Frank Ski leaving WHUR D.C. radio job after two years

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Frank Ski announced his departure from DC station WHUR-FM on September 9 after two years as the afternoon host.

In a press release, he said his final on-air broadcast will be this Friday.

Ski left Atlanta after 14 years on V-103 as morning host in late 2012, most of that time at No. 1. At the time, he said he wanted to go national and V-103's parent company CBS was unable to help him do that.

He was able to nab the WHUR job and commuted between Atlanta and D.C. But over those two years, he was unable to get syndication deals in other markets, including a way back on air in Atlanta.

According to his press release, he lifted WHUR from 10th to 3rd place among 25 to 54 year olds in his time slot. He didn't say when that actually happened.

He also didn't say if he left the station voluntarily or if management chose not to renew his contract. (UPDATE: September 11, 2015: I tried for two weeks to reach Jim Watkins, the WHUR-FM general manager, for comment. Things didn't start well when his assistant Krystal Jones said he wasn't in and when I politely asked when he would be back, she tartly responded that she didn't release his schedule. I called several more times over the next two weeks, leaving more fruitless messages and getting no response. Finally, the woman who answered the main line was more helpful. She told me yesterday she hand-delivered an earlier request straight to Watkins, who told her, "I have nothing to say to him." So that was an elongated dead end.)

Curiously, a rival R&B station WMMJ-FM in D.C. hired a popular veteran jock Donnie Simpson for an afternoon show that would have competed with Ski if he had stayed. Simpson began August 17.

Ski, a political junkie who has close ties with many politicians, declined to comment in a brief phone interview about what his next move will be.

How easy would it be for Ski to come back to Atlanta FM radio?

Majic 107.5/97.5 recently dropped Carol Blackmon and Rene Miller of budgetary reasons after a major ratings decline the past 18 months. While Ski would provide instant name recognition, he would not come cheap. But it's an option.

Kiss 104.1 seems happy with its existing lineup and its strong ratings indicate no need to make changes. V-103 has recovered from a ratings slump after Ski's departure and its existing set of on-air personalities seem secure.

Ski still runs a Buckhead restaurant in Atlanta but changed its named from Frank Ski's earlier this year to Klass with Kevin Edwards at the helm.

List of Atlanta radio stations

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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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