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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Frank Ski’s big announcement Thursday: will he stay or will he go?

Frank Ski has been a fixture on Atlanta radio the past 14 years. Will he make it to year 15? CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Frank Ski has been a fixture on Atlanta radio the past 14 years. Will he make it to year 15? CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

What will Frank say Thursday?

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V-103’s Frank Ski this morning was touting the “biggest announcement of my life” tomorrow morning on the radio station.

This could mean several different things. Like the big Bert Show announcement earlier this month when Jenn Hobby said she was leaving and later, going to Kicks 101.5 as a mid-day host, I have no direct knowledge of what Ski has up his sleeve. I can only surmise based on his current situation.

Ski has been part of the longest-running local music morning show in Atlanta on the same station: 14 years with Wanda Smith. He’s outlasted Steve & Vikki and Randy & Spiff. He’s been on longer than Kevin & Taylor and the Bert Show. He works hard. He takes his craft seriously. He can do silly stuff. He can tackle the hard issues. He has a fair share of critics, who complain that he’s an arrogant name dropper, but he brings in the listeners year in, year out.

Here are possible scenarios:

- Ski has a huge new party to announce, a charity event to push, a concert to hype. Realistically, this probably wouldn’t be so big that he’d need to promote it ahead of time. That is something he would just announce.

- Ski has signed a new contract. He’s been without a long-term contract since September and has been negotiating for a new one throughout the fall, even necessitating a meeting with the CBS honchos up in New York. He and Smith have been regularly No. 1 for most of the 14 years the show has been on the air in all key age groups. Why not keep him around for another go? Sure, he gets well compensated, well into the six figures, but he generates  even more for V-103 in ad revenue. Ski himself has been silent on the contract issue since I wrote about it in mid-October and his attorney Mark Trigg has declined to comment. The problem with this scenario is it would be considered business as usual. Why would he need to announce it?

- Ski is going to be syndicated. With Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley and Steve Harvey as his primary competitors, he sure would love have 20 to 80 stations in his pocket nationwide. It’s lucrative and ego gratifying for sure. Ski has had limited forays into syndication in the past, including his former home in Baltimore, but nothing has stuck. The problem with this possible outcome: CBS, which owns V-103, has very few urban stations that would be able to put on Ski immediately and most other urban stations are already tied up with Joyner, Smiley or Harvey. It’s truly a game of “Survivor” in the radio world nowadays on that front. So while this would be big news for Ski, it’s probably not that likely.

And now the most talked-about scenario in Atlanta radio circles:

- Ski will tell the V-103 audience that he is leaving, that he couldn’t come to terms with the station over his next contract. This is plausible.  Most radio companies simply get rid of personalities and don’t let them say goodbye on air. (Clear Channel Atlanta, for instance, usually takes this route.) Rick Caffey, who runs CBS Radio Atlanta, does things differently. He, for instance, let every jock at Dave FM wish the world adieu in September before the station went all sports. While sad, it was very classy and respectful. Ski has helped fill V-103’s coffers by the tens of millions of dollars over 14 years. The least Caffey and program director Reggie Rouse could do is give Ski a chance to wish Atlanta farewell given all that he’s done for the city.

Now why would CBS want to get rid of him? Perhaps Ski is asking for too much money and/or a syndication deal CBS can’t or won’t fulfill. Or on the flip side, CBS may want him to take a pay cut that he couldn’t accept. I don’t know.

Have $2.2 million? You can live where Frank Ski has lived for many years in Dunwoody

Have $2.2 million? You can live where Frank Ski has lived for many years in Dunwoody

UPDATE: Coincidence? His house is up for sale for $2.2 million. Many people know where it is in Dunwoody because he used to host his annual wine auction party there. Build in 1992, it’s a European style “custom estate,” as noted in the advertisement, with eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and 12,032 square feet on 1.37 acres. Amenities include two-story foyer and room overlooking private wooded lot, master-on-main, theatre, second kitchen on terrace level, heated pool & spa and 3-car garage. Outdoor spaces include oversized deck, screened loggia, gazebo, playground & outdoor stage.The descriptive also includes this line: “Surrounded by estates owned by athletes & celebrities.” Sotheby’s is the real estate broker.

