Radio station 92.9/The Game has created a new three-person team for its morning show, all three with strong Atlanta ties.
Beau Morgan, an Atlanta native and Kennesaw State University graduate, is the producer of the Game’s afternoon show “Dukes & Bell.” Tiffany Blackmon, a North Gwinnett High School and Georgia State University graduate, serves as a sideline reporter on ESPN’s coverage of college football and the XFL. And Mike Johnson was an Atlanta Falcon from 2010 to 2014.
The show is dubbed “The Morning Shift” and will launch later this month from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays.
Hugh Douglas’ departure in December for a Philadelphia sports station impelled the sports talk station to find a new morning show for the first time in seven years. His former co-host John Fricke, who has been hosting the morning show with a rotating set of guest hosts since December, will have a new, still undefined role on the station.
Douglas wanted to be closer to home and asked the Game’s parent company Audacy about possible job openings in Philadelphia. His bosses found an afternoon spot at the sports station there SportsRadio 94WIP. They were able to accommodate him, said Mike Conti, the Game’s brand manager.
This gave Conti more time to find a new team. He said he went out of his way to find three long-time Atlantans: “I was looking for people who were passionate about Atlanta and the teams here.”
Both Blackmon and Johnson were already on Conti’s radar before they were hired.
Blackmon, he said, “is a rising star in sports media. I think her resumé speaks for itself. She’s worked the sidelines at the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. She does a lot of work for ESPN for big games. She’s covered the Falcons. She was always someone I wanted to work with.”
Johnson had been coaching football at Lassiter High School in Marietta and had some prior broadcast experience in Birmingham and 680/The Fan, Conti said. “He’s a real charismatic guy who is going to provide the athlete’s perspective. He’s a new dad. I think we’ll have fun hearing him tell stories about what that’s like.”
Morgan, of course, was already a known quantity with Game listeners, he said. “He is someone who has a really strong personality,” Conti said. “He has a really unique sound and someone our listeners relate to.”
Conti said the trio had chemistry as soon as he put them in the same room together. He is having them do practice shows to get used to teach other’s rhythms. He isn’t sure what their start date will be but he said they’ll be ready when he feels they’re ready.
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