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V-103’s Frank Ski under temporary contract while negotiating a new one. Should he stay?

Frank Ski is working under a temporary contract. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Frank Ski is working under a temporary contract. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Should V-103 keep Frank Ski?

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Frank Ski’s latest three-year contract with V-103 expired last month.

But the top-rated R&B/hip-hop station and the veteran radio personality wasn’t able to iron out a new deal in time so he accepted a temporary contract while negotiations continue, Ski said in a brief interview last week. But he’s now living in a bit of limbo and is taking what he’s dubbed a vacation this week.

His boss Rick Caffey, per long-standing policy, declined comment.

Ski, with co-host Wanda Smith, has been part of the longest-running morning show on a single music station in Atlanta, entering the market from Baltimore in 1998. He replaced Mike Roberts & Carol Blackmon, a show which lasted 12 years.

Without a doubt, Ski has been an unqualified success. His show has generated consistently strong ratings for V-103 over the years, almost always No. 1 in key demographics and often by wide margins.

Ski, 48, has always been accessible and friendly to me but is understandably terse about this situation. He has his share of critics, many who feel he name drops too much and can act like a know it all. (When I posted a wholly unscientific poll in 2009 asking then if V-103 should sign him again, 56% said no. For kicks, I’ve posted the same poll today.)

Ski is deservedly well compensated – into the six figures, though I’m not sure exactly how much. But even a No. 1 station such as V-103 has to weigh what it feels is a viable salary vs. its revenues. And while stars are hard to find, much less nurture in Atlanta radio, V-103 has a deep roster of talent. Their other key personality is Atlanta native Ryan Cameron, who spent many years hosting mornings at rival Hot 107.9 before jumping ship in 2004 to be the afternoon guy at V-103. Given V-103’s size, Cameron was able to garner morning show money while enjoying significantly better working hours than Ski.  He’s been happy where he is.

But V-103 could always slot Cameron into mornings if need be and he already regularly subs for Ski when Ski is on vacation.

In fact, Cameron’s on the morning show this week with Smith, taking over for Ski while Ski is in Napa Valley making his own wine. (Ski opened his own restaurant under his own name in Buckhead last year, too.)

Ski’s September Arbitron numbers were solid among 25 to 54 year olds, with a 10.5 rating, on par with its typical numbers and No. 1 as usual. But his younger 18-34 numbers (which are more volatile by the very nature of Arbitron’s rating system) have slipped off sharply from a 17.3 rating in January to 9.9 in September. For the first time since June, 2011, Frank & Wanda  fell behind Q100’s Bert Show, coming in second.

Mark Trigg, Ski’s attorney, did not return a text, a call or an email, but I’ll update if he has any insight into the situation. It’s very likely Caffey told him not to talk to me. Trigg was pretty gabby and accessible in 2009.

So is Ski asking for more money? Probably since it’s likely he took a pay cut in 2009 when the economy was in a real dumper. He might be trying to emulate Bert Weiss, asking for syndication, though CBS Radio has a relatively modest stable of urban stations to access within its own family of stations. Ski tried syndication a few years back but it didn’t stick.

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157 comments Add your comment

Gentile Larry W A C H S

October 16th, 2012
9:32 am

The real question is….why did MMM leave TRG? Is he putting on his Game face?

Moby

October 16th, 2012
9:45 am

V-103,

I would do a much better show than Frank Ski for a lot less money.

YEAH, BABY!

Michael

October 16th, 2012
10:15 am

If the station abides by the wishes of the people they would not renew his deal. Most of the people who are asked about Frank Ski do not like him. I know that most of these people also do not personally know Frank but they do listen to V-103 enough for him to get on their nerves. The V-103 strong radio signal and type of music they play is what makes it number one in Atlanta, not Frank Ski.

deannab

October 16th, 2012
10:21 am

Hell he’s hardly ever there anyway…. My vote is for Ryan and Wanda in the morning !!!!!!

radio fan

October 16th, 2012
10:21 am

bring Ryan, Crash, Elle Duncan to the Morning hours. Ski is old and washed.

All I'm Saying Is....