This type of downsizing could be in anticipation of a new career with much less income to pay for such an expensive mortgage. He has had success, from all accounts, with his year-old Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge.

If Ski is indeed out, this leads to more questions:

- Will Wanda Smith, his long-time on-air partner, stay? She’s under a separate contract. I presume she’d stay and team with whoever else joins her.

- Will Ryan Cameron move to mornings? Cameron, who signed with V-103 for a new contract earlier this year and isn’t going anywhere, gets paid morning money to host an afternoon show. From a lifestyle standpoint, Cameron can wake up at a normal hour and live a good life now. He’d probably do mornings if he were asked and he has subbed in for Ski in the past when Ski goes on vacation. As a hometown man, he’s very popular in Atlanta. I get very few complaints about him compared to Ski on this blog.

- With money freed up, V-103 could hire Big Tigger, a former “106 & Park” host and last heard on WPGC-FM in Washington D.C. to do mornings with Smith. Or he could do afternoons if Cameron takes mornings. He has subbed for Cameron in the past and at age 39, he’s nine years younger than Ski.

If you want to read more:

- Frank Ski’s negotiations up in the air

- Photos from Frank Ski’s 2007 wine auction at his home

- Photos from Frank Ski’s 2008 wine auction at his home -  now up for sale

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125 comments Add your comment

ShawtyBlackATL

December 12th, 2012
11:41 am

Rodney, you’re on it buddy! Regardless of what happens be on the lookout for Big Tigger!

kayman

December 12th, 2012
11:44 am

Uh oh, hotdog! I guess it is possibly the end of the road for this era. I would rather have Ryan Cameron be there rather than Big Tigger. However, I’m not the decision-maker in this situation. If you do bring Big Tigger on then place him in the afternoons…

GaPeachy

December 12th, 2012
11:48 am

I sure hope he is saying goodbye! I hate to say i want anyone to lose their job but he has lots of other business ventures so will be just fine. He is just soooo annoying. Lets put the Ryan King on all day long! I have been listening to Ryan since grade school, he is sooo much more relatable. My Mom, myself and the kids all can listen to Ryan.

GaPeachy

December 12th, 2012
11:48 am

I sure hope he is saying goodbye! I hate to say i want anyone to lose their job but he has lots of other business ventures so will be just fine. He is just soooo annoying. Lets put the Ryan King on all day long! I have been listening to Ryan since grade school, he is sooo much more relatable. My Mom, myself and the kids all can listen to Ryan.

darkgable

December 12th, 2012
11:51 am

good luck Frank. i am too old for the music the station plays, but he has some good topics and has been positive for the community. i knw the usual cast of people who hate him will post, to each his/her own. The urban community needs more than booty shakin music, frank has had shows dealing with uplifting people as well as funstuff. Good luck wherever God takes you.

Jason

December 12th, 2012
11:51 am

He’s saying goodbye, take it to the bank.

bpcdogg

December 12th, 2012
11:59 am

Who gives a SHI?????

Mike

December 12th, 2012
12:02 pm

get this Queen off the air!

Keisha

December 12th, 2012
12:04 pm

I’ve hated Frank Ski from the beginning and I’d love to see him leave. His arrogance and bourgie attitude are sickening. The only person I dislike more than him is Wanda. If she fell off the earth tomorrow, I’d think a higher power has finally heard my pleas. With that said, I’d love Ryan in the morning, but he and Wanda would make a horrible pair. They don’t seem to have a lot in common and their chemistry is very awkward. I like Ryan at his current time slot, but if they move him to mornings, he’ll need another cohost.

In terms of Frank Ski, I don’t know what his announcement is and honestly, I don’t care.

Ms.Simon

December 12th, 2012
12:05 pm

I truly hope he is GOING!!!!! “begging Ryan” Please come on and take over the Morning Show (begging).

Daughter of Sammyy Davis Jr, Jr

December 12th, 2012
12:06 pm

I hope he will remain a fixture! Tackles the hard issues and a role model for the community! Stay on, Frank!!!

