Former Star 94.1 morning producer and host Kelly Cheese is going to Grand Rapids, Mich. to join a syndicated morning show in 40 markets.

Radio/TV briefs: Kelly Cheese’s new job, Kicks PD out, Cumulus financials, Ryan Cameron’s Jermaine Dupri special, Corky Kell on CBS

Posted Sunday, March 24, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Kelly Cheeseborough, known on Star 94.1’s Jeff and Jenn show for nearly three years as Kelly Cheese, left the show abruptly last month but quickly landed a new gig: producer and co-host of a syndicated rock morning show that goes by “Free Beer and Hot Wings.” 

She leaves later this week for Grand Rapids, Mich. where the show is based. It’s heard on more than 40 stations nationwide including stations in Nashville and Birmingham (though none in Georgia.)

The show needed a full-time female host, she said. 

She won’t explain what precipitated her departure from Star 94.1 and left a cryptic note to fans on social media to boot, which she said Jenn Hobby and Jeff Dauler were given advance notice. 

“What was going on behind the scenes was driving me to look elsewhere... I felt like I needed to just venture out and try something different,” Cheeseborough said. “Leaving it in a gray area and being murky was intentional because of course in a situation where you leave, I don’t want to be on bad terms. I feel I’m on great terms with the show and the station.”

She added: “As much as I want to say everything I felt and all the reasons I left, that won’t do anybody any good.”

Cheeseborough said she has nothing but well wishes for the Star morning show which gave her a big break in radio: “The show needs to do well. They’re on the right track.” 

She said the new rock show will enable her to talk about more topics. “I’m 31,” she said. “I like to party. On Star, I sometimes had to hold back because it’s a family-friendly audience.” 

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TV One’s upcoming celebrity on “Uncensored” is Atlanta music producer Jermaine Dupri at 10 p.m. Sunday, March 24.

It was also Majic 107.5/97.5 afternoon host Ryan Cameron’s opportunity to produce an episode. He did the interviews and teased out info from Dupri about his relationship with Janet Jackson and how Dupri was supposed to be in Biggie’s car the night Biggie died in 1997.

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Brian Thomas, formerly PD at Kicks 101.5. 
Photo: Publicity photo

Brian Thomas is out as program director of Kicks 101.5 after just a year without explanation.

Thomas took over for Scott Lindy a year ago. Market manager Sean Shannon said a nationwide search is underway for a replacement. Louie Diaz, who is vice president for Cumulus contemporary stations, will fill in for now with help from Charlie Cook, vice president for country nationwide. 

Kicks ratings had its ups and downs the past year, averaging in 2018 a 3.7 share, good for 13th place overall behind rival 94.9/The Bull, which came in 10th at a 4.02. It recently let go its female morning host Ali Mac

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Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, which is selling off six of its stations for just over $100 million including Talk 106.7, said it had a solid 2018.

The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last June. The fourth quarter net revenue increased from $294 million to $309 million with net income of $43,7 million vs. a loss of $206 million during the same quarter in 2017. 

Its net revenue for 2018 edged up 0.4 percent to $1.1 billion. And net income hit $757 million, up from a net loss of $207 million a year earlier. 

“We are delighted by the company’s strong 2018 performance,” said Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner. “Despite the challenges presented by our bankruptcy in the first half of the year and industry headwinds throughout the year, Cumulus was able to deliver its first full year of revenue growth in four years fueled by digital growth of more than 60%, its eighth straight quarter of increased market revenue share and its second consecutive year of EBITDA growth after years of declines.”

With positive cashflow and the bankruptcy reorganization cleared, the company was able to shrink debt, which is down to about $1.2 billion from $2.3 billion a year earlier. 

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August 18, 2018 Atlanta - North Gwinnett wide receiver Josh Downs (11) makes a move after a catch in the second half during the Corky Kell Classic at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, August 18, 2018. North Gwinnett won 37-2 over the Brookwood. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

The high school football MetroPC Corky Kell Classic will air on CBS 46 for the first time.

The tournament in late August has previously aired on GPB, Channel 36 and the Fox regional networks. 

“To the get Corky Kell on a local network like CBS is a huge milestone for the event,” said Corky Kell Director and Score Atlanta President I.J. Rosenberg. “Look at it this way: We are going on a network that had the Super Bowl last month, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and Final Four this month and then the Masters in April. That’s a home run for us.”

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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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