93.7/680 The Fan rejiggers lineup as ‘Hometeam’ Brandon Leak, Joe Hamilton, Hutson Mason join mornings

"Hometeam" Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton are joining the morning show on 93.7/680 The Fan starting July 19, 2021. RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com
Caption
"Hometeam" Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton are joining the morning show on 93.7/680 The Fan starting July 19, 2021. RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Buck Belue going solo late mornings.

For the second time in less than a year, sports talk 93.7/680 The Fan is shaking up its daytime lineup with the morning show becoming a lot more crowded.

The current morning show duo Brian Finneran and John Michaels will be joined by three hosts from other time slots: “Hometeam” Brandon Leak, Joe Hamilton and Hutson Mason. The show’s name is also changing Monday, July 19, from The Front Row to The Locker Room.

“We’ve got the deepest bench in town with local, live talent,” said their boss and Fan owner David Dickey. “It’s not about how many people are in the room. It’s about the right chemistry. It’s about the right energy. It’s about having the right diversity of voices to reflect the modern conversation about sports.”

Buck Belue, the station’s veteran host who had been paired with Mason in early afternoon, will now have a solo show from 10 to 11 a.m. He previously spent 20 years with John Kincaid, a high-priced personality who was cut last September during the pandemic and has since moved to a sports station in Philadelphia (”Steak” Shapiro was also let go at the time. In January Sandra Golden, the station’s only female voice, voluntarily left.)

Dickey said he wanted Belue to have his own show so “he can really have a lot of fun and have him focus on things he loves like college football, the NFL, Braves and golf.”

Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino will be moved to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and given an extra hour to boot. “They do an interesting, thought-provoking show so I wanted to give them more time,” Dickey said.

Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff will start an hour earlier at 2 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. and run through 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The Fan airs a lot of evening Atlanta Braves games so this will mean Chuck and Chernoff will be able to be on air longer before the Braves pre-game shows kick in.

The two Chuck and Chernoff producers Brian Hoyt and Carlos Medina will air a new sports talk show from 6 to 8 p.m. called Fun Bag on nights when the Braves are not airing. Dickey said they are very funny and wanted to give them more on-air exposure.

Dickey said the Fan is thriving, having already caught up to its revenue numbers from pre-pandemic 2019. The station’s Nielsen ratings have been stable but given its weaker FM signal, it consistently lags behind 92.9/The Game. But Dickey has always focused on building local advertisers who don’t care so much about Nielsen and more about direct impact.

“I’ve always subscribed to Bobby Cox’s truism to make moves when you’re on top,” he said. “And the station is doing really well.”

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