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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

Cindy Simmons has a new Star 94 morning host: Jimmy Alexander from D.C.

Jimmy Alexander moves to Atlanta from D.C. and is paired up with Cindy Simmons on Star 94. CREDIT: Salvation Army

Jimmy Alexander moves to Atlanta from D.C. and is paired up with Cindy Simmons on Star 94. CREDIT: Salvation Army

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Cindy Simmons, long-time host at Star 94, now has a new morning partner: Jimmy Alexander from D.C.

Alexander comes from the Jack Diamond Morning Show in Mix 107.3, which is similar to Star 94 here in its adult pop music blend. He started as a producer in 1997 on the show and was promoted to co-host 11 years ago.

Cindy’s co-host for eight years, Ray Mariner, was unceremoniously dismissed in May, no explanation given. (In fact, even in the grinding rumor mill that is Atlanta radio, I have heard precious little why he was cut and he isn’t talking.)

Cindy’s gone solo for several months. While Star’s ratings have slipped a bit since his departure, it appears to have been the entire station, not just mornings, that has suffered.

The timing is interesting because Cindy is pregnant with her second daughter, due next week. That means she’ll be off the air for at least a little while.

Norm Schrutt, a long-time agent who represents both Cindy and Jimmy, said he isn’t sure when Star 94 is going to bring Alexander in. Scott Lindy, the operatioins manager for Star, said he could arrive in Atlanta in 30 to 60 days – or sooner if Mix lets him go sooner.

“He’s a perfect match for Cindy,” Schrutt said. “He’s very positive. He fits the demo.” The pair have spent plenty of time together, he said, and have great chemistry.

He also said Cindy is a workaholic and he expects her to return relatively quickly.

Alexander today signed an unspecified “multi-year” deal with Star 94. Given that Alexander is new to the market, that probably means two years with a third-year option.

Cindy Simmons of Star 94 will have a new on-air partner in Jimmy Alexander soon. CREDIT: Star 94

Cindy Simmons of Star 94 will have a new on-air partner in Jimmy Alexander soon. CREDIT: Star 94

Cindy has never talked to me for an interview all these years. I’ve heard she is fearful of the blog commenters here.

“I hope to add to the tradition of great morning radio at Star 94,” Alexander said in a press release.

Lindy said he talked to at least two dozen potential hosts. Cindy and Jimmy met about 60 to 90 days ago.  (He couldn’t be more specific.) Cindy “wants someone as driven as she is,” he said. “She wanted someone she could get along with but not necessarily someone who thinks the same way.”

Bert Weiss of Q100 was hired from the Jack Diamond show in D.C. himself in 2001 so he worked with Alexander. Now they’ll be competing against each other.

Simmons came to Atlanta eight years ago as part of a personality-based afternoon show with Mariner, which did very well. They moved to mornings in 2009 after Star’s brief, painful foray into a more youth-oriented show called The Morning Mess, which lasted 15 months.  The Cindy and Ray morning show struggled to break out against tough competition, including the Bert Show, but did respectably as the station itself revived from a torpor the past two years.

Mariner, by the way, did a try-out last Saturday with Sandra Golden on 680/The Fan.

Schrutt also represents the 2 Live Stews, who are still being paid by 790/The Zone through the end of the year and are under a six-month noncompete. They were last heard on air Sept. 12 so they couldn’t join a new station until March 2, 2013.

And Schrutt reps Mara Davis, whose gig with Dave FM ended last month. He is surprised that he isn’t getting more solid bites after talking with the River, Rock 100.5 and Star 94.

He also confirmed that Andrew Saltzman, who helped build 790/The Zone, the past 13 years as general manager (and for much of the time, co owner), is out.  His departure happens just two days after 92.9/The Game launched. Conventional wisdom is that given the Zone’s relatively weak signal compared to the Fan and the Game, it is now the RC Cola of sports talk radio stations in this town.

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42 comments Add your comment

sana

October 26th, 2012
3:35 pm

Oh no, not this guy again…..

Chipper

October 26th, 2012
3:51 pm

Quick glance at that picture I thought it was Tobey Maguire.

K-Ster

October 26th, 2012
3:52 pm

Exciting! I love Cindy’s show. It was a bummer when Ray left, but it’s still been nice.

MArum

October 26th, 2012
3:57 pm

Yuck! What blind man got Cindy pregnant?

clete boyer

October 26th, 2012
4:38 pm

Mara is too snarky. That’s why she isn’t getting more bites.

