Radio & TV Talk

The TV/Radio blog features behind-the-scenes coverage of Atlanta’s stations, along with the hottest new TV shows.

Radio briefs: Larry Tinsley's 50 years, radio ratings update, Brian Littrell on Bert Show


Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Long-time V-103 "Sunday Morning Praise" host Larry Tinsley was recently honored for 50 years in radio by Atlanta City Council President Felicia A. Moore.

"You don't know how special it is to be honored by this body," he said in the council chambers last week. "First and foremost, I thank God... He has been guiding my path... He gets the glory." He also thanked his spouse Pecolia, his two children Kevin and Lisa, his radio producers and his bosses Rick Caffey and Reggie Rouse.

His show is heard on Sundays 6 a.m. to noon and he has pulled in monstrous ratings for years. His first big radio job came courtesy of James Brown, who owned a radio station in Knoxville. He came to Atlanta in 1971 and worked at WAOK before joining V-103.

Tinsley also entered the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.

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V-103's Frank and Wanda's show in its first three months performed about as well the show did when led by Ryan Cameron during the same period a year earlier among 25 to 54 year olds.

But the station should be encouraged by the most recent April numbers. Frank and Wanda's 7.4 rating ranked second among 25 to 54 year olds, the station's best performance in that demo and time slot in two years.

Cameron retired from radio in January and V-103 placed Ski back into the spot five years after his departure.

In other ratings notes, the new Kiss 104.1 morning show is still trying to find its footing in its first few months since the station dropped Tom Joyner with ratings below what Joyner was getting. That was to be expected given it's a new Morning Groove show, featuring Art Terrell, Checka and Condace Pressley.

Joyner is on a much smaller signal at Classix 102.9 and is garnering modest ratings there so far. A clear beneficiary of Joyner's move so far has been Majic's Steve Harvey, whose syndicated show drew a 6.4 rating among 25 to 54 years in April compared to 4.6 a year earlier.

New rock station 99X, which was forced off the air last month over a dispute concerning overlapping signals, only covered a small part of Atlanta but was pulling in its best ratings ever just as it lost its home on the FM dial. Its final full month in March garnered a 1.9 rating among 18 to 34 year olds compared to 0.9 a year earlier.

Two other rock stations are doing well for themselves - 97.1/The River is ranked No. 3 overall and Rock 100.5 remains in the top 10, anchored by its Bailey & Southside morning show ranked No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds. But Alt 105.7 is suffering through its worst ratings in its five-year history with a 1.5.

News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB has been No. 1 every month (not counting Christmas) since January, 2016 although its latest rating (7.7) was its weakest since Donald Trump announced he was running for president during the summer of 2015.

In the pop battles, B98.5 remains the king in overall ratings with its best month (5.9) since May, 2015. Q100 (4.6) had a solid month with the Bert Show regaining its footing at No.1  18-34 and No. 2 25-54 after a couple of relatively weak months earlier this year. Power 96.1 had its lowest ratings since January, 2014 with a 3.4. And Star 94.1, which recently dropped its program director, had its worst monthly overall rating (2.5) since the current measurement systems were installed in 2009.

And both major sports talk stations, despite a relatively fallow month for sports, had much stronger months in April than they did a year earlier. 92.9/The Game pulled in a 3.3 vs. a 2.6 a year ago while 680/93.7 The Fan drew a 1.8, up from 1.4 in April, 2017, fueled perhaps by a solid month of Braves baseball.

Kiss, B98.5, WSB Radio and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are all part of Cox Media Group. 

Top 30 radio stations in April, based on Nielsen Media measurements

1- 95.5/AM750 WSB (7.7)

2- V-103 (6.7)

3- 97.1/The River (6.4)

4. B98.5 (5.9)

5- Majic 107.5/97.5 (5.1)

6- 94.9/The Bull (4.7)

7- Q100 (4.6)

8 (tie) Hot 107.9, Fish 104.7, 90.1/WABE-FM (4.2)

11- Kiss 104.1 (4.1)

12- Kicks 101.5 (3.6)

13- Power 96.1 (3.4)

14 (tie) 92.9/The Game, Rock 100.5 (3.3)

16 Praise 102.5 (3.0)

17. Star 94.1 (2.5)

18. Joy 93.3 (2.2)

19. Talk 106.7 (2.0)

20 (tie) Streetz 94.5, 680, 93.7/The Fan (1.8)

22. Radio 105.7 (1.5)

23 (tie) OG 97.9, Mix 87.7 (1.3)

25. 105.3/El Patron (1.1)

26. Classix 102.9 (1.0)

27. (tie) 96.7/The Beat, Clark Atlanta Jazz 91.9 (0.8)

29. Your Country 107.1 (0.7)

30. 88.5 WRAS-FM (0.6)

Top 10 morning shows, overall

1- Scott Slade, WSB (10.4)

2- Steve Harvey, Majic (6.8)

3- Morning Edition, WABE (6.5)

4- Frank and Wanda, V-103 (6.4)

5- Bert Show, Q100 (6.1)

6- Jason & Kristen Caffeinated Radio, 94.9/The Bull (5.1)

7-  Steve Craig, 97.1/The River (5.0)

8- Tad and Drex, B98.5 (4.7)

9 (tie) Rickey Smiley, Hot 107.9 and Kevin & Taylor, Fish (4.2)

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The Bert Show hardly does celebrity interviews anymore. It just doesn't move the needle very much in this day and age. But it made an exception for long-time Atlanta resident and Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell.

Plus, he was willing to hang out an entire morning last week on the show. He was supposed to stay two hours and ended up going for three, plus another hour just taking calls from fans. Littrell was also willing to take on the "Contraction Contraption" to simulate labor pains while women are giving birth, and he took in a lot of pain after failing several difficult Backstreet Boys questions.

"Brian was probably the best guest we've ever had on," said Bert Weiss. "He was eager to do everything... He was awesome."

Littrell, tongue partially in cheek, also complained that his face isn't up on the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport entrance board with other local celebs such as Ludacris and Jimmy Carter. So the Bert Show got Jai Ferrell, the airport director of marketing, to tell Littrell that they can make it happen.


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.