TONEY TONE

December 12th, 2012
12:09 pm

FRANK HAS BECOME AN ICON IN ATLANTA LIKE IT OR NOT FRANK DID WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSE TO DO, HE CAME TO THE ATL AND TOOK OVER HER ENTER AT THE RIGHT TIME SO DO NOT GET MAD CAUSE DUDE SAW THE OPPORTUNITY AND OTHER DID NOT, FRANK KNOWS HOW TO PLAY THE GAME AND I RESPECT ANYONE WHO CAN PLAY THE GAME AND WIN FRANK IS A WINNER,FRANK DO NOT STOP KEEP PUSHING AND I WILL ALWAYS BE A FAN HOLLER HOMIE PEACE AND LOVE, WANDA SISTER GET YOUR PEACE OF THE PIE AS WELL YOU MY GIRL OVER AND OVER LOVE YOU TOO.(PEACE)

TONEY TONE

December 12th, 2012
12:10 pm

SORRY MEANT HE ENTER NOT HER MY MISTAKE HE NOT HER

Tanya M

December 12th, 2012
12:17 pm

I think he’s leaving, but as someone said above, he’ll be fine. He’s a smart man. I will be sad to see him go. He does do a lot for the community and I’ve enjoyed listening to him for all the years he’s been here in the ATL. I don’t care much for Wanda, she’s always interupting him when he’s talking. If he does leave I wonder who they will pair her up with.

Clothes Hanger

December 12th, 2012
12:18 pm

My guess is that he’s coming out of the closet. Be yourself!

Julie

December 12th, 2012
12:19 pm

I too feel he needs to go. He will not be hurting for money. He is very arrogant and really I stopped listening to V103 because of him. Wanda can go tooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

jbm

December 12th, 2012
12:27 pm

I knew when Ryan came back to V-103 that it was just a matter of time before Frank left and Ryan takes that position. If that is the case. If not, oh well….

O4thWard

December 12th, 2012
12:33 pm

I heard he was starting a new venture with eddie long. a clothing line for young men

Kwame

December 12th, 2012
12:34 pm

Hey Rodney – what’s going on with Justin Lock – he announced on BMA today that he’s leaving……

Jeneba

December 12th, 2012
12:34 pm

No matter what happens, Frank Ski will be fine in the end. He is one of those personalities that can go anywhere and shine. On the other hand, I really don’t understand why they keep Wanda around. All of the silly shenanigans is way too much for any time of day let alone the morning time!

MzNewy

December 12th, 2012
12:35 pm

I think he is leaving. He has been MIA off and on for the last few months. Ryan has been doing mornings, where he was on a rival station and seems to be a good fit back in the morning. I think Frank will still have his charities etc and will continue to be a presence around town. As for Wanda, I can’t see her being Ryan’s sidekick and she will probably go to another slot if she doesn’t leave with Frank.

just saying tho

December 12th, 2012
12:35 pm

…he prolly going to roll because he has that new lounge, other biz ops and its time for something new…I just hate all the extra talk. I want to hear MUSIC. If I wanted to hear talk, I’d listen to 1380WAOK…oh yeah, I hate Wanda’s nasty voice/laughs….

TG

December 12th, 2012
12:37 pm

LOL @ 4thWard!

He's still here?

December 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Can’t say I that Iisten to V-103 in the mornings anymore, and the jocks are the main reason, although I would wish him well in whatever this chapter might bring. Perhaps more relatable personalities would bring me back into the fold. Have to admit that I find Wanda even less appealing than him. If he leaves maybe they could use this as an opportunity to move her somewhere else. Everyone needs their job though…..

Calliope

December 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Good for the Community? Community Leader? Icon? Really people… this is the problem with Atlanta. Way too many lemmings drinking a lot of kool aid. Frank Ski scams money off the “community” he claims to promote and help. Any business or anyone he promotes on the show you best believe he has his greedy little hands in it. I love how Frank always promotes some of the most crooked, bootleg business that prey on the Black community (owned by other Black people) in Atlanta… Doing good in the community??? Yeah, only if he gets a cut, SMH.

Nat. Atlanta

December 12th, 2012
12:40 pm

Don’t be too quick to give Caffey any type of praise. He has not always let djs say goodbye on the air (remember WAOK.) Hopefully, he learned his lesson from that fiasco. Atlanta radio needs an Atlanta radio station, not a New York or Californina cloned station. We need a station who cares about the Atlanta community.

