Sandra Rose was the first to drop the BOMBSHELL that most of us couldn't believe and now it seems as though Access Atlanta is also reporting that the Hot 107.9 A-Team, as well as Midday Diva Maria More, have all been fired. :-( (photo jacked from sandrarose.com)
Via Access Atlanta: I just heard that Hot 107.9 today fired the morning show, the A Team, consisting of Rashan Ali, Griff, Beyonce, Akini and Emperor Searcy. (Not sure if all of them are gone per se; perhaps some of the morning people might be moved to other dayparts.)
Word is Hot is replacing them with the syndicated show led by Rickey Smiley, the comic who was just in town at the Civic Center on Saturday.
Ironically, I interviewed him a few days back and joked with him about entering the Atlanta market. At the time, he said he felt he had enough of a following to take on Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner here. He didn’t betray any sense he knew this was coming but maybe he did.
Maria More, the mid-day host for six months, said she was let go but couldn’t comment further. The person who answered the phone at Hot 107.9 said he couldn’t talk about it either. I left a message with the Hot boss Bruce Demps, who was in a meeting. I left voicemail messages with Rashan, Griff, Akini and Searcy but no answer. I’m also not sure about the status of E4Real.
The station, ratings wise, seems to be doing fine, finishing regularly top 3 among 18 to 34 year olds. But revenues in radio (as well as other media) have been dropping sharply this year and perhaps Radio One, the station owners, is looking to cut budget.
The station doesn’t beat V-103 but has been a solid No. 2 or 3 among younger listeners. It managed to survive the loss of Ryan Cameron although the A Team, while solid, has never achieved his best ratings.
This is definitely sad news for the youngsters of Atlanta, and even someof the older flks, who felt more of a connection to the A-Team than with the Frank & Wanda Morning show. I know personally, I listen to the A-team all the way into work and have to turn them of because the signal won't reach inside my job. The younger generation definitely needs a local connection. Rashan's Teen Talk Thursdays always enlightened me. Maria More was DEFINITELY must easier on the ears to listen to than Porsche Foxx, in my opinion. I don't think Rickey Smiley will be able to connect with the young people of Atlanta the way the A-Team did. Sad Sad Sad news.
Update via Access Atlanta: It's now being reported that Rashan will do mid-days and Searcy will go back to late afternoons, possibly doing the 2-6 pm/ 3-7 pm afternoon drive. We're not sure what happens with Griff, Beyonce and Akini. Hopefully they have contracts. I think usually in radio, if you have a contract, the station can move you around from different time slots but they haev to keep you in the same position. I could be wrong though! I'm also assuming that, since Akini was the morning show producer, he may still produce and just run the boards and make sure the commercials and traffic reports run properly in between the Rickey Smiley show.