October 16th, 2012
10:23 am

From a pure business standpoint, V-103 must decide whether to let Ski walk, get Ryan in there in the morning, and bring in someone new (i.e. much lower compensated) for the less critical and less lucrative to the station afternoon drive time thereby reducing their overall costs OR pay Ski Weiss-type money preventing him from jumping ship to another local R&B station which would likely scoop Ski up and immediately get on the morning drive time radar with advertisers. Should be interesting to see how this plays itself out. The fact that they haven’t already reached an amicable solution shows that forces are at work….the ten or twelve of you concerned should stay tuned!

RC for AM

October 16th, 2012
10:28 am

Frank Ski is horrible. Ryan Cameron in the AM is the only reason I would even think about switching to V103 in morning. And Wanda STILL is not funny. I listen to V-103 to hear the DJ Jaycee mixes at noon and Ryan in afternoon. But as long as Frank “Boojie Ghetto” Ski is on, I choose Steve Harvey.

Lynn

October 16th, 2012
10:29 am

Wanda and Ms. Sophia will do a much better job hosting the morning show than Frank bring back Ms. Sophia to the V to the 1033333333333..

I Cool

October 16th, 2012
10:30 am

103 need to upgrade with some new talent—I’m tired of the same morning stuff–too old school. Get some talent from NY or LA and more buzz.

Former Good Day Fan!!!!!

October 16th, 2012
10:30 am

It’s time for Frank Ski to give it up. It’s not like he doesn’t have enough stuff on his plate already. I say bring in Ryan Cameron or Kenny Burns.

suga

October 16th, 2012
10:32 am

Frank & Wanda need to go!!!!!!!!!!!!! just awful.

BrianMac

October 16th, 2012
10:32 am

Let him go, and tell him to take Wanda with him. The ignorant topics they discuss every morning outweigh the relevant one’s. Put Ryan on in the mornings!!

He is aggravating

October 16th, 2012
10:36 am

Please replace him, he is a hypocrite, constantly making racist remarks and he has made so many chauvinistic remarks against women too, he makes me ill!! I vote for Ryan and Wanda.

brian j

October 16th, 2012
10:37 am

Dump V and keep Dave!!!

meme

October 16th, 2012
10:38 am

I think people are too hard on Frank Ski. I think that if nothing else he addresses issues and keep us entertain in great conversation. People are entitled to agree and disagree on topics and issues but the fact that he keeps us engage in the topics is great!

Brigitte

October 16th, 2012
10:39 am

Keep the team in place…..

MISS SOPHIA

October 16th, 2012
10:41 am

DROP THE ENTIRE MORNING SHOW NO ONE WILL MISS FRANK SKI AT ALL. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDBYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Who really cares?

October 16th, 2012
10:41 am

In my personal opinion, I’m tried of Frank and Wanda both. Frank knows EVERYTHING. Wanda is LOUD, GHETTO and CLASSLESS. I stopped listening to them both many years ago. I really enjoy Ryan Cameron and I think him and Crash D are a good team (even though Crash does traffic). I feel Ryan can hold his own on whichever slot he carries. During the Ryan slot is the only time I tune in to V-103. I haven’t heard the new lady Egypt, but from some of my co-workers, they aren’t liking her either. In short, let Frank and Wanda both go. I’m sure they’re overpaid as it is. There’s always better talent. You just have to look for it. As with all jobs, everyone is replacable.

I like Frank

October 16th, 2012
10:41 am

I think Frank is very intelligent and should stay (if that’s what he wants) but please boot Wanda, she is annoying..

Lovey

October 16th, 2012
10:42 am

Frank is a know it all but the show is pretty funny to me

typicalnewyorker

October 16th, 2012
10:44 am

Ummm, I am not from Atlanta (I know, most people here are not) but I stopped listening to Frank AND Wanda years ago! Frank did act like a know it all and was from everywhere. (One week New York, one week Miami, one week Baltimore) And Wanda’s ignorance made me wanna go back home and shower again. I personally NEVER found Ryan Cameron funny. I happily switched to the syndicated shows 8-9 years ago (Tom Joyner or Steve Harvey) I felt like listening to V-103 was country as goober and gomer!

PEACE

October 16th, 2012
10:46 am

GET RID OF HIM AND THAT’S MY INSPIRATION VITATMIN!!!!

T-man

October 16th, 2012
10:48 am

The show is back and forth like Romney. Spiritual vitamin in one segment and thug music the next. People don’t get it those 2 don’t mix very insulting to god. The music they play is for ghetto hood rats who won’t go anywhere in this world. Wanda is also an issue, she has very little experience in the world and when discussing world views here incompetence shows. Our young women need better roll models. The problem is a lot of people follow this crap with their kids listening.

