Briefs: Frank Ski starts radio syndication; CBS46 temps outdoors at Assembly; Jeffrey Stepakoff’s new talent agency for writers

Frank Ski is finally getting what he has wanted for years: a deal to syndicate his radio shows nationwide.

He has a morning show with Atlanta R&B station Kiss 104.1 and an afternoon show for Washington’s WHUR-FM 96.3.

Both will be offered up for other stations to pick up, according to his agent, Gary Bernstein.

Bernstein said there was a possible deal for syndication two years ago but Bernstein wanted Ski’s new morning show at Kiss to establish itself first. Last month, Ski’s morning show with Nina Brown ranked fifth in overall Nielsen ratings and fourth among women 25 to 54. Ski’s show now beats Big Tigger on V-03 in both demographics (though V-103 is ahead in overall 25-54.)

A decade ago, Ski left V-103 after a 14-year run because the company (then CBS Radio, now called Audacy) was unable to provide him a proper syndication deal. He moved to D.C. and tried to syndicate himself, which didn’t work out. But he made a name for himself at WHUR-FM before returning to Atlanta in 2015 and working part-time at V-103 until Ryan Cameron left in early 2018, enabling Ski to return as morning host. In 2020, he also began doing shifts at WHUR again remotely from Atlanta.

During the pandemic, Ski couldn’t come to an agreement with V-103 over salary and departed. He arrived at Kiss 104.1 early last year and has been able to build solid ratings.

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Credit: CONT

Credit: CONT

CBS46 is renovating its newsroom, which will be ready in October.

It has been temporarily using what will eventually be the Telemundo Atlanta newsroom. (Atlanta-based Gray Television, which owns CBS46, bought Duluth-based Telemundo Atlanta earlier this year.)

With new floors being installed in what will be their new studio, general manager Erik Schrader said the chemicals being used meant temporarily relocating the newsroom to Assembly Studios, where Gray is building a sprawling TV and film studio.

They erected a temporary tent for the anchors, brought in Gray CEO Hilton Howell’s Airstream trailer to hold food and tested out a new portable TV studio that Gray will use in the future for coverage of natural disasters where electricity might be a problem.

It also gave CBS46 a reason to do a series of pieces on Hollywood in Atlanta.

The news station, which has seen its ratings edge ahead of rival 11Alive for third place in the market, has been in a massive hiring spree since Gray purchased the station from Meredith and has now passed the halfway point of its goal to add 50 new people to its newsroom by the end of the year.

The Assembly movie and TV studio, located on the former General Motors plant in Doraville, will feature about two dozen soundstages when it’s finished midyear 2023.

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@aj

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@aj

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Credit: COT

Credit: COT

Georgia Film Academy founder Jeffrey Stepakoff is stepping away to start a new talent and production agency focused on nurturing Georgia-based writers.

Called Content Talent South (CTS), he and Josh Lee, a former GFA director of strategy and operations, will identify, represent and produce the work of Georgia-based writers and content creators. They will also provide consultancy work for businesses.

Stepakoff himself is a former TV writer and producer for “Dawson’s Creek” and told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he spent several years building Georgia’s crew base through GFA, which now has 3,000 students a year. “It is now sustainable and scalable,” he said.

But almost all scripted shows shot here, from “The Resident” to “Cobra Kai,” are written elsewhere. He said it’s time now to build homegrown writing talent that can stay in Georgia as opposed to moving to Los Angeles, where most writers are based.

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