TV/radio briefs: Atlanta team on ‘The Great Food Truck Race,’ Checka Cee out at Kiss 104.1, May radio ratings led by Fish 104.7

Originally posted Thursday, June 13, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Checka Cee is off the Morning Groove at R&B station Kiss 104.1 after about 18 months. 

“It’s never exciting to part ways, but I’m exploring all of my options and am thankful for my strong support team and my network of contacts,” Cee said in a Messenger note. “Watch me work!” 

Art Terrell and Cory “Zooman” Miller remain on the show, which replaced syndicated host Tom Joyner at the start of 2018.  Joyner, who is set to retire at the end of 2019, is now on a smaller signal at Classix 102.9. 

The ratings for Kiss have perked up in recent months though Majic 107.5/97.5 remains ahead. Kiss’ on-air line-up has experienced turnover with new hosts during mid-days (Dyron Ducati) and afternoons (Monie Love). 

In May Nielsen ratings, the morning show ranked 10th overall with a 3.9 share while Kiss over the entire day ranked 6th with a 5.6 share.

Kiss and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both part of Cox Media Group.

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Anna and Darrell Johnson, plus Terrell Gaskin are part of the "Great Food Truck Race" team NOLA Creations.
Photo: Claudio Beier

Food Network’s sturdy reality competition show “The Great Food Truck Race” season ten has a team called “Madea Made” that isn’t from Atlanta. Then there’s a team called “NOLA Creations” that isn’t from New Orleans - but metro Atlanta.

It’s the biggest season to date with nine teams and all the stops will be at beach cities, starting with Myrtle Beach this past Sunday during the debut. Hilton Head is the destination this Sunday. 

The NOLA Creations team features a couple - Anna and Darrell Johnson and Darrell’s long-time sous chef Terrell Gaskin. The Johnsons are deeply New Orleans-based chefs. In the first “beach bites” challenge that aired during the debut this past Sunday, they cooked up “beignet balls.” 

Host and judge Tyler Florence loved them. “The flavor is ridiculous,” he said. “These should be on the permanent menu!” But the vegan truck won with a truck dish, which stupefied NOLA Creations.

For their main challenge, they cooked up a shrimp po boy and gumbo along with their signature beignets. “We balled out of control,” Anna said. On day two, they had to add a crab dish and did crab cakes. The trio clicked. They won the first challenge, selling more than anybody else at $1,759. 

They are recent metro Atlanta residents, having moved here just early last year after they said a contractor ripped them off in New Orleans and cost them their restaurant. Darrell and Anne live in McDonough and Terrell in Lithonia. 

“My wife has family here so we decided to come here,” Darrell said in an interview. 

They hope to open another restaurant, this time in Atlanta. “We hope the exposure helps us,” Darrell said. “We wanted to build a brand and go head to head with the best chefs. It was stiff competition.”

Ultimately, Darrell added, “we stayed true to our brand and put out great food. It took some time to get used to the prep work but we knew how to execute.” 

The competition was aggressive but friendly, they added. “Darrell and I anticipated a little more ruckus,” Terrell added. 

Darrell and Terrell, by the way, quit jobs at Marlow’s Tavern to be on the show. We’ll see if they end up winning the $50,000 prize. 

ON TV

“The Great Food Truck Race,” 9 p.m. Sundays, The Food Network

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A comically dated photo I took of Kevin and Taylor nine years ago. I need to go to an event and get an updated photo! (I know Kevin’s hair a wee bit shorter now...)
Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk

For the second month in a row, Christian pop station Fish 104.7 was the top station in town in May, creating an impressive lead with a 7.9 share vs. No. 2 station V-103’s 6.5. 

The Nielsen race was much tighter in April when Fish won with a 7 share to 6.6 for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB, which slipped to a tie for third with Majic 107.5/97.5 at 6.3 in May.
This is an interesting time for the Fish because it’s facing a major competitor in nationally syndicated K-Love, which debuted May 31 on 106.7. Will that station’s presence slice any any significant portion of Fish’s loyal audience? We’ll have to see.

Otherwise, there wasn’t anything too shocking. The River, Kiss and B98.5 all had good months for Cox Media Group. A football-free 92.9/The Game fell to a 2.9 share while the Fan held at 2.1. In 25-54 demo, the Fan tied the Game with a 2.3 share.  The Fan won mornings and afternoons while the Game did better mid-days and evenings (which usually happens given the Game’s stronger signal.) 

The departure of Jeff Dauler, let go partway through the May book, didn’t impact Star 94.1 in any significant way, one way or another. The Star morning show was in 14th place with a 2.9 compared to a 3 share in April. All three of its pop rivals  compared to Q100’s Bert Show at 5.4, Power 96.1’s PK in the Morning at 3.5 and B98.5’s Tad & Drex at 4.1. Star finished at 3.4 in the mornings among 25-54, good for 12th. 

And Talk 106.7’s final full book was a quiet one as it averaged a below-par 0.9 share. 

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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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