Ronni R.

October 16th, 2012
10:52 am

KICK HIM TO THE CURB AND WONDA TOO.

big bill

October 16th, 2012
10:52 am

Another vote for Mornings with Ryan, Elle and Crash! It’s BEEN time for Frank and Wanda to go.

Julie

October 16th, 2012
10:56 am

I agree Frank is very arrogant which is why I dont listen to the show and Wanda is very GHETTO!!!! Need fresh people.

cHARMAINE

October 16th, 2012
10:56 am

I LOST ALL RESPECT FOR FRANK SKI WHEN HE HOSTED THE WAYNE WILLIAMS INTERVIEW ALSO AM TIRED OF HIS NAME DROPPING.I SAY BRING SOMEONE NEW IN. HE DID WELL THERE FOR YEARS AND MADE HIS OWN NAME GREAT. HAVE NOT LISTENED FOR A FEW YEARS BUT IF HE IS THE SAME…..THEN BYE

David D

October 16th, 2012
10:57 am

I say give Frank the new contract. Frank is not only on the radio, but is a strong force in the community doing gooooood. The format has changed from time to time, but it would be great to keep both him and Wanda in place.

DJD

lady j

October 16th, 2012
10:57 am

My vote is for Kenny Burns and Wanda in the morning…they work so well together! The dream is REAL!

forty something

October 16th, 2012
10:57 am

Frank and Wanda are OK… But I will not miss them….In my personal opinion, I’m tried of Frank and Wanda both. Frank appears to know EVERYTHING and loves to name drop Wanda is LOUD, GHETTO with NO CLASS… from what I see and hear on the show… I really Like Ryan, Crash, Elle Duncan… They seem more energetic and very very funny… But, thats just a dream… it also appears Elle will be moving to TV… i can see her on ESPN or some national TV within the next 5 to 10 years…She is a smart and very pretty lady and her attitude… MAJOR PLUS…… (Love her Country song)

Roger L.Gilbert

October 16th, 2012
11:01 am

I liked Mike Roberts. He was urbane and had adult conversations. I believe Frank is okay but Wanda is just not my kind of people.

jeva

October 16th, 2012
11:03 am

Mr. Caffey, please do us native atlantans a hugh favor, GET THIS DUDE OFF THE AIR, and let Ryan C. do his thing. Ryan is what this great city is about, not only is he a devoted family man, with a genuine concern for people, he’s visible, respectful and most importanty not selfish at all. I myself stop listening to V-103 in the morning, because we get tired of hearing BSSSSSSS and Baloney from fake ballers, who’s claim to fame is one hit entitled doodoo brown, might as well be( dodobird an extinct flightless bird) DODO us a favor and bring back the spirit that once propel the residents to achieve, and excel not through a 501c3 but because the radio personality really care, and that’s what Ryan does, he’s deserving of more respect.V-103 is tasteless in the morning with Frank Ski,(Wanda brings value) no wonder the Bert show is doing well, more sauce, instead of “I’m so important me fillers”. Ryan, Elle and Wanda, hmmmm now that’s a lineup.

I am Just saying

October 16th, 2012
11:05 am

I am a native of Atlanta and I have listened to V-103 for years. I remember when Frank first started on the V and was PLAYING HOUSE MUSIC…yes house music. Frank has grown and adapted to living in Atlanta area. However, somewhere along the way he has forgotten his roots. It appears along with growth and success in life also comes.. forgetfulness and lack of loyalty to the people/listeners whom allowed him to move forward to be a successfully business man. Yes, I am claiming the metro Atlanta Area (and God) has played a major part in his career.
If V decides to give Frank the additional compensation, weeks of vacation, increased 401k and another shot at syndicating show I wish him much success. But for me I will continue to enjoy XM Radio in the morning and The Ryan Cameron Show in the afternoon.

jeva

October 16th, 2012
11:08 am

most importantly, sorry

Scott

October 16th, 2012
11:12 am

I’ll bet more people voted in this irrelevant poll, than will probably go out and vote in the general election for President…SMDH

jeva

October 16th, 2012
11:17 am

To Scott,
We vote that’s why we’re able to have a voice in what we’re listening to in the morning, and what our children have to endure while driving.

