Originally posted on Sunday, January 20, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Traditional radio has been around for nearly a century but its pending demise has been declared numerous times over the decades.
When TV debuted in the late 40s, experts declared the pending death of radio. It didn’t die.
When MTV came along in the early 1980s, the Buggles cheekily sang a song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” It didn’t. When streaming arrived in the 2000s, along with satellite radio, people frequently said AM/FM radio would go away soon. It persevered.
It’s now 2019. Spotify is the kingpin of subscription on-demand streaming and YouTube stars abound. Prophets say radio faces a grim future.
Yet two YouTube vets - Jade Novah and JR Jackson - are now joining the new V-103 morning show in Atlanta Tuesday January 22, singing the praises of old-school radio’s relevancy. The new name: The Morning Culture with Frank Ski, Jade Novah and JR.
“Both Jade and I come from digital and building our audiences line,” JR said. “We think this is a perfect opportunity to move forward. Digital isn’t killing radio. It’s bridging it.”
Jade and JR, both in their early 30s, are well aware how V-103 is able to connect with the Atlanta black community, from the mayor down to the folks in the barber shops and salons in the West End and downtown.
Despite a ridiculous amount of competition in recent years for black listeners, V-103 remains Atlanta’s top music station, drawing more than 750,000 listeners a week, the type of reach only the most popular social media stars could muster on a regular basis.
“Radio is a cool platform so you can listen and engage in real time,” said Jade.
“And that interaction shouldn’t stop once we’re off air,” JR added.
They want to bring viral moments both on the radio and on the Web.
JR broke into the media business by doing a YouTube sports blog JRSportBrief, interviewing a raft of big-name stars. He was most recently doing sports talk for New York’s 660/101.9 The Fan.
Jade, originally a back-up singer for A-listers such as Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga, drew followers by doing compelling covers of Rihanna and Beyonce to eventually carve out her own music career.
They join Frank Ski, who is 54, and replace two of his age-comparable peers Wanda Smith and Miss Sophia.
“We’re learning from the best,” Jade said, with Ski.
“He’s a wealth of knowledge,” JR said. “We want to take what he’s done and move things forward.”
JR was already working with Entercom (which owns V-103) at WFAN when they offered him the V-103 gig. Jade said she had been in talks on and off with V-103 for a long time and the stars finally aligned.
“I’m familiar with the history and legacy of this radio station,” JR said. “This is the ‘People’s Station.’ I want to be out in the community and in the streets.”
JR is no stranger to the city. He is friends with former Atlanta Hawk Paul Milsap (who still lives locally) and has covered different sports events in Atlanta.
Jade has even more direct ties to Atlanta. She lived locally from 2011 to 2015 after getting a songwriting publishing deal and met her husband, producer Devon Johnson, here. But as an artist, she said she traveled frequently and didn’t set deep roots in Atlanta. She eventually moved to L.A.
This radio opportunity will keep her in town during the week and get to know the community while she will restrict touring to weekends.
JR said he is single and available.
“Ladies will be lining up outside the building,” Jade said.
“Don’t believe the hype!” JR added.
The name Morning Culture came from discussions about the show in which the word “culture” was used to much, they decided to just incorporate it into the show’s name.
“Atlanta is culture,” JR said.
“There’s Atlanta sports, arts, fashion, beauty. There’s so much TV and film shot here. It’s all about the culture,” Jade said.
While it typically takes time for three new people on a radio show to mesh and develop chemistry, JR and Jade said the three of them are already having organic conversations. They aren’t so worried about issues such as talking over each other once they go live Tuesday.
And JR, as a vet of social media, is aware that skeptics and haters will abound when they hit the airwaves. And he credits program director Reggie Rouse and general manager Rick Caffey for taking this chance on them.
“This is different and new,” he said. “A lot of people are too scared to take a chance. It’s a credit to V-103 to try this and show some foresight rather than get too comfortable.”
Jade is also used to the scrutiny. “It comes with the territory,” she said.
Morning Culture with Frank Ski, Jade Novah and JR on V-103,
6 to 10 a.m., weekdays, starting Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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