Monday, June 3, 2013

Atlanta's Radio Icons - 1994 To Now - Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of our series on Atlanta's Radio Icons from 1994 until now.  In part 3, we completed naming 31 of Atlanta's best, all from the FM band.  This week, we wrap things up with our honorees from the AM side.

Scott Slade - Scott cut his radio teeth on the Top-40 format, programming and jocking at WAYS in Charlotte and WAPE in Jacksonville.  His first job at WSB was doing traffic, and for more than 20 years, he has been anchoring Atlanta's Morning News.  Over that time, Scott has developed into one of the best in the business, with a terrific voice and relaxed delivery.  He always sounds totally in command.  Of course, you could hear him just about anywhere from Channel 30 to your neighborhood Kroger store.

Neal Boortz - Recently retired after a long career in Talk radio, Neal understood what buttons to push to get emotion out of his listeners and callers.  A self-professed Libertarian, his audience was sometimes surprised by his points-of-view.  He really put himself into his show every morning and built a syndicated network.  Neal's radio career began in the 70s at the former Ring Radio.  He then moved to WGST before WSB lured him away in 1992.

Mike Kavanagh - Mike's authoritative news voice boomed out over WSB's airwaves during two stints over many years.  For a short time in the late 90s, he moved to WCNN-AM, which was then a Talk station in a Cox LMA with Dickey Broadcasting.  Mike was also a practicing financial adviser, expertise he brought to WSB on Atlanta's Morning News and a Sunday morning call-in show.  Mike passed away in 2008.

Clark Howard - Clark is not a natural radio talent, but he has excelled on the radio.  He has the trust of the public and is revered for his advice on consumer matters.  He also has authored books and owns his show, which is syndicated to markets across the U.S.  He recently added being a regular on an HLN evening show every weekday to his repertoire..

Captain Herb Emory - Captain Herb has the perfect sound to lead News/Talk WSB's traffic team.  He's authoritative and good humored, and he makes it sound so easy.  And he's been at it for a long time.  Years ago, he worked for Quixie.

Kirk Melhuish - Kirk is a vital component in News/Talk WSB.  He knows weather, and Atlanta knows he's the consummate expert.  His familiar voice is not typical of a newscaster so he complements the rest of the airstaff nicely.  Somehow, I had imagined Kirk as a very serious person without a sense of humor.  But that notion was quickly dispelled when Kirk delivered his acceptance speech at the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.

Tom Hughes - Tom is now retired but anchored Atlanta's First News in the days when WGST was giving WSB a run for the money.  He mixed his effective anchoring skills with some very creative humor.

Kim Peterson - The Kimmer was Tom Hughes' counterpart on WGST in afternoon drive.  He delivered information but also entertained.  He had his audience in stitches on many a day.

Christopher Rude - Chris is on the list of FM icons, based on his lengthy run at 96 Rock.  Of course, he now anchors mornings on 680 The Fan.

Beau Bock - Beau has long been associated with sports broadcasting in Atlanta.  Turner Broadcasting and the old Top-40 Z93 were his early stomping grounds.  At the start of 790 The Zone in 1997, Beau was the man tasked by original owner Andrew Saltzman to write the station's business plan.  And Beau anchored the morning show with Steak Shapiro for years.  After retiring, Beau returned to the Zone about a year ago to host a Sunday morning show and do commentaries as "The Dean."  He knows sports as well as anyone and is still top notch at conveying his points of view.

Steak Shapiro - Everyone has his or her own taste, and Steak's style is not my preference.  However, there is no way that I could deny Steak is an icon in this market.  He was one of the original owners, along with Andrew Saltzman, of 790 The Zone parent Big League Broadcasting.  And he has anchored mornings on the station from day one.  Now he has branched out into TV, hosting a restaurant show on CBS 46.

Dimino & Cellini - Chris Dimino & Nick Cellini now work alongside Steak Shapiro on 790 The Zone's Mayhem in the AM.  Chris and Nick have also been paired in other dayparts.  They have tremendous longevity in the market.  Chris has also worked at 680 The Fan and even done weekend shows on WSB radio.  Nick went in my mind from being Vince's brother to being one of the sharpest wits in Sports Radio.  The duo does some of the best Sports Talk in the business as well as analysis for WGCL-TV.

That ends our list of Atlanta's Radio icons from 1994 to today.

Recapping all of our honorees, they are as follows: Mara Davis, Art Mehring, Steve & Vikki, Craig Hunt, Rob Stadler, Sandy Weaver, Dale O'Brien, Kelly McCoy, Jordan Graye, Christopher Rude, Willard, Kaedy Kiely, The Regular Guys, Emperor Searcy, The Morning X, Steve Craig, Randy & Spiff, JJ Jackson, Bert Weiss, Moby, Cadillac Jack, Mike Roberts, Frank Ski, Leslie Fram, Ryan Cameron, Larry Tinsley, Kevin & Taylor, Art Terrell, Rhubarb Jones, Si-Man, Crash Clark, Scott Slade, Neal Boortz, Mike Kavanagh, Clark Howard, Captain Herb Emory, Tom Hughes, Kim Peterson, Beau Bock, Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini.

Many of the above greats have already been inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, including Steve McCoy & Vikki Locke, JJ Jackson, Moby, Randy Cook & Spiff Carner, Scott Slade, Neal Boortz, Clark Howard, Mike Kavanagh, Kirk Melhuish, Rhubarb Jones, Captain Herb Emory and Tom Hughes.  Three others have been nominated for a Career Achievement Award at this fall's ceremony.  They are Kelly McCoy, Kaedy Kiely and Mike Roberts.

Thanks for reading.  I would love to hear from you at  Follow us on Twitter at, and we'll follow you back.

Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV blog:
Atlanta Radio Insider:

1 comment:

  1. No one has the wit or humor of Tom "The King" Hughes, but Jennifer Perry has injected parts of his style with the comradery between the anchors, especially in afternoon drive time, at All News 106.7. It's also something that's at WTOP in DC, for which All News is patterned after. The Kimmer - well.....he is sure missed and there will never be another afternoon show like his. Sorry to say, but I find WSB to be a real snooze fest.