Streetz 94.5, a new hip-hop station that debuted in June, has hired its first morning host: former Hot 107.9 personality Rashan Ali.
She starts Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. with expected guests such as B.o.B, Bobby Valentino and Yung Joc.
[UPDATE 11/1/12: Jay Tek has been added as an afternoon personality, who starts today from 2 to 6 p.m.]
Ali’s last radio gig was with V-103, where she spent a year as co-host with Ryan Cameron in the afternoons until March, 2011.
She began her career under the tutelage of Cameron at Hot 107.9, then stayed on after he left in 2004 for V-103. She remained as part of Hot’s “The A Team” for about four years until 2008. She left Hot in 2009.
Her former Hot producer Akini will join her. Upfront, she’ll run a solo show but said in an interview today that she hopes to add a “funny guy” and other support staff as time goes forward.
Streetz is majority owned by Steve Hegwood, a former executive at Radio One. “He was my last program director before the A Team was displaced by Rickey Smiley,” Ali said. “He had us on a really great path. I just respected his love for radio first and just the way he was helping us improve the show.”
Hegwood’s station manager and general sales manager, Wayne Brown (who had similar jobs at Radio One Atlanta for many years and always treated me with respect) died last month from cancer. “Before he passed,” Ali said, “we talked about this. He was a mentor to me. My move, he said, would give the station instant credibility. It would be a good move. He passed knowing I was going to be here. I wanted to make sure I stayed true to that promise. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Given that Streetz is significantly smaller than either Hot or V-103, Ali certainly took a pay cut but a job is a job in the rough-and-tumble world of radio.
Since Streetz is a “translator” signal, it’s not very strong but at least it covers an area where a lot of hip-hop listeners preside.
Streetz, in fact, made its first appearance on the Arbitron ratings this past month with a 1.1 rating overall and an impressive opening rating of 2.6 among 18 to 34 year olds, a tie for 16th.
The only other on-air staff so far is DJ Holiday. who is live from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Ali also works at NBA TV as social media correspondent on Fantasy Insider, which airs live on NBA.com on Mondays from noon – 1 pm and then again on NBA TV at 5 pm.
I’m awaiting a call back from Hegwood and will update with his thoughts.