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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Checking in with Dave FM on its final Radio-thon day for Children’s Healthcare

best shot

Mara Davis and Yvonne Monet hug it out for someone else's camera. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Dave FM this week held its annual three-day Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta radio-thon a little earlier this year. Why? The rock station is disappearing from the airwaves, soon to be replaced by sports talk.

So I stopped by Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite Friday to say goodbye in effect to the radio station. It’s a little sad for me since I was demographically very much the typical listener.

This year’s radio-thon was different in many ways. They held it last year at the Voice studio at Children’s Healthcare at Egleston. This year, they moved it to the cafeteria at Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite because it’s more accessible to the families and provides that “noisy background” that indicates action and excitement during a radio-thon. Another difference: the program director Scott Jameson was let go a few months ago so he’s no longer hovering like a mother hen.

I was there while Yvonne Monet and Mara Davis were helming the final weekday mid-day shift. Monet, who had been doing mornings with Jimmy Baron until last year, had been working part-time on weekends for Dave FM. She’s sad about the end of Dave but it wasn’t her livelihood anymore.

Davis, on the other hand, is actively fishing for another radio job. Given her 18-year history in this town, she has a solid shot at getting a decent gig somewhere else, likely at either at 97.1/The River or Rock 100.5.

All the jocks are doing a final shift Saturday, including Steve Craig, Margot Smith (who has been programming the station in recent months) and Rich Sullivan, since it’s 9/29 (as in 92.9).

[Update: The final song spun by a live jock at 12:24 a.m. late Saturday was courtesy of Margot: "Atlanta" by Butch Walker.]

Here’s a little talk I had with Craig, the former 99X mid-day jock and musical encyclopedia who did mornings the past year for Dave FM in a part-time capacity. He will surely land on his feet, either here in Atlanta or elsewhere. (He’s looking in New York, Austin and Nashville.)

Here are some photos I took Friday:

dave fm sign

charity phone number

Yvonne Monet shows her sweet self on air and off.

Yvonne Monet shows her sweet self on air and off.

Mara listens to a family discuss their child's problems.

Mara listens to a family discuss their child's problems.

Volunteers awaited calls from donors. Last year, the station raised more than $400,000. I'll update this with the final numbers next week.

Volunteers awaited calls from donors. Last year, the station raised more than $400,000. I'll update this with the final numbers next week.

Web guru Liz Bradley shows off a vintage Dave FM T shirt, an instant classic.

Web guru Liz Bradley shows off a vintage Dave FM T shirt, an instant classic.

Mara and Yvonne talk with Wenona Brown (top left) and her 17-year-old daughter Davijah, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and has spent many days and nights at Scottish Rite. They live in College Park. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Mara and Yvonne talk with Wenona Brown (top left) and her 17-year-old daughter Davijah, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and has spent many days and nights at Scottish Rite. They live in College Park. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

22 comments Add your comment

Andy

September 28th, 2012
10:49 pm

I really hope CBS Radio thinks changing one of the last rock stations in Atlanta to a sports station is a great idea. Can you imagine the sports jocks doing a radio-thon next year? It might be the same charity, but it won’t feel the same.

blahblahblah

September 29th, 2012
8:36 am

Andy, both local sports stations (680 and 790) put on GREAT annual radiothons each year. 680 does one to benefit leukemia/lymphoma research, and 790 does one to benefit Camp Twin Lakes. I don’t see why this new sports station can’t do the same.

kate

September 29th, 2012
8:44 am

Holy hell! Yvonne is killing it this morning. Please cbs…change your mind! Atlanta needs dave!

Abbie

September 29th, 2012
9:44 am

This is the ONLY radio station in Atlanta that I can listen to that provides RELIABLY good music and no junk. Plus the DJs are real people and NOT annoying blowhards. Wow, how many sports stations are there already? I’m sure they think it is better business, but is it really? I will miss you all and best of luck as you move on. Thank you for entertaining me, calming me during stressful moments, and helping me make it through my day.

john

September 29th, 2012
11:53 am

I’ve got over 200 albums, around 90 cd’s, and a ton of 45’s, not to mention cassette tapes. All I need is a radio signal, a few sponsors, and Art Marring. I am talking Pirate Radio.

Jason Joiner

September 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

Thanks for covering the radiothon! I was one of the volunteers that you took a picture of that day. It was Dave FM that put on to volunteering for this wonderful event. I can’t thank the outgoing staff of Dave FM for the years of great music and events they have been a part of.

ATLRADIOINSIDER

September 29th, 2012
4:46 pm

Caling It Like It Is

September 29th, 2012
5:25 pm

The only credit CBS should get is to letting the jocks do a final on air shift instead of an overnight flip. And now WGST flipped to Sports in Spanish? I mean, seriously, what’s going to happen next? Should Cumulus flip Rock 100 to another off shoot of Q100? Why not? It’s their money maker…

Dave was good, despite the odd name. But they tried to bridge the gap when 99x left. They actually aired commercials thanking Leslie Fram for what she did for Atlanta radio. A classy move from your competitor. No other station had to balls to do that.