Nat. Atlanta

December 12th, 2012
12:40 pm

Don’t be too quick to give Caffey any type of praise. He has not always let djs say goodbye on the air (remember WAOK.) Hopefully, he learned his lesson from that fiasco. Atlanta radio needs an Atlanta radio station, not a New York or Californina cloned station. We need a station who cares about the Atlanta community.

TG

December 12th, 2012
12:41 pm

How is it determined what comments have to await moderation? My original comment is “awaiting moderation” and I have no idea why. Summed up, I pretty much said “Good riddance to Frank and Wanda” and that I wish the writer of this artlcle had left his insult of non-Ski fans (”haters” he called them) out of the article. Is that enough to warrant moderation? Wow

Scorpia

December 12th, 2012
12:43 pm

Praying that if Ski leaves, that Ryan will be brought to Mornings! My Mornings would always start right when he was on Mornings before!

KD

December 12th, 2012
12:44 pm

Does he need help packing?

JLO

December 12th, 2012
12:54 pm

Don’t be too quick to give Caffey any type of praise. He has not always let djs say goodbye on the air What about Griff and Sophia they never said goodbye. They just vanished, and we were left to hear what happened to blogs and interviews several months later. IT’s been real FRANK!

Atlanta Guy

December 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

His house has just recently been listed for sale. So something is up.

lisa

December 12th, 2012
1:01 pm

I hope he is gone. Bring Ryan CAmeron on. I am 29 and I have been listening to him since I was in 6th grade. He is more relatable and funny. And please stop singing the praises of Frank Ski. If you like listening to the radio in the morning, there aren’t many people to choose from.

a22matic

December 12th, 2012
1:09 pm

I’ve grown to like Frank over the years, but I wasn’t a big fan in the beginning. I was just too used to Mike/Carol. I need a local radio show in the morning, and that’s what Frank/Wanda provides. I’m not saying either is the best, but I want to hear about ATL/GA issues. I listen to 1380 WAOK after the Frank/Wanda show, so i can be informed. Same with AM radio, I want like it to have a local flavor. I’ve grown to like Frank over the years, and he can flip things when needed. He can do shows on politics, abortion, music, the Atlanta sewer system, ECT. It actually appears as if he ‘prepares’ for his guests with intelligent questions. He’s articulate, and I think he’s better suited for AM radio now. If he leaves, I hope he gets a talk show on WAOK. If not, I wish him well with all his endeavors.

Jst Askn

December 12th, 2012
1:17 pm

@a22matic…I fondly remember the Mike & Carol days on V-103…thanks for the flashback and happy memories. :) I also remember when Ryan Cameron hosted the Top 8 @ 8 on V-103 back in the early 90s…more fond memories.

a22matic

December 12th, 2012
1:22 pm

Jst Askn – I also remember the Ryan show on v-103 back in the day! Guess we’ve been in ATL for a while huh?!

Ms V

December 12th, 2012
1:26 pm

I would much rather see Ryan and Wanda in the morning they work so well together as comedians and it would be a very intertaining show. I might start listening to the morning show again if that happened. Over time Frank’s voice has started to be an issue so from that stand point he would need to go because of that.

Rick James

December 12th, 2012
1:26 pm

In his 14 years at V-103 I’ve heard about 30 minuets of Frank Ski which I thought was awful radio..It amazes me what the public will consume.Best of luck to him whatever he does.Unlike Ryan Cameron Frank is just not a likable guy..

Keepin' It Real

December 12th, 2012
1:31 pm

I’m gonna be honest … I love listening to both Frank and Wanda. I was a huge fan of 96 Rock (then Project 961) and listened to their morning shows for years and V103 in the afternoons. After Project 961 was cancelled, I listened to a lot of stuff and liked Frank and Wanda the most. If they leave, I will probably not stick around … unless Ryan goes to the morning. Hilarious!

For all the “haters” as stated in the article, get over it! Frank and Wanda have been #1 for years in ratings without your help … something good occurred for a long time before you made the decision to not listen. But keepin’ it real, the same could be said for me. I just happen to be one that likes them.

