Carl Dukes and Mike Bell make their debut on the Talkers magazine Heavy Hundred 2017 at No. 32.
Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk
Photo: Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk

Radio briefs: 92.9/The Game hits new heights in October ratings; Derek Harper takes Hurricane Dave’s job; AM1190 changes owners  

Originally posted Wednesday, November 6, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

92.9/The Game has steadily built audience over the past seven years, hitting new ratings records in the process. In October, the sports talk station had its best ever month with a 4.6 share. That’s 7th place overall.

That is even better than January 2017 when the Atlanta Falcons were winning playoff games that led them that now infamous Super Bowl loss. The Game then hit a 4.4.

The station came in fifth among 25 to 54 year olds at a 5.1 share, behind only V-103 (1), Majic (2), the River (3) and B98.5 (4). 

It’s doing well even though the Falcons, now at 1-7, are bombing, indicating that the station’s appeal has now become a go-to place for sports fans beyond what games it airs. After a lot of turnover in its early years of air talent, its daily lineup has stabilized and it is now fully taking advantage of its superior signal to that of rival 93.7/680 The Fan.

The October ratings also showed some other interesting trends. On the country side, Kicks 101.5 continues to falter. It saw its worst monthly ratings ever, falling to a 2.4 share, tied for 17th place, well behind 94.9/The Bull at 4.3, good for eighth place.

Not that the station isn’t working to get back in gear. Kicks just hired a new program director Mike Moore and is putting together a yet unnamed new morning show since booting Cadillac Jack in July. Cumulus last month hired veteran jock J.J. KIncaid recently without saying what his job is. He might be part of the new morning show.

Q100 also had a subpar monthly book, falling to 2.7 share, tied with Star 94.1 for 14th place. It also fell to 14th place among 25 to 54 year olds with a 3.2 share, just ahead of Star at 3.1 Even the usually formidable Bert Show wasn’t its dominant self, finishing at an uncommonly low sixth place in that demo with a 5.4, still well ahead of Star 94.’s Jenn & Friends with a 2.5 but behind B98.5’s Tad & Drex in the morning at 5.9.

Fish 104.7 has fallen back to its more normal numbers, dropping to ninth place tie with an unusually spry Praise 102.5 (4.1) after a four-month No. 1 lead in late spring/early summer. 

But it’s also facing a big-time competitor for the first time in the new K-Love at 106.7, which showed signs of life for the first time ever, jumping from 0.2 to a 1.3 share. The station debuted in June after its parent company bought out the signal from Cumulus, which had previously run a talk format there. 

R&B station Classix102.9 , featuring the final weeks of Tom Joyner before his retirement at the end of the year, also had one of its best months ever with a 2 share. Meanwhile, scrappy hip-hop station Streetz 94.5 finished a solid fifth place among 18 to 34 year olds and No. 2 for its maturing three-year-old Yung Joc and Mo Quick morning show in that demo.

Streetz was only behind Steve Harvey on Majic and ahead of both V-103’s Morning Culture and Hot’s Rickey Smiley Morning Show. Harvey was also No. 1 among 25 to 54 year olds in the mornings, ahead of Scott Slade on WSB (2), V-103 (3) and B98.5 (4). 

***

The business-oriented 1190/WAFS-AM is over and Catholic Church programming has taken over. 

Relevant Radio, which runs programming serving the Catholic church and is based out of Green Bay, Wis., recently purchased 20 stations in 10 markets from Salem Media Group, which still owns 920/The Answer and Fish 104.7. 

Salem, which largely focuses on Christian programming nationwide,  had sold off some of what it considered its non-essential properties so it could focus on its more profitable stations.

Relevant is now in 39 states on 127 stations. This is Relevant’s only presence in Georgia. 

***

Photo: Derek Harper LInkedin photo

Derek Harper, a long-time radio executive at Radio One, has been promoted to operations manager of the entire cluster in Atlanta. He now oversees Hot 107.9, Classix 102.9, Majic 107.5/97.5 and Praise 102.5. 

“Derek knows the Atlanta market better than anyone I know,” said Tim Davies, Regional VP and GM, in a press release. “He has been key to the growth of our top rated UAC Majic 107.5/97.5 and Praise 102.5, and now he can successfully lead the entire programming team!” 

He takes over for Hurricane Dave Smith, who was fired earlier this year after a former female employee Shorty Mack  filed a lawsuit alleging he sexually harassed and assaulted her and made her life miserable while she was there. Smith, in a countersuit, denied all the allegations. 

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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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