The New Project (aka The Bone)…please Cumulus. You know you screwed up by taking 99x off a strong frequency and once Clear Channel killed Project, you did a quick flip to try and make up for it. The signal doesn’t reach any of your core audience.

The last few years of radio in Atlanta really shows what happens when there is a monopoly in radio and there are only a handful of corporations that program the stations based on what the labels are paying them and what the computer “thinks” should be played. That’s when stations lost touch with their audiences and listeners who could afford it, went to satellite or the launch of HD radio. Yes, there are some good stations and while it’s still free, there hasn’t been people replacing their receivers, because it costs money.

I don’t see anything on the horizon that is going to make radio in Atlanta listenable anytime soon. It’s going to take a lot of time for stations to regain audiences that are upset with what has gone on. And since the corporations don’t want to keep or have loyal listeners, what’s the point in trying? There needs to be some sort of deregulation in this area and break up the oversaturation of corporate stations and grant decent signals to upstarts. Given the right backing and programming, a group can change this “cluster” of a mess that the big corporations have created.

groverg

September 29th, 2012
8:04 pm

Best station in Atlanta, now Sports talk?. All I can say is that sucks. I will be removing 92.9 from my presets.

Dee Osborne

September 29th, 2012
8:57 pm

I’ll be going back to my roots for radio. There are a few non commercial stations in Atlanta and that’s where I’ll be headed. I don’t like anything else out there. Never was a big fan of mass market music, that’s what made daveFM so special to me. I will say that I appreciate CBS allowing my friends, they’ve been in the car with me for all this time and they feel like friends, to say goodbye. I’ve listened all day and its been the best day of music on mainstream I’ve heard.

Rodney Ho

September 29th, 2012
11:45 pm

I am listening to the very final live shift right now with Margot Smith as she counts down the top songs on Dave as voted by the fans. It’s been a truly bittersweet day for fans of this type of radio and music. And I’m being the total radio geek that I am.

Scott from Roswell

September 30th, 2012
12:15 am

Between Dave FM and 99X disappearing in a such short order, FM radio in one of the largest cities in the US is now no better than where I used to live in eastern North Carolina. GSU, GT and Clark radio are a refuge but not AAA. WABE is good for classical and NPR, but I can only take so much of that as well. And XM is too distant and impersonal. Atlanta needs another sport/talk station like a hole in the head. Thanks to everyone at Dave FM for being such delightful radio companions!

Mike barnes

September 30th, 2012
12:28 am

I’m glad dave fm is switching to sports….I’m sick of MUSICRADIO and it’s crappy new music…i much prefer talk….sports talk….at least 92.9 is a strong signal…….93.7 is not and you can not pick up AM radio outside of downtown Atlanta after sundown accept for WSBB.as far as radio in atlanta, too much of the same stuff…..too much hip hop, too much junky modern rock!!!! They say Musicradio is dying! see it for yourself…Musicradio is dying because the new music stinks and the old stuff is overexposed!!!!now the emphasis is on 80’s music- a bunch of synthesized CRAP-I’m remember hearing some songs when they came out in 1970!!!! give me a break

emz

September 30th, 2012
12:44 am

I just listened to the last of Dave and have listened most of the day — will really miss it.

Teachermom4

September 30th, 2012
7:21 am

I am really sad about this. I am no fan of top 40, and “classic rock” stations tend to be so repetitive-they stick with the same songs and artists they’ve played for 30 years with virtually nothing new-great if you want to hear Led Zeppelin, The Stones, Aerosmith, and Pink Floyd 24/7, not so much if you don’t. Dave was a great blend-a little old, a little new, a little alternative, a little classic, and I really liked the jocks. I have no idea what I’ll listen to now. I really enjoyed this station.

Michael

September 30th, 2012
9:39 am

Does no one listen to 88.5? It’s been great since I got here in 1987. Except for the live GSU sports.

danish

September 30th, 2012
6:49 pm

So who can tell me what the final song was? I can’t stay up that late anymore, lol. I spent a lot of time Sat listening to Dave. I actually got a little teary when YvonneMonet was saying her goodbyes.

danish

September 30th, 2012
6:50 pm

Nevermind, I see Rodney’s tweet above–Little Lion Man. Where can I see a list of those 92 songs?

Andy

September 30th, 2012
6:59 pm

DAVE was actually a really good station even through all the changes. It was the logical evolution from 99x for older listeners but right now….rock has kind of taken the back seat to regurgitated pop and hip-hop music.

My hopes are that Cumulus will realize that the q100 top 20 is a redundant waste of airspace and fill that alternative gap…..and that 92.9 sports just never hits the ratings that Dave did.

Mellow ANG

September 30th, 2012
7:52 pm

Try Brenau College radio station 89.1, if you live, in Northeast part of town.

Now You're Just Someone That I Used to Know

September 30th, 2012
10:04 pm

Why does a hospital system with $1.7 billion in revenue need a telethon? It’s like raising money for Coca Cola.

icons pack

October 4th, 2012
11:14 am