I Miss Atlanta

December 12th, 2012
1:31 pm

Wow, bring on Big Tigger! I can’t wait………

JGlass

December 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

I worked with Frank over the years and he was always helpful and thoughful when I came to him needing his help with promoting my clients/projects. Hate to see him leave but this is normally how things go at V-103. He’s smart and forward thinking so I know he will be just fine.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/IndustryLifeandTimes

Boss Girl

December 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

When you “gotta go” you “gotta go” . I’m sure that the station will just “keep it moving” if he does.

TL

December 12th, 2012
1:36 pm

Neither of them are likable hosts. Ski is arrogant and Wanda is not polished at all. So dueces if they leave…

NetRadioJock

December 12th, 2012
1:41 pm

I never cared for Frank Ski on air, but I will say that it will be a big mistake if CBS radio lets him go. His morning show is the #1 show in the city and it performing just as well as the station is. In this economy, CBS will end up letting him go and they will pipe in Big Tigger or someone else from another city to cut costs. The slow death of local radio. Also, Frank & Wanda has outgrown V-103’s format. Would you want personalities close to their 50s announcing music that caters to younger teeny-boppers? I’m just saying. I think that he would good in a news/talk or adult contemporary format. Good luck Frank.

Keno

December 12th, 2012
1:45 pm

Good riddens! WAY too arrogant…

John H.

December 12th, 2012
1:45 pm

Who cares? He is just another ego maniac, who thinks he made v-103 the station that it is. There are more important issues going on in Atlanta than whether a disc jockey will stay in Atlanta. He needs to be reminded that the station was big before he got his present position. I began listening the v-103 when it first became a hip hop station in the late 1970’s. Frank Ski does a good job, but he comes across like he created that station’s popularity. He will probably stay on board, unless another big r&b market will pay him another big salary. Which I doubt.

Tman

December 12th, 2012
1:52 pm

good riddance

Seriously

December 12th, 2012
1:56 pm

PLEASE, for the love of 8lb baby Jesus in a manger, PLEASE be leaving!!And take that annoyingly asthmatic Wanda with you!

BIGPAPA

December 12th, 2012
1:58 pm

I HOPE FRANK SKI LEAVES HE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT WHERE HE IS FROM ONE SECOND IT’S NYC NEXT SECOND IT’S B-MORE NEXT SECOND IT’S FLA … IF YOU THINK THESE OTHER PLACES ARE BETTER THEN GET THE HELL ON WE FROM ATLANTA DON’T WANT YOU HERE ALL HE DOES IS TALK ABOUT HE KNOWS WHO HE MET WHO ASS HE KISS TODAY AND HE ALWAYS TRYING TO SHOW OFF PICTURES OF HIM KISSING SOMEONE ASS HE MAKE ME SICK ..AT LIKE YOU BEEN THERE BEFORE CLOWN WE DON’T NEED SOME GROWN ASS MAN HERE IN ATLANTA ACTING MOIST OVER SOME REV. EDDIE LONG STROKE TO MUCH ASS KISSING FOR ME NOT THE IMAGE I WANT YOUNG MALES IN THIS CITY TO SEE … AND HE NEVER NEVER ALLOW ANYONE ELSE TO TALK WITHOUT TALKING LOUDER AND OVER THEM IF YOU WANT TO BE THE ONLY ONE TALKING FRANK WHY HAVE ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR SHOW ??? ALL HE SAY IS LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN TO OTHERS FOR A CHANCE I CAN ONLY HOPE HE THIS IS THE END OF FRANK SKI AND THAT OBESE HOOD RAT WANDA SMITH … WE NEED SOMEONE LIKE RYAN C THAT IS FROM THE ATLANTA AREA AND IS PROUD TO BE HERE NOT SOME LOUD MOUTH LIKE FRANK THAT IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT HOW SOME OTHER PLACE IS BETTER ISN’T THIS IS WHERE YOU CASH YOUR CHECK BOY ??? IF YOU DON’T LIKE GET THE HELL ON WITH YOUR ASS KISSING SELF …. OH I FORGOT HOW HE WAS KISSING THE MAYOR ASS TOO THAT WENT TO JAIL GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE

Pandora

December 12th, 2012
2:01 pm

We can speculate as much as we like, but it will all be revealed tomorrow.