Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Ali Mac leaves Kicks 101.5 as morning host; Byron departs Q99.7 night slot

Originally posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Two Georgia natives left their radio jobs this week: Byron Cooper, night host at Q99.7 (formerly Q100) and Ali Mac, morning co host on Kicks 101.5. 

The stations, owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, are seeking replacements, according to Sean Shannon, market manager. 

Cadillac Jack, morning host at Kicks, will remain. He’s been a mainstay at that country station for more than a quarter century, save for a brief stint at now defunct sister station Y106 20 years ago. He’s seen unusual turnover on his morning staff in recent years.

In 2017, Ali Mac and CJ Lusk were moved to mornings alongside Caddy and producer Jeremy Powell was cut. CJ left after just a few months. (He’s now at Christian syndicated radio network WAY-FM as an afternoon co host.)

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Ali Mac lasted a bit longer: 18 months or so. 

Kicks didn’t renew Ali Mac’s contract and program director Brian Thomas told All Access: “Ali was an integral part of our team at Kicks and our family at Cumulus... Ali’s departure was about morning show chemistry, not about her talent.” He said he hopes she can find a job within Cumulus but if she goes elsewhere, “we’ll support that, too.”

The Kicks morning show ratings were steady in 2018 vs. 2017 among 25 to 54 year olds and actually improved among younger listeners. 

“I learned so much from Kicks 101.5 and had an amazing time working with everyone at Cumulus Atlanta!” Ali Mac said in a cordial statement. “Can’t wait to see what’s next.”

She said future potential employers can reach out to her alimacradio@gmail.com.

Ali Mac worked at Star 94.1 from 2011 to 2014. She started as the morning traffic reporter and for about a year did nights. She moved to Vero Beach, Fla. to be a morning show host from 2014 to 2016.

In early 2016, she returned to Atlanta to do mid-days at Kicks 101.5, taking over for Jenn Hobby, now morning co host at Star 94.1.

But after just 15 months in 2017, Kicks management gave her the morning slot. 

Cadillac Jack (real name: William Choate) became the Kicks morning man in 2006 working alongside Kristen Gates, now a morning co-host on rival 94.9/The Bull. Dallas joined Caddy in 2008. Kicks could certainly move her back to mornings if they so choose.

As for Byron, he joined Q99.7 in November, 2017 as a night jock. He said he left voluntarily and amicably. 

This was Byron’s bio on the radio station website:

Hey I’m Byron! Raised in Georgia, born in New York, I’m the biggest music nerd you’ll ever meet! No genre of music is safe when it comes to what I have in my collection. I’m a certified goofball who has no problem admitting his flaws and making a joke out of them. Radio has been my passion since the age of ten and I have every intention of making it a prolific career. One time, back in 2008, I met Alicia Keys backstage at her concert and she told me I had a cute smile. I guarantee you by now if she ever saw me again, I could bring that up and she would look at me like, “who are you again?” No worries, I’ve made peace with this fact in life.

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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