Originally posted Tuesday, October 8, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Atlanta-based Cumulus country station Kicks 101.5 is one of the longest-running radio stations in Atlanta with the same moniker going back to 1981.
But Kicks has been struggling in the Nielsen ratings lately against rival 94.9/The Bull. Last month, the Bull beat Kicks by a margin of 4.9 to 2.9 in total shares.
The gap is even wider among younger listeners. Since the Bull debuted in 2006, it has consistently drawn more younger listeners than Kicks.
Kicks in March dumped its program director Brian Thomas after just a single year and left the post open for seven months before hiring Mike Moore, who had left Entercom’s Portland, Ore. country station 99.5/The Wolf after 16 years in August as a vice president of programming for the cluster. He has also worked at Nashville’s country station WSIX-FM.
“It’s an opportunity to rebuild an iconic brand in this marketplace,” said Moore in an interview Monday.
He is also happy to work with Brian Phillips, the new general manager who turned 99X into a powerhouse rock station in the 1990s and ran CMT for 16 years. “I was a fan of his years ago,” Moore said, “and became friends with him while I was at WSIX. We stayed in touch over the years and were on the board of directors for the Country Music Association.”
There have been rumors that the station may drop the Kicks name in favor of something fresher. Moore didn’t say yes or no to that proposition.
Moore is also seeking a new morning host to replace long-time Kicks jock Cadillac Jack, who was let go in July with no clear explanation. Caddy, 46, had worked at the company since he was 20.
The 101.5 signal has been home to country music even before it became Kicks going back to the 1960s.
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