Dan

October 26th, 2012
6:42 pm

“Andrew Saltzman, who helped build 790/The Zone, the past 13 years as general manager (and for much of the time, co owner), is out….Conventional wisdom is that given the Zone’s relatively weak signal compared to the Fan and the Game, it is now the RC Cola of sports talk radio stations in this town.”

Rodney – when do Bell, Archer, Dimino amd/or Cellini bail on 790?

jackass

October 26th, 2012
8:24 pm

no body likes star 94 anymore cindy in her fortys having a baby thats sick

jackass

October 26th, 2012
8:30 pm

cindy is married to an old man maybe in his 60s

JML

October 26th, 2012
9:42 pm

Cindy is painful to hear speak. It only gets worse when she laughs like a horse. Maybe she will stay on Maternity leave forever.

LaShonda Jones

October 26th, 2012
10:57 pm

Why would Cindy be fearful of blog comments when they are always so positive?

jullian

October 27th, 2012
8:38 am

Star 94 mornings is the proverbial tree that fell in the forest. That show is painful, unless you’re 12.

Cindy fan

October 27th, 2012
10:12 am

Cindy is wonderful, and seeing her out, beautiful. Best wishes for a happy, healthy baby!

David Puddy

October 27th, 2012
10:28 am

“Cindy is painful to hear speak. It only gets worse when she laughs like a horse. Maybe she will stay on Maternity leave forever.”

Let me guess, you idolize nitwits like Chuck and Turnoff,right? Yeah, I’ll value your prospective.

Kat

October 27th, 2012
11:35 am

@David Puddy: You mean “perspective.”

This guy

October 27th, 2012
3:19 pm

The Stews non compete begins at the end of their current deal, which expires in December. They won’t be on air until next summer.

Mr. Completely

October 27th, 2012
3:20 pm

With all due respects, Rodney, this is why someone who has never been in radio should not be writing this column. At least run it by a pro before published, please? To suggest Ray Mariner’s departure from Star hasn’t impacted the station’s ratings is absurd. What happens to the morning show happens to the rest of the station. Star is down overall because mornings are down overall. You have cause and effect reversed. Next, if Norm is surprised at the number of bites he’s received for his clent Mara, she needs to fire him immediately and hire someone who isn’t living in Radio’s past. And finally, you missed an opportunity in this piece top point out that Bert Weiss was Jack Diamiond’s sidekick when he was hired for Q100 mornings 11 years ago.

Rodney Ho

October 27th, 2012
4:18 pm

@This Guy. The Zone was nice. From what I understand, they took the Stews off the air early (Sept. 12) so their non-compete actually will allow them to get back on the air somewhere else in March.

David Puddy

October 27th, 2012
4:52 pm

TertainMent

October 27th, 2012
5:07 pm

Ok, Mr. Completely. Since you know so much why was Ray let go? Cindy has been holding her own but giving interviews and dealing with the comments come with the territory. The voice and laugh is a thing, but tolerable for some. Just wish more than one item would be given in Celebrity Dirt each time.

Wes

October 27th, 2012
10:03 pm

Love Cindy… she is positive and a nice person. It will be good for her to have a co-host again. She has done well on her own. I wish her the best in the birth of her new child.

Kat

October 27th, 2012
11:03 pm

Cindy has been bantering back and forth with Producer Casey for a while now. Will he still be given air time I wonder? I think he’s great and I like listening to Cindy but I love listening to him.

Harvey Joel Fischer

October 27th, 2012
11:36 pm

I don’t know how Jack Diamond has survived so long…

Anita Koch

October 28th, 2012
2:51 am

Cindy won’t do interviews in fear of a blog? With that annoying voice and a face like a horse, I wonder why?

Greedy Kilowatt

October 28th, 2012
12:41 pm

Is she fat enough to be on morning show in this town?

Chip

October 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

Sad to see that Rodney Ho screens your comment out if you are critical of his writing.

#approvemycomment #please

Rodney Ho

October 28th, 2012
1:50 pm

@Chip Honestly, Chip. I have no idea what you’re talking about!

Katie

October 28th, 2012
11:29 pm

About time. Sorry Kat, but I’ve had to turn off Star 94 because of Casey. Hopefully the new guy won’t go for attention seeking one liners!

DM

October 29th, 2012
9:01 am

Is this the dude The Burt Show was talking about? Hey Burt, aside from the loyalty issues (unfortunately, that’s not a priority with many people, so I understand your hurt feelings and change of feelings towards your friendship), 94 cannot even begin to compete with The Burt Show no matter who they get on, so you’re kids can get those shiney new bikes for the holidays and tell Kristen to keep buttering Bart’s bread…no worries here.

