucketloads of ad revenue they generated over the past decade – they had a great run and their’s is another “only in America” success story because as radio guys they were entirely self-made

Randall "Jeff" Simmons

September 14th, 2012
1:24 pm

I respect the 2 Live Stews and there african american heritage. I will pray to god they find another job… hopefully on Z93.

LETS GO ZOW!

Beverly Harrison

September 14th, 2012
1:26 pm

Isn’t Doug Stewart married to a white woman ???

Stews Supporter

September 14th, 2012
1:30 pm

Enter your comments here

Buck Belue

September 14th, 2012
1:31 pm

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE

FalconsDiva

September 14th, 2012
1:32 pm

I hate I won’t have the Stews to get me through the football season. I’m looking forward to hearing them on another Atlanta station soon.

Ctstyle

September 14th, 2012
1:33 pm

It was a great run Stews. Sad to see you go for now. I know you will be back. Doug, please use this as motivation to get your act together. There was a lot of confusion and false statements said over the past few years that really didn’t put you in a good light. Hopefully, you will get your desire back. Ryan, you were great. Love you on the radio and TV!!!

Anon

September 14th, 2012
1:35 pm

BARF. The Stews are one of the reasons I stopped listening to the Zone. 92.9 is (was) the only music radio station I have programmed in my car anymore. Atlanta radio is just terrible.

Hello XM/Sirius.

big dog

September 14th, 2012
1:35 pm

I will not be listening to 790 from this point forward. 790 THE ZONE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nacos

September 14th, 2012
1:36 pm

Stews ripped off Jim Rome.

WAR EAGLE

September 14th, 2012
1:36 pm

Hurray! The barking dogs are GONE! And now, back to the Steak Shapiro Restaurant hour. Today, Steaky will join Beau Bock at a Buckhead life restaurant and eat the chicken with Cha Cha Sauce, with beer battered onion rings as a starter. Then he will have a slice of Cherry cheese cake. Beau will start off with Beer Cheese Soup, followed by Jack Daniels Steak and onion rings. Dessert will be a slice of Key Lime Pie.

Chris

September 14th, 2012
1:39 pm

Thank goodness. That show was the worst show in Atlanta. Thought Buck and Kincaid were bad on 680 until I heard thes guys

wholeteam

September 14th, 2012
1:43 pm

I feel that these guys are pioneers/trendsetters for a hip sports radio show on AM! First off when it comes to AM radio, you think talk show, Meringue, old Gospel, old Rock, old anything, and Disney! For these guys to bring up not only sports happenings but “in the know” happening pop culture, urban happs, guy discussion, and a perspective that we all can relate to, they did it like no other for the genre! There is no other sports show period like theres. Where else can u reflect on old wrestlers and their moves, new rappers, hot women, current sports issues and more and from a perspective of two down homeboys from the South. This is a great lost for 790, the Zone, sorry I didnt get the same feel when their replacements DJ and Alge were in the booth. These guys are the real deal and if no one else catches on, it wont matter, they’ll make their way to the top again! Long Live the Stews! and what they do……..AND FOR ONCE can we stop typing RACIAL issues on the AJC boards lol! i dont care what the topic is…but it ends up here…………

matt

September 14th, 2012
1:45 pm

I liked the Stews. I would rather listen to someone raking their nails across a chalk board than listen to Shapiro and Chellini (sp?) in the morning. Is Atlanta that much of a transient city these days that two chicago accented a holes can appeal to enough to stay on the air???

The Truth

September 14th, 2012
1:48 pm

Look….. the Stews downfall came because of THEIR racism towards anyone who isn’t black. I was a white listener who enjoyed the show at first, then once they started getting big time… here came the racist comments (and out went the show prep – I think Doug quit watching sports entirely). And there went Sporting New Radio, ESPN, and now the Zone. 92.9 if you want to be certain that I won’t listen to your station, give the Stews a slot.

