Briefs: WSB tops April radio ratings; Kevin Gillespie on ‘Last Chance Kitchen;’ Jeff Foxworthy on A&E show

The first full month of Atlanta Nielsen radio ratings covering the pandemic showed a major drop-off in listeners for several stations with only a handful bucking that trend.

Any references to numbers from Nielsen’s public information only reveals shares, not actual number of listeners, so even if a share goes up, it’s from a much smaller pie. 

Brian Phillips, executive vice president at Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, said overall radio listening fell off about 40 percent in April when traffic on the road nosedived. The four-week ratings period covered March 26 to April 22.

Radio listening has come back quite a bit in May as more people return to their cars, he said.

 A Nielsen spokesperson said overall listening earlier this month had reached 84 percent of normal listening nationwide. 

News/talk WSB was No. 1 yet again with a 13.9 share, the highest month ever for any radio station in Atlanta under the current measurement system, which goes back to 2009. For comparison, the station had a 10 share in January. 

R&B station Kiss 104.1 also had its best month ever with a whopping 9.3 up from 5.9 in March while rival R&B station Majic 107.5/97.5 held steady at 4.8.

97.1/The River also had one of its strongest months in its history with a 7.4, up from 6.4 in March. 

B98.5, which has prided itself for years as a reliable in-office radio station, saw its share tumble from 5.1 to 3.3, its worst in many years. Many office workers have not been in the actual office for two months.

The other three pop stations took tumbles, too. Power 96.1, the pop station, fell from 4.2 to 3.1 from February to April. Q100 fell from 4.3 to 2.3 in the same time period, by far its worst month since people meters were put in place. Ditto for Star 94.1, which fell from 2.3 to 1.6, the worst performer among all stations with 100,000-watt signals. 

Considering there was no actual sports happening, 92.9/The Game held up surprisingly well relatively speaking, falling from 3.4 to 3.3 in share in April. 

The new Love 106.7 Christian pop station had its strongest month ever in its short life, hitting 3.1, up from 1.7 in March and a mere 1.0 in February. Fish, its primary competitor, held steady at a 4.1, up from 3.8. Joy 93.3, a rival on the south side, fell from 2.4 to 1.4. 

Rock 100.5 had its worst month ever, too, at a 1.0, down from 1.6 in March.

And while WSB benefited from the pandemic, WABE fell from a 3.3 to a 2.2 share. 

I no longer have access to ratings for individual shows or more specific demographic info.  Nielsen only releases overall listening shares to the public. 

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TOP CHEF -- "Pitch Perfect" Episode 1707 -- Pictured: Kevin Gillespie -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)
Photo: Bravo/Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Atlanta’s Kevin Gillespie may be off “Top Chef All Stars” after his shocking departure during the May 7 episode but Bravo provides a lifeline called “Last Chance Kitchen.”

The online-only show gives the chefs a chance to battle their way back into the main competition. 

So far, Gillespie has competed twice and won both challenges. Last week, he took down Nini Nguyen. 

On this past Thursday’s “Last Chance Kitchen” episode, he faced Lee Anne Wong, who made some serious cooking mistakes  and came up short on a brunch challenge during the regular episode on Bravo. She was suitably embarrassed because she actually runs a brunch restaurant. “Epic, epic failure on all levels,” she admitted. 

And though Lee Anne did well on “Last Chance Kitchen” during her first run on “Top Chef,” she knew she was facing a fierce competitor in Kevin. 

“This is not going to be easy,” she acknowledged.

The “Top Chef” brunch challenge featured a serious paucity of eggs so judge Tom Colicchio asked them to do eggs three ways: over easy, a French omelet with no toppings and eggs Benedict with a perfectly poached egg. 

Kevin doesn’t cook eggs much. This is what Lee Anne does all day.  “The odds don’t stack in my favor in this challenge,” he said. 

Tom liked Kevin’s over easy eggs better. But he preferred Lee Anne’s omelette with his only critique of Kevin’s version was it lacked seasoning. The competition came down to the eggs Benedict.

Kevin decided to “deconstruct” the dish with an English muffin crouton, fresh asparagus, prosciutto, a farm-fresh egg and a basic hollandaise.

“There’s a huge risk in modernizing a classic,” Kevin said. “The execution of the individual components has to be perfect.”

Lee Anne gave her eggs Benedict a Hawaiian twist with  asparagus, pancetta, nori and miso hollandaise with Parmesan Hawaiian sweet bread. 

“The cookery on both was as good as it gets,” Tom said. He liked Kevin’s English muffin twist, the hollandaise was “bright and acidic” and the poached egg was perfect. Lee Anne’s egg sat out too long and he felt the Lee Anne’s nori made the pancetta and egg taste fishy. 

So Tom gave the crown to Kevin.

“To beat her in basic egg cookery is amazing,” Kevin said. “If I don’t make it all the way through ‘Last Chance Kitchen,’ it won’t be for lack of trying.” 

He has one more chef to beat to get back into the competition. “I went out earlier than I wanted to so now it’s time to steamroll,” Kevin said. “The strategy moving forward is to not let these wins in any way affect my intensity and catapult me back into the competition.”

Watch the episode here:

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Jeff Foxworthy entertained and inspired at the Rotary Club of Buckhead on Monday. Photo: Jennifer Brett
Photo: Jennifer Brett/Atlanta Buzz

Johns Creek’s Jeff Foxworthy, the legendary stand-up comic, is joining A&E for a live treasure hunt show.

Called “What’s it Worth? Live,” the program will be hosted by Foxworthy, whose resume includes Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “The American Bible Challenge” on GSN.

Across eight two-hour episodes, the upcoming  A&E show, broadcast live from Atlanta, will give viewers a chance to bid and purchase an array of unusual, intriguing and valuable personal treasures, sold by Americans in a real-time marketplace.

Foxworthy will be joined by a team of experts to showcase items ranging from antiques to iconic pieces of pop culture.

The launch date has not been set. 

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About the Author

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