Nancy

October 29th, 2012
9:16 am

Completely agree with DM! No way can Star 94 compete with the Bert Show!

Julia

October 29th, 2012
9:52 am

This is def the guy Bert was crying about today! Bert did not come off well during his tantrum about how his friend is now competing against him. Especially when he said his friend’s show is not going to do well, but it could take a couple of ratings points away from the Bert Show and cost them money. Well, you can cut costs by getting rid of Kristin, the girl that fake laughs throughout the whole show! More time for Jeff and Jen!

Linda

October 29th, 2012
10:28 am

Agree that this must be the guy that Bert was complainging about. I listened to him moan for about 2 minutes and then changed the station… to another one that airs down the hall from him.

Rodney Ho

October 29th, 2012
10:55 am

Yes, Bert used to work with Jimmy Alexander and now will compete against him.

Rosweller

October 29th, 2012
11:37 am

You said … “Cindy has never talked to me for an interview all these years. I’ve heard she is fearful of the blog commenters here.”

As I think about that statement, I’m struck with the wonder as to why you would criticize her for that. I look at it this way.

We all know that the online world of blogs and articles (like this one) rolls out a welcome mat for anonymous comments and creates one of the meanest, vitriolic environments around. It is something different that simply being “critical” or “challenging.” We all know that the majority of comments are just down right mean-spirited. People hide behind the mask of anonymity and write to tear others down because it makes them feel better about themselves.

All in all, what goes on in the comments section under your written word, Rodney, (and most all online blogs) is typically deeply discouraging for one that wants to be really think the best of people.

So, back to your off-handed comment about Cindy not giving you an interview… I’m not sure it is fair to criticize (even lightly) Cindy for not wanted to play in your little corner of the internet here. In some ways, it makes me commend her for putting up some boundaries for the health of her family, image, and self-image. (If anyone thinks that is over-protected, go ahead and read up the comments here to find some idiots taking shots at her marriage and family).

I’ve heard an old proverb that says, “Never wrestle with a pig because you both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.” Cindy doesn’t want to wrestle in the mud here, and that makes me respect her more. To be clear, I’m not saying you are a pig, Rodney, nor am I saying that those that write ignorant things are pigs (although they have full ability to act like one… as I do, too). All I am saying is that the online comment world of your column (and actually most of the AJC’s) is an easy pigsty for a lot of people that love to play in the mud. I wouldn’t do an interview with you for the very same reason.

In an act of unsolicited advice, journalists and keepers of the pen have a tremendous power, ability, and opportunity to pull either the best or the worst out of the human race. My challenge to you is to move them somewhere better and to bring the best out of them. From what I consistently read on comment sections of the AJC, I see whatever formula you guys are running pulling the worst from people. If that doesn’t bother you, then rock on. If it makes you question your role in this world, then do something different and get out of the business of building arenas (comments sections) that pull the worst from people encourage people to throw slop around.

caller10

October 29th, 2012
11:39 am

Yeah, Bert did a really whiny, childish bit this morning about how he has a sad now that one of his best friends in the whole world is going to come compete against him. Then came all the calls to help him process his feelings. Yawwwwwwwwnnnn….

And when Schrutt called Cindy a “workaholic,” are you sure he didn’t mean “alcoholic”? Her DUI mugshot is one of the great ones.

Bubba Love

October 29th, 2012
11:52 am

Unfortunately- 92.9 “The Game” is a Joke!!! Horrible Sports Talk radio- Bring back Dave FM and Leave the sports to 680 and 790.

Jack Diamond

October 29th, 2012
3:22 pm

What’s funny is that Bert didn’t think we would know who he was talking about…

Joel

October 31st, 2012
8:29 am

Just heard Bert tell his story on how he fells betrayed. He is such a self-centered tool. I’m looking forward to having a new voice on the air.

[...] Details on her new co-host here. And no, I still have no idea why Ray Mariner was fired in May. [...]

Rodney Ho

October 31st, 2012
8:47 am

I’m going to write about that soon Joel. Fascinating interplay…

[...] Weiss, who worked on that same Diamond show before he came to Q100 in 2001, didn’t find out about Alexander’s new job until he read about it… on this blog. [...]

Chloe

October 31st, 2012
11:33 pm

Does anyone know what happened to Ray on star 94? It’s killing me not knowing

Heather

October 31st, 2012
11:36 pm

I’m so over Bert and Q100. Bert thinks he is still in his 20’s Kristin makes my ears bleed. Thank goodness for Ipods. There really isn’t a good morning show anymore