BehindEnemyLines

October 16th, 2012
11:20 am

Comes down to how badly V wants to chase the younger demos. Frank is aging right out of that audience, question is whether they’re willing to let their audience age with him or if they’re going to try to remain among the top stations with 18-34’s.

Angela

October 16th, 2012
11:26 am

For years I’ve been listening to v-103 and I like Frankski. Frank & Wanda both work great together as a team, the topics, discussions, jokes, etc, as a individual and a team player he will be missed and v-103 won’t be the same in the morning time if Frankski is no longer there.

Calligirl

October 16th, 2012
11:26 am

I stopped listening to V-103 a couple of years ago. I think Frank Ski needs to move on and he can take Wanda with him. The morning show needs to re-vamp and bring in some new talent.

Michael

October 16th, 2012
11:27 am

Scott what is your problem dude?

blkshepherd

October 16th, 2012
11:28 am

When I moved to ATL in Sep 1998 I listened to 103 in the mornings 104 in the evenings and on the weekends. Over the years the Loudness, buffoonary and ghetto mentality was just beginning to wear on my nerves. I began listening less and less and focused to the Oldies Rock and Roll stations and 104 on the weeknds mostly with Young Blood(who plays the same 15 songs every weekend as if theres only abot 15 old school r&b jams ever recorded.. When Miss Sophia joined V103 after a couple of the words sounding voices and noise along with Wanda voice and ghetto demeanor. Afraid I just stopped listening altogether. Too embarrassing to listen to.

Miss J

October 16th, 2012
11:31 am

Frank and Wanda are played out.

Look they had thier run. If I owned this station I would:

1. Offer folks up to the minute news and weather updates in the morning.
2. Go to a commercial free (or limited comercial format) during non-peak (low rating)s times – with out a DJ (have the music played via tape without a live person at the helm (saves money big time).
3. During peak times (competitive time frames) over a live DJ mixing music and talk (discusing issues of the day) and add an audiance request line.

Get rid of these Radio personalities…..save money and vary your programming….

Sasha

October 16th, 2012
11:31 am

GOOD RIDDANCE!! Frank & Wanda should’ve been gone a LONG time ago. None of my peers or coworkers in my age group (30-40yrs) listen to V103 anymore. We listen to Tom Joyner or the Bert Show in the mornings, they are funnier and have more diverse topics & music!

BTW..the poll above isn’t working

Teresa

October 16th, 2012
11:32 am

Get some new new in there!!!

Fellow Brownite

October 16th, 2012
11:34 am

I’m partial to Kenny Burns, as he is a Morris Brown Alum and has done some great things in the city and throughout the entertainment industry. Would love to see Kenny take hold of the morning show. It wasn’t for Kenny during my freshman year at Morris Brown, 20 years ago, I would have never seen the inside of Club X-S. Go #TeamKenny

Sick of Hip Hop Garbage

October 16th, 2012
11:34 am

I don’t really listen to V-103. They sound like the rest of the Hip Hop Garbage out there. They play the same old music, over & over & over again!! Atlanta needs a nice Jazz Station & Oldies Station. Atlanta has 2 too many Hip Hop stations. Frank Ski & Wanda is a terrible show. Frank is too old to be doing Hip Hop & Wanda laughs all the time about NOTHING. They are boring. I would rather listen to the commercials than to listen to those two. Do like 106 & Park, which I don’t watch either, but they do have enough since to put younger people on for Hip Hop Entertainment. I like Ryan because he is a comedian, he can pull the Hip Hop stuff, but Frank Ski needs to “GO” & take “WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?” Wanda with him. Most of the young people are playing their own music in their cars which will eventually cause hearing loss before they turn 30.

luv life

October 16th, 2012
11:36 am

Please discuss the traffic on 400. it was terrible. I don’t care who is on the radio and what they make. if you don’t like it, then don’t listen to it. People put to much into the small things.

Sick of Hip Hop Garbage

October 16th, 2012
11:37 am

“sense” not, since. Oops!!

Sick of Hip Hop Garbage

October 16th, 2012
11:38 am

That’s why I “DON’T” listen to it. My only concern is the traffic & if there is a murdering maniac on the loose running from the police on the streets & highways.

GaPeachy

October 16th, 2012
11:39 am

Frank Ski is horrible on the radio, always bragging about who he knows, ugh how annoying. I wish we could clone Ryan Cameron and have him on all day long.