Fish's Kevin & Taylor syndicating in 60 radio markets

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

This was posted Tuesday, January 17, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Fish 104.7's Kevin Avery and Taylor Scott , the longest running local morning show team in Atlanta radio at 16-plus years, has been added to 60 more stations nationwide in a new syndication deal.

The two personalities - whose show name is "Good Clean Fun with Kevin and Taylor" -  have been at Fish since the Christian pop station's launch in Buckhead in 2000.

Among the Salem operated and owned stations that are using Kevin & Taylor include those in Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, Sacramento, Little Rock and Columbus, Ohio.

Mike Moran, general manager of Salem Atlanta overseeing Fish, considers Kevin and Taylor "one of the premier programs in radio. We believe their family friendly content will play well in multiple formats. Because Salem is the industry leader in Christian, conservative and family programming, we felt it was a natural progression to put them on our network and  make them available for syndication to other markets and formats."

David Santrella, President of Broadcast Media for Salem Media Group said in the press release: “Radio has spent thousands of dollars and years of air checks to try and develop the chemistry Kevin and Taylor have mastered over the last fifteen plus years. This is the kind of game-changing show that makes a station instantly better. It is multi-format and multi-daypart friendly. There just never is a bad time for good clean fun, and adding Kevin and Taylor can transform a morning, mid-day, or afternoon daypart.”

Syndication out of Atlanta is now very common e.g. Clark Howard based out of News 95.5 and AM 750 studios, Rickey Smiley out of Hot 107.9 studios, Ed Lover out of Boom 102.9 studios and the Bert Show out of Q100 studios. Michael Baisden is going to be doing his afternoon syndicated show out of Kiss 104.1 studios soon. Steve Harvey, heard locally on Majic 107.5/97.5, has his own studios in Atlanta but mostly does his show remotely since his talk show is shot in Chicago.

For radio personalities, the upside for syndication is a bigger national footprint and more money for Kevin and Taylor. For radio stations, it's a way to leverage top talent and save money for smaller market stations.

There are downsides as well for the talent: they have to adhere to strict time limits so even if they're on a roll, they have to stop at a specific time for the sake of all the radio stations. They also have to scrub most Atlanta references out of their conversation for a national audience. Plus, they will likely have to tape extra localized bits for particular key stations. No doubt they will squeeze in a few Altanta-related segments to accommodate their local fans, as the Bert Show does throughout the morning.

Syndication also blocks potential up-and-coming talent in smaller markets to develop.

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Jeff Dauler, who is now on a purely local morning show at Star 94.1, spent five years in syndication with Bert Weiss on the Bert Show. He said Kevin & Taylor have to stay true to themselves even with 60 new station managers throwing advice at them. "Don't try to hide they're ATL-based," he suggested. "Local is important but I think trust with your audience is more crucial and can't deceive them by pretending to be local. And if they are adjusting their timing to fit a syndicated schedule, it will be frustrating at times but it will also make them better entertainers once they're used to it."

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