Stews Supporter

September 14th, 2012
1:49 pm

…Stews being replaced with Barnhart and Durham, really? I will say this: Stews let this be a lesson to you in regards to black exploitation. The powers that be are not interested in a fresh and different perspective. Rather, it is interested in what it has always been – power, greed, and money.

Your show was too in your face for the conceptualize. They’re not interested in your opinion especially when it puts a mirrior in they’re 790 face. The only thing they’re interested in is N—-z! with a ball in their hand running up and down a field. They are not interested in your opinion. Seeing as to how you’ve played the game and they haven’t, you would think they would be, but no, rather they prefer Barnhart and Durham (southern aristocrats) from the good ‘ole boy network to further their illusions of granduer, while furthering their exploits. Stay Strong and know I will follow you to your new destination.

12%ofthepopulation88%oftheproblem

September 14th, 2012
1:49 pm

Let’s face it. These guys suck! Their show blows harder than Lindsey Lohan at a traffic stop. Their hip-hop schtick grew old fast. To all the nay-sayers who think otherwise answer me this….And if they were so great then why did ESPN drop them? Why are they no longer found in syndication?

Quantavious

September 14th, 2012
1:50 pm

Where I be gunna hear dem bits callin into dee barber shop? Damn!

SAWB

September 14th, 2012
1:52 pm

Who listens to The Zone?

All I'm Saying Is....

September 14th, 2012
1:56 pm

So, let me see if I have this right: ratings are the key metric in radio and they had the highest ratings on 790/The Zone in 2010 when the geniuses at Lincoln Financial bought the station and the one thing the new owners thought needed to be changed was the format of their most successful on-air show? That may not be racist but it sure as heck is mighty stupid. The Stews might not have been everyone’s cup of tea but neither is Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh and those types of personalities are usually supported by management not sabotaged. Good for the Stews that they get a paid 3-month vacation (they earned it by being team players and doing what the geniuses at Lincoln asked) and I hope they land on the new sports talk station when all is said and done.

Percy Flage

September 14th, 2012
1:57 pm

Cue the shotgun-being-racked-and-caller-blown-away sound effect. Man, that was fuunneee….

M.E.R.C

September 14th, 2012
1:59 pm

BLAME LINCOLN FINANCIAL, THEY DIDN’T WANT THE STEWS FROM JUMP STREET. BUT THAT’S OK. KARMA IS A BITCH. AND THEY’LL SEE THE ERROR IN WAYS WHEN THE RATINGS TOTALLY SLIP FOR THE WHOLE STATION BEHIND THEM BEING TOO STUBBORN TO SEE, AND OR REALIZING THEY JETTISONED THE BEST TALENT THEY HAD.
the app shall be removed from my IPHONE. DELTA BRAVOS!

Mark S.

September 14th, 2012
1:59 pm

The reason they plummeted was simple — they were IDIOTS. Never even bothered to research facts, just full on opinion with out even the slightest hint of analysis based on facts. Just plain lazy, can’t begin to count how many flat out erroneous things they ‘commented’ on.
Oh, and defending to the end, *animal slaughter*, didn’t help. Karma, boys. AND I’M GONE

M.E.R.C

September 14th, 2012
2:07 pm

THAT IDIOT JOSH MCDAINELS MUST BE RUNNING LINCOLN FINANCIAL. THATS THE ONLY WAY THIS COULD EVER MAKE SENSE. LOL!

lincoln financial manager

September 14th, 2012
2:08 pm

well well….if its not representing the same old school boring (wonder bread, vanilla) we dont want anything to do with it. People in Atlanta should be ashamed that a 2 hour show of diversity and fun was so offensive to the majority that they had to derail the stews by making them change thier format, they were setup to fail in the new regime. Just goes to show people in power in america are not willing to share power and posperity. But what I find funny is the way the other hosts degrade the character of black and latino sports heroes some warranted but most unnessesarily to lift up guys like Matt Ryan, Tom brady when without a Randy Moss they would probably not even be mentioned. good luck brothas