November 27, 2014 Atlanta - Emcee Cadillac Jack (center) interviews Carson Sims (right) and McKinley Parks during the annual Macy's Great Tree Lighting celebration at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta on Thursday, November 27, 2014. Thousands of people came out to watch the show which featured performances by The Isley Brothers, Pentatonix, tenor Timothy Miller and many more. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
Photo: JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
Photo: JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL

EXCLUSIVE: Cadillac Jack cut from Kicks 101.5 after 26 years at company

Originally posted Monday, July 22, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Cadillac Jack, long-time country morning host at Kicks 101.5, lost his job today. There have been no details released why he was let go.

He has been with Kicks for almost his entire career, save for a few years at sister station Y106.7 in the late 1990s. He has been morning host since 2006 with different hosts, including Kristen Gates, Dallas McCade, C.J. Lusk, Ali Mac and most recently Corey Dylan.

For now, mid-day host McCade moves back to mornings as solo host while Dylan moves to mid days. 

His current contract, which he signed in 2017, runs through 2021. 

I have not received any response for comment from Cadillac Jack (real name: William Choate) or his former bosses Brian Phillips, Greg Frey and Sean Shannon at Atlanta-based Cumulus, which owns Kicks.

UPDATE: Though I have DMed Caddy over the years and had interviews with him in person and via official channels, apparently I do not have his correct cellular phone number. He must have figured that out, too, because he posted this passive-aggressive message on Twitter earlier tonight informing the world I indeed have an outdated number for him. I DMed him for his correct number but he has not yet responded. I also provided him my number but he has not reached out. 

On Facebook, in response to former Y106/Eagle host Steve Mitchell posting the news, Caddy wrote: “I’m grateful to have been able to spend my entire career of 25 years in Atlanta! The city where my wife was raised and went to Georgia and all 3 of my beautiful kids were born and raised. I consider that to be a blessing.”

Cadillac started at Kicks in 1993 just shy of 20 as a night jock. He worked afternoons for many years before going to mornings. 

Despite multiple owners and bosses, Cadillac was a survivor and a team player who took direction well.

"There are so many people who are smarter than I am,” he said in an interview in 2013. “I don't have all the answers. I never will be the smartest guy in the room. I need coaching. I need good direction."

His former agent Norm Schrutt said Caddy- as he is known - always loved the format  and was very relatable to his demographic when he was younger. 

But Kicks this year has seen relatively tepid Nielsen ratings. In mornings, 46-year-old Cadillac Jack (mostly with Dylan) has ranked between 15th and 19th, with shares between 2.2 and 2.6 this year in monthlies through June. In comparison, 94.9/the Bull’s morning show has seen shares between 2.8 and 3.3 during that same time period.

Among 25-to-54 year olds, his ratings were even worse, ranging from 1.2 to 1.9, ranked either 20th or 21st place. The Bull? 2.5 to 3.5, ranking between 11th and 15th place. 

His morning show has been largely under-performing the station as a whole. 

>>RELATED: My interview with Caddy from 2013 on his 20th anniversary 

>>RELATED: My interview with Caddy from 2017 about surviving a heart attack

>>RELATED: Cadillac Jack in 2018 defends lack of female artists on radio

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

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