By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Monday, February 22, 2016
Jenn Hobby will join Jeff Dauler as part of the new Star 94 morning show next month.
They are expected to begin Thursday, March 3. It will be called the Jeff and Jenn show and air from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily.
The combo makes sense. They're both close friends who worked together on the successful Bert Show from 2002 to 2012. Dauler said they became even closer after she moved to country station Kicks 101.5 as mid-day host. Their families have vacationed together. Hobby will be a groomswoman at Dauler's wedding October 22 to Callie Riggs.
"Doing a show together has been a dream for us," said Hobby in an exclusive interview today. "We've talked about it but never thought it would actually happen in reality."
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She considers Dauler family. "We're like siblings," she said.
Oddly, they worked across the hall from each other for three years after she left the Bert Show since the Kicks studio is so close by. He'd stop by and visit her for a few minutes every day. His only disappointment: "You never introduced me to Carrie Underwood!" he said to her at the OK Cafe today.
She said she left Kicks with no acrimony. She simply wanted to stretch her wings more. A mid-day shift on a music station generally doesn't leave much room for a lot of DJ patter.
Speculation that the two would pair up began immediately after Dauler announced he was leaving the Bert Show (heard on Q100) and moving to rival Star 94 on November 2. At the time, Star 94 general manager Mike Fowler - who had overseen the Bert Show from 2003- to 2006 - said he was interested in Hobby but had not talked to her about it.
"There was no master plan," Dauler said.
Hobby left Kicks 101.5 after three years in September to go on maternity leave. In November, three weeks after Dauler's announcement, she chose to leave. That fueled even more speculation.
Her non-compete ended on February 15, which enabled her to start officially negotiating with Entercom, which owns Star. In an interview, Hobby said Fowler sold her on what she immediately saw was a great opportunity and the two sides agreed to a contract in less than a week. "He was pretty convincing," she said. "Star 94 is a brand I've always respected. It's been an incredible heritage station. And Entercom is doing all the right things."
She introduced herself to staff this morning. I talked to her right before the news broke and she was so nervous, she could barely consumer her granola and yogurt.
When Star announced Dauler's arrival in November, his non-compete prevented him from going on air on Star until February. The station at the time was also unclear whether he'd be on in mornings or afternoons. And the co host was not named. Earlier this month, the station said Dauler would be the morning host and a co-host was forthcoming.
The Drex, Cassiday and Tingle morning show, which has been on Star for just over a year, will move to afternoons.
Dauler will start his new show with Hobby 15 years to the month that he started at Q100 in March, 2001.
Dauler and Hobby will be competing not only with their former show the Bert Show on Q100 but also former colleague Melissa Carter on B98.5. That station just paired a new co-host with Carter Tad Lemire. (No bad blood here. Carter remains good friends with both Dauler and Hobby.)
After working in syndication with the Bert Show for the past five years, Dauler is happy to be able to freely talk about Atlanta subjects and places.
"We love Atlanta," said Hobby, who has lived here since 1999. "We believe in this city."
"Jenn's husband is a bigwig in Cobb County schools," added Dauler. "My fiance is born and raised in Atlanta."
"My two daughters were born at Piedmont Hospital," Hobby said.
She likes the fact Entercom is a socially conscious company that also cares about programming and developing talent, not just the bottom line. "It's refreshing," she said. "I can't wait to work for them."