Where will Sasha the Diva’s syndicated morning show with Rick Party land in Atlanta?

Originally posted Tuesday January 8, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Former Kiss 104.1 afternoon host Sasha the Diva will return to the Atlanta airwaves in late March once a six-month non compete clause ends. 

The non-compete prevents her from being on air in Atlanta on any rival AM or FM station until six months after she left last September. 

Sasha worked at Kiss for 10 years over two different stints.

Westwood One - her syndicator - said she and Rick Party will eventually land a deal in Atlanta as well as Chicago and eight other markets. The show - dubbed Rick & Sasha - opened Monday in 12 markets, mostly in the Southeast in markets such as New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston, S.C.

Their show is being produced out of Atlanta in the same space as Kicks 101.5, Rock 100.5, Talk 106.7 and Q99.7. 

Sasha and her agent Gary Bernstein declined to comment. At this point, I can only speculate where she’ll land. Here are the possibilities in Atlanta in order of likelihood. Yes-- Atlanta has an incredible ten R&B and/or hip hop stations. 

- OG 97.1, classic hip hop. Why? The station is owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media which also happens to own the syndication company representing Sasha and Rick. Cumulus has a vested interest placing the show in a top 10 market like Atlanta, where Sasha already has many years of built-in brand recognition. Why not? The station since it debuted in late 2014 has managed just fine with no live jocks, much less a morning show. Yet it pulls in passable ratings for a modest signal, finishing last month with its best overall month to date: a 1.8 rating, good for 20th place. 

- Kiss 104.1, R&B. Why? She used to work there and has a history with the station. Kiss’s current morning show - Art Terrell and Checka Cee - is underperforming compared to its predecessor Tom Joyner. She could also come back on air sooner since it’s her most recent employer. Why not? She voluntarily walked away from Kiss and management might prefer to stick with a purely local show. 

- Mix 87.7, R&B. Why? The station previously had a local morning show hosted by Porsche Foxx but Foxx recently left, saying she has another unspecified gig lined up. Mix just added a syndicated show DeDe in the Morning out of Dallas but if owner Steve Hegwood prefers an already established name in Atlanta, Sasha the Diva would fill that role. Why not? Hegwood just signed DeDe last week. He may prefer to give her a chance. 

- Majic 107.5/97.5, R&B. This station is fully committed to Steve Harvey, who pulls in strong numbers. There is no legitimate reason for Majic to change now even if they could.

- Power 92.3 Jamz, R&B/hip-hop. This station could technically put Sasha and RIck on but it’s new and untested. It doesn’t pay for Arbitron ratings so it’s unclear how many listeners it even has since it came to be last year.

-Classix 102.9, classic R&B. Radio One expressly created this station (and killed classic hiphop Boom) just to have a home for Tom Joyner after Kiss dropped him. So there is no place for Sasha and Rick here. (Joyner is retiring later this year so who knows if the Classix format will stick around.)

- V-103, R&B/hip-hop. V-103 just added two new younger hosts to pair with Frank Ski. This new show starts January 22. V-103 is not going to do a syndicated show either. It never has under general manager Rick Caffey, who believes wholeheartedly in purely local radio.

- Hot 107.9, hip-hop. There is zero chance this is happening. Rickey Smiley is well entrenched and this Sasha/Rick Party show is geared to R&B stations, not hip hop.

- Streetz 94.5, hip hop. Again, Sasha and Rick are targeting an older audience. Yung Joc and Mo Quick are doing just fine where they are. 

- 96.7/The Beat, hip hop. This IHeartMedia station has the Breakfast Club in the morning. Case closed.

Sasha and Rick debuted in a dozen markets Monday: 

Party is a former Hot 105.1 WHQT Miami afternoon host and worked briefly at Atlanta’s V-103 about two decade ago. Comic Shuler King is part of the show as well.  

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About the Author

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