Originally posted Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Axel Lowe, who has been on air in Atlanta for 27 consecutive years, is returning to town to become program director for Rock 100.5 and taking back afternoons from Jesse Kage.
Lowe has been the evening voice of Rock 100.5 since 2017 when Kage arrived to handle PM drive. Over the past five years, he has been voice-tracking from Cincinnati, where he was program director and afternoon jock at the station WTFK-FM (96Rock).
“It’s bittersweet,” Lowe said. “I love my team in Cincinnati but this opportunity came up in Atlanta and I couldn’t say no.”
Kage, who last worked in Tampa, did not respond to a text for comment. He was given the bad news this morning. He had built up a following in town with an edgy personality-based afternoon show. Lowe over the years has tended to be more of a music jock.
UPDATE (July 11): Kage posted a Facebook message acknowledging the situation. He wrote, “To say that I was blindsided would be a massive understatement but this is a wild up and down business.”
He said he was told that “the new Program Director coming in wanted to takeover the PM Drive shift and that my services would no longer be needed.”
Kage, who said he has been in the business 24 years, then ended on a positive note, saying he made good friends in the building and while he didn’t agree with the move, he wished nothing but the best for the station. After four hours and hundreds of well wishes, he wrote “I am so blown away by the comments, messages and calls. Thank you. I love every single one of you and you made my time in Atlanta an amazing experience. I wish we had more time.”
In response, Lowe said: “When the station is not in the top 10 of their target demos, there’s a problem. I have a game plan to make the station win. I didn’t force anyone out. I was brought in after the changes were made. I have a transition to oversee in Cincinnati. Rock 100.5 is a great station with a lot of exciting things coming the very near future.”
Former program director Greg Ausham, who came to the station in 2014, was relieved of his duties more than a week ago. He did not respond to a Facebook message request for comment.
Lowe was one of the original jocks on 99X when the alternative rock station debuted in the fall of 1993 and spent much of his time over 15 years hosting afternoons. In 2008, Cumulus Media moved him to Rock 100.5 when the company took 99X off the FM dial.
He returned to 99X when it came back for a couple of years on translator signals, including 99.1 and 98.9 until the station's demise again in 2012. He then went back to Rock 100.5 as afternoon jock until 2017, when he moved to evenings.
“It will be terrific to have his leadership and passion for Rock 100.5 back at work here in our Atlanta studios,” said his boss Sean Shannon.
Lowe’s path is similar to that of Lyndsey Marie, mid-day host at Rock 100.5. After starting at Rock 100.5, she moved to Chicago to helm a show at a classic rock station there in 2014 while continuing to voice-track for Rock. Last year, after that Chicago station changed format, she returned to Atlanta.