Photo: Russ Parr will be on Classix; Rickey Smiley stays on Hot; Headkrack's new morning show won't start in Atlanta
Photo: Russ Parr will be on Classix; Rickey Smiley stays on Hot; Headkrack's new morning show won't start in Atlanta

Russ Parr taking Tom Joyner’s slot at Classix 102.9; new Rickey Smiley show on Hot; Headkrack’s new show not in Atlanta yet

Originally posted Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Tom Joyner, 70, earlier this month retired from his long-time syndicated radio show after nearly a half century in radio. 

This led to a cavalcade of challengers and changes in the radio landscape nationwide. In Atlanta, in the short term, the impact will be modest.

Here are the key changes:

Who takes over for Joyner on Classix? 

Starting early next year, Classix ATL 102.9 - which had aired Joyner the past two years affter Kiss 104.1 dropped him -  will cede the morning spot to syndicated host Russ Parr

Parr, who is about 60, has been syndicated since 2002 but has only been on briefly in Atlanta. In 2017, Old School 87.7, run at the time by Steve Hegwood, used Parr for a brief time until he placed Porsha Foxx on mornings and turned it to Mix 87.7, which he ended a year ago. Parr is part of the syndicator Reach Media, which is owned by Urban One and was started by Joyner. (Reach also syndicates Erica Campbell, heard on Praise 102.5 and D.L. Hughley, on the afternoons on Classix.)

What happens to Rickey Smiley on Hot? 

In several other markets, Rickey Smiley, 51, will take over many of Joyner’s time slots with a revamped show featuring “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Eva Marcille , 35, as his new female sidekick. Gary With Da Tea and Special K will stay with him. 

But in Atlanta, the new Smiley show will remain on RB&/hip-hop station Hot 107.9, where the show has been a reliable performer among 18 to 34 year olds, frequently finishing in the top three and sometimes No. 1.

Smiley will lose his producer Loren “Hollywood” Henderson and 42-year-old key host Headkrack, who was rewarded with his own new show that will be on R&B/hip-hop stations nationwide. Henderson will oversee the new show while Derrick Baker will take over producing Smiley’s show.

Will Headkrack’s new show be on Hot in any way?

For now, Headkrack’s new morning show - which features a new team of Angie Ange, “On Air” Jordan, Lore’l and Billy Sorrel - will not be heard in Atlanta. But Derek Harper, operations manager for Urban One Atlanta, said Headkrack “will still have some presence on Hot.” 

Headkrack’s show will be based out of Atlanta. Smiley’s will be based out of Dallas, where Reach Media is based.

How about Dish Nation?

As for the syndicated TV show “Dish Nation,” that team will stay the same: Headkrack, Porsha Williams, Da Brat, Smiley and Gary With Da Tea. (Smiley is no longer a regular presence on the show.) “Dish Nation,” which is all about pop culture,  is seen in Atlanta on Fox 5 at 7 p.m. weekdays. 

Hot 107.9 has also hired a new program director from 99Jamz in Miami who goes by Tap Money. 

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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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