Mark Owens, Curtis Slade, Jeannine Riley and Amanda Kelly are among the "friends" for the new Jenn Hobby "Jenn & Friends" morning show on Star 94.1.
Photo: Star 94, Twitter profile pics
Photo: Star 94, Twitter profile pics

Star 94.1’s revamped line up features Jenn Hobby as anchor and mix of new, familiar faces

Originally posted Thursday, May 9, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Star 94.1 has done a near clean sweep of its entire on-air lineup, keeping only Jenn Hobby as a primary morning host.

Out the door: morning host Jeff Dauler, mid-day host Heather Branch and afternoon host Mike Marino.

The pop station, which has consistently lagged behind the other three pop stations(Q100, Power 96.1, B98.5) in town in ratings, is bringing in two new male “friends” to help out Hobby but Hobby’s name will be in lights. The show, previously called “The Jeff and Jenn Show,” will now be dubbed “Jenn and Friends.”

Photo: Star 94.1 marketing materials

Management clearly had this planned out far in advance. They had promotional materials about the revised line-up ready for the sales staff to distribute to clients by the middle of the day. 

One new member is Mark Owens, a producer on sister station 92.9/The Game and a long-time between-innings host at Atlanta Braves games. He was also known as Phil Terrana on the Bert Show many years ago, an inside joke since that was former Star 94 morning host Steve McCoy’s real name. So for Owens, this is an ironic new home. 

Curtis Slade is described in marketing materials as “a gay minority interior decorator who loves traveling and shopping.” He has been working in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the same city where current Star 94.1 program director Ron Roberts used to be senior VP of programming for iHeartRadio. 

Show director Jeannine Riley remains on the morning show.  She recently took over for Kelly Cheese, who left voluntarily, then found a radio job in Michigan. Kennesaw State University graduate Amanda Kelly and Rachel Kelso (who attended UGA), two existing assistant producers on the show, will remain as well, with Kelly continuing to cover traffic.

Kelly will also do mid-days, replacing Heather Branch, Star’s longest-running on-air personality who arrived about 10 years ago. The marketing materials say she is leaving radio voluntarily but provided no details. 

And taking over for Mike Marino from 2 to 6 p.m. will be a familiar name from the past: Mike Kannon. Kannon used to be on the rhythmic top 40 station 95.5/The Beat, which was a popular station in the 2000s but died when Cox Media Group needed a major signal for its news station WSB.

Photo: Star 94.1 marketing materials

Hobby used to work at the Beat as well before coming to the Bert Show in the early 2000s. She worked there until 2012, then spent four years at Kicks 101.5 before moving to Star with Dauler. 

Jenn Hobby has been a radio fixture in Atlanta for more than 18 years at 95.5/The Beat, Q100, Kicks 101.5 and now Star 94.1.

Since McCoy and Vikki Locke left Star more than 11 years ago, the station has had trouble finding a long-term solution for mornings. This will their sixth morning show incarnation since 2008. 

The station first tried the Morning Mess, which was a mess that lasted only a year. This was followed by Cindy Simmons and Ray Mariner, a successful afternoon morning team that didn’t quite translate in mornings. Mariner left in 2012 under mysterious circumstances. Jimmy Alexander took over but lasted only 21 months with Simmons. In 2015, Star dropped Simmons, brought in Drex, Cassiday and Tingle. But when Dauler became available, Star scooped him and Hobby up in early 2016. That show lasted just over three years, but ratings never quite met expectations. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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