What ever happened to ... V-103's Carol Blackmon and Mike Roberts

Former radio hosts move in separate directions

Before Frank Ski and Wanda Smith, V-103's big morning show was Mike Roberts and Carol Blackmon.

From 1990 to 1998, the pair connected with fans via daily call-in polls, interactive games such as "Battle of the Sexes" and gobs of community support. "We stuck to a simple premise: educate, entertain and inform," Roberts said.

But growing competition from other R&B and hip-hop stations took a toll on ratings. In September 1998, Blackmon quit the station, saying she wasn't treated fairly by management.

Roberts voluntarily ended his run at V-103 a month later, to accolades and respect from listeners and peers.

"I could have stayed on and reinvented the morning show," he said recently. "But my head wasn't there at the time. And I didn't want to become one of those 50-year-old guys trying to sound hip."

Since then, the pair has gone separate ways. Roberts, now 51, has focused on running and owning radio stations in Macon. Blackmon, 50, has been doing a variety of different jobs, including voiceover work such as ads for Publix and BMW, artist development, media training and TV host for the Georgia Lottery.

Neither has been back on air as radio hosts in Atlanta. For Roberts, it's by choice. For Blackmon, the right deal has never come along.

The lottery work, Blackmon said, "keeps my chops up, keeps my face out there and keeps me in the industry."

She also is a stage mom and manager, helping her 12-year-old son, Sterling, get work doing print ad modeling for Macy's, TV commercials and film. He played Queen Latifah's son in the recent film "Mad Money."

Roberts, in the meantime, spent years building four Macon radio stations: one hip-hop, one R&B oldies and two gospel ones. By 2001, he said he was starting to break even, but a rival hip-hop station came into town with a stronger radio signal and lower ad rates.

He tried to hang on, paring staff and cutting costs but sold three of the four stations in 2006. He now owns a single R&B oldies station Majic 100, splitting his time between Macon and Atlanta.

"I sold them for more than I paid for," he said, "but I invested so much into them that it's hard to say I actually recouped my money."

Why R&B oldies? "It's the music I grew up with," Roberts said. "I have a lot of passion for it."

Blackmon and Roberts don't see each other often, but they have warm memories.

"I still have very fond thoughts for Carol," Roberts said. "It's unfortunate our schedules are so crazy we don't talk more. But when we do, it's always a good conversation."