Georgia Radio Hall of Fame co-creator John Long said he was chagrined that Weiss fell short of the necessary votes from members.
Weiss this year was bestowed a special Founders and Directors award, a discretionary award that has usually been given to unsung radio pioneers in Georgia. In this case, Long wanted to address what he saw was a major wrong regarding Weiss.
“We felt really bad,” Long said. “He just missed it but obviously deserved inclusion.”
Weiss isn’t the only one in recent years who had clear credentials but didn’t get in. V-103’s Frank Ski and Fish’s Kevin and Taylor have also been nominated but failed to garner enough votes from Georgia Radio Hall of Fame members to get inducted.
This may be in part because members who are voting may not be the ones listening to current radio. Long is trying to recruit more younger radio professionals and fans to join.
Long said this year, for the first time, there will be no in-person induction ceremony this fall due to COVID-19. Instead, they plan to do something virtual.
Also, the board of directors will select both the living career achievement inductees as well as those who have passed in the “Legacy” category. Until now, the career achievement inductees were voted on by the membership. Nominees would arrive at the ceremony not knowing if they got in or not.
In the future, Long said membership voting may not be the only criteria for induction.
Weiss started in Atlanta in 2001 on a brand new station Q100 (now Q99.7) with a relatively weak signal. His eventual goal: take down Steve & Vikki at Star 94.
Before his time in Atlanta, he learned his craft from vets such as Kidd Kraddick and Jack Diamond in Dallas and D.C.
Aware that Steve & Vikki tended to skew older, Weiss targeted younger females with topics heavy on relationships and the staff’s lives with some pop culture thrown in. He fashioned it as a daily reality show. It clicked.
Within five years, the Bert Show was beating Steve & Vikki across the board. (Star dropped Steve & Vikki in 2008.)
Q100 moved to a stronger signal at 99.7, helping expand the Bert Show’s local audience. Weiss went into syndication in 2010 and is heard now heard in 24 markets including Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and Lexington, Kentucky.
Over the years, Weiss has seen members of his show leave, some of whom have competed directly against him. (Jenn Hobby, who was on his show for about a decade, is now the lead morning host on Star 94.1.)
Weiss has brought in younger show members and kept his show fresh and relevant even though he himself is now older than the target demographic. As a result, he has managed to consistently maintain his No. 1 spot among pop station morning shows in Atlanta in all key advertising-friendly demographics.
He has also navigated shifting listening habits as more people use Spotify and go to podcasts. In response, he built a robust app where people can listen to his show on demand as well as live.
Since 2002, he has also run a non-profit Bert's Big Adventure that has taken more than 200 kids with chronic or potentially fatal diseases to Walt Disney World every February.