Radio briefs: Bert Weiss engaged; B98.5′s Rebecca Stevens dies; Big Tigger morning show name change

Bert Weiss of the Bert Show announced this week he is now engaged to Tiffany Haynes after five years of dating. BERT WEISS/CONTRIBUTED
Bert Weiss of the Bert Show announced this week he is now engaged to Tiffany Haynes after five years of dating. BERT WEISS/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: BERT WEISS/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: BERT WEISS/CONTRIBUTED

Morning host Bert Weiss announced his engagement to lifestyle coach Tiffany Haynes this week on his syndicated Bert Show after dating for almost five years.

But he did trick his Bert Show cast members by couching his engagement story as if it were from someone else. The twist: the “listener” had proposed without a ring in a spontaneous moment. Then Bert asked his cast members what they thought. Two said he should have at least provided a “placeholder” ring, even if he couldn’t afford the big one yet, and a third said if there was no ring, the proposal better be a doozy.

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Then Weiss said the woman was cool with the quickie proposal, and they considered themselves engaged sans ring.

Producer Cassie Young said that sounded romantic but saw it as an outlier in the grand world of engagements. Moe Mitchell said it sounded like the proposal was so horrible, it was unique.

Weiss, after several minutes, decided to let the cat out of the bag.

“This was not from a random listener,” Weiss said. “This is an email I wrote because it’s my situation. Tiffany and I got engaged last week.”

His cast members were caught completely off guard. Weiss was delighted that they had largely bashed his proposal before finding out it was him.

“You are a trickster harlot,” said Davi Crimmins. “I can’t even look at you.”

Weiss said when he began dating Haynes in late 2016, she didn’t have marriage on her brain. “She was just a person who would be super happy being unmarried her entire life,” said Weiss, who was fine with that at the time. (Weiss himself divorced Stacey Weiss in 2015 in a very public way after two sons and 18 years of marriage.)

“As the relationship developed, we started talking more about it,” Weiss said. Haynes’ mind began shifting two years ago, in part thinking about her 6-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

“It felt different for me also,” Weiss said. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of growing the past four years.” He said his fiancée went on a spiritual journey the past year or so, and they have come to appreciate and understand each other’s differences more.

The first two or three years of their relationship, he said, they had arguments at least once a week. “We stuck it out and have really learned to love each other unconditionally,” he said. “I have fallen more in love and like with her every single day over the course of the last year and a half.”

Weiss figured he’d propose to her sometime this year and maybe do it on a planned trip to Croatia. But the other night, he was just having a conversation with Haynes, and he felt this sudden swell of love and contentment. The marriage proposal tumbled out of his mouth with no forethought.

Haynes at first didn’t take it seriously and jokingly said, “Blah blah blah blah blah.” He then said he was 100% sincere. “We were just sitting on my bed,” he said. “She was really taken aback. She was taken aback. She said yes.”

Weiss said it may have been the least romantic thing they’ve ever heard, but it didn’t feel forced. Plus, he didn’t find the traditional proposal route appealing.

“I am in a place in my life where I feel a level of contentment I have never felt in my entire life,” he said. “I have never been happier in my life. She’s the reason. Why would I put that off?”

“You put more effort into messing with us than your proposal!” Crimmins said.

Haynes did eventually get a ring from Solomon Brothers and showed it off on social media.

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Rebecca Stevens hosted B98.5's evening love songs dedication show from 1985 to 2001. DAVID RIES
Rebecca Stevens hosted B98.5's evening love songs dedication show from 1985 to 2001. DAVID RIES

Credit: DAVID RIES

Credit: DAVID RIES

Former B98.5 evening host Rebecca Stevens has died of colon cancer Saturday, her husband David Ries said. She was 59.

Stevens, whose real name was Rebecca Gewin, worked as the popular “Love Songs” evening dedication host on B98.5 from 1985 to 2001. After a year at Lite 94.9, she left radio for good in 2002 to become a teacher.

She became an art teacher at The Breman Religious School at the Temple and a preschool teacher at the Weinberg Early Learning Center.

“She was sweet as she could be,” said Kelly McCoy, a former B98.5 host who would pass the baton to her every evening. “Always happy. Never met a stranger. Loved her job.”

Ries, in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said Stevens hated calling attention to herself, but he wanted to honor her friendly persona and generous spirit.

A native Atlantan, Stevens was married and divorced twice before meeting Ries. A TV producer, Ries was in Atlanta on a trip from his home of San Antonio two decades ago and heard a novelty song he didn’t recognize, so he called the radio station. The problem: he called B98.5 instead of Peach 94.9. Stevens answered. They got to talking and instantly bonded.

He gave her his number, telling her he didn’t live in town. Much to his glee, she left a message on his answering machine, noting that she felt compelled to do so, and they quickly fell in love. He soon moved to Atlanta to marry her.

At that point, she wasn’t sure she’d ever have kids, but they ended up with West. “Hearing them sing together was like hearing a pair of angels,” he wrote in the obituary.

Ries said their 19 years of marriage were filled with “affection, laughter, encouragement, intelligent conversation and just a love of being with each other.”

He said even when she was fighting cancer, “she would bring candy to those delivering the infusion.”

In lieu of flowers, Ries requested a donation to The Temple’s Weinberg Early Learning Center or The Temple Choir. You can leave well wishes for her family here.

ExploreRead and sign the online guestbook for Rebecca Stevens

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Meet Big Tigger’s new V-103 morning mates: Tylerchronicles and Christina “Ms. Basketball”
Meet Big Tigger’s new V-103 morning mates: Tylerchronicles and Christina “Ms. Basketball”

V-103 has re-named Big Tigger’s morning show after just a few months on air, dropping the “Morning Culture” appellation that began when Frank Ski hosted the show.

It’s now simply called “The Big Tigger Morning Show.” He took over for Ski last summer and added two new morning mates in December: Tylerchronicles and Christina “Ms. Basketball.”

Here are some current elements of the show:

* Rise & Grind: Eric Thomas the Hip-Hop Preacher brings motivation and inspiration to the listeners daily at 6:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.

* Dr. Erroneous Jenkins “Little Known Black Facts”: He’s a fictional character who has a Ph.D. in Black history and the origins of all things in the culture. This segment was tested during Black History Month and was so popular, he will become a fixture Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:25 a.m.

* Woulda, Coulda Shoulda: Need advice on a situation or conundrum in your life? This happens daily at 7:25 a.m.

* 8 O’clock Motivation Mix: DJ Teknology provides a daily mix Monday through Thursday, with Tigger doing his thing on Fridays.

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