Steve McCoy off 106.7 while station investigates verity of Trump interview

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Steve McCoy, the morning host at NewsRadio 106.7, supposedly snagged a pre-taped interview with Donald Trump Tuesday morning.

But did he really?

Trump isn't exactly a "unique" get. He lives off talking to the media. Still, Trump had just come into town on Saturday to talk to 7,700 people in Norcross so this would have been a timely get for McCoy.

McCoy told Buzzfeed News Tuesday that Trump's handlers really tied him down. (McCoy didn't respond to me seeking comment.)

“They said they wouldn’t take questions about his policy because his policies, they weren’t set in stone,” McCoy said. And he said he had to clear even non-policy questions.

But an attorney representing Trump Donald McGahn emailed me and referred me to an updated version of the Buzzfeed story. McGahn disputed McCoy's account, claiming McCoy basically pieced together a year-old interview with Trump and made it sound like it was new. In his email, he said he spoke with McCoy, who admitted to him it was a year-old interview. McGahn said Trump's handlers didn't restrict the interview because it wasn't a new interview so there was nothing to restrict.

Greg Tantum, program director, said the station is "investigating" the situation.

UPDATE on Thursday, October 15: McCoy is off the air this morning. I will probably post a new story once I know what will happen to him for sure. Market manager Sean Shannon said they are still trying to ascertain what exactly occurred and in the interim, he will be suspended. 

Later that day, Buzzfeed snagged McCoy, who admitted to recycling the interview. “I had interview scheduled but it didn’t come through so I used an old interview. I got suspended and I’m taking my punishment,” McCoy said.

Listen to the interview here (if it hasn't already been pulled off by the station.). Indeed, there are no policy questions and none of Trump's answers make it sound like he is running for president.

Over three minutes, he talked about Trump's lack of real estate holdings in Atlanta, his financial situation and his likability. He acknowledged that his honesty can come across as arrogant. He also said a pre-nup is necessary if you have money. And he said he does plan to return to Atlanta soon.

The part of the interview that rang most suspicious was when McCoy "asked" Trump if he planned to watch the Democratic debate and he said no because Trump ultimately live-tweeted it.

"Kind of fluffy but that's what I got from him," McCoy said on air to his co-host Cheryl White.

McCoy, who spent more than three decades in Atlanta as a morning host on various rock and pop stations including Power 99, Star 94 and B98.5, has been co-hosting mornings at NewsRadio 106.7 since March. This news-oriented program is different from the pop-culture focal of past shows he had done.

A former Star 94 employee who declined to be identified since he is still in the business told me that at Star, repackaging or recycling old celebrity interviews to sound like they were fresh was perfectly acceptable during the time he worked there.

Based on the subject matter that aired, this Trump interview may date back nine years when he was promoting a "Trump University" seminar in early 2006. (I went through my clip files and found I had talked to Trump in February of that year.)  McCoy was with Star 94 at the time. He apparently saves a lot of his old interviews.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

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