1/24: Dave’s Zakk Tyler mornings start 2/4, new WGKA early morning show
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The long-awaited Dave FM morning show featuring Zakk Tyler starts Feb. 4, according to a promo that aired at 12:35 p.m. after Mara Davis’ cheese. The show will air from 5 to 9 a.m. The station plans to focus more on a grassroots campaign rather than billboards the way Star is pushing the Morning Mess. “We’ll earn each listener one at a time,” Dave FM’s GM Rick Caffey said. “I think he’s going to be a great ambassador for Dave FM. He’ll spend as much time outside as he is inside the studio. I’m very excited to have an on-air personality who will be out and about.”
Obviously, this isn’t to say Holly Firfer wasn’t out and about. She was. But he might be alluding to some other past personality. Take your guess.
I’m set to talk to Zakk next week when his co-host Jane Monzures comes into town. They worked together at the Loop in Chicago.
Since the station went rock as Z93 in 1989, this would be WZGC’s 12th attempt at a morning show.
Here’s the complete list:
1989: Barry Chase.
1989-1992: Chase & Woodside. I spoke with Scott Woodside yesterday. He said the pair worked at Z93 when it was a top 40 station, the very first FM morning team in Atlanta back in 1974. Managemtent thought it would be cool to bring them back together as a team. He recalls that their ratings were moving up (No. 3 25-49 at one point) until management told them to pull back on talking about themselves and shortening bits and such. Ratings went down and they were soon goners.
1992-93: Slats. Does anybody remember him and what happened?
1993-96: The Greaseman (Above, WZGC’s only syndicated show) He was a grating, loudmouth shock jock type who often got in trouble. He split the audience. Some loved him; too many hated him.
1996-98: Gary McKee (right). After a long illustrious run in radio, he was at the tail end of his career and was burned out. He has since retired from the business.
1998-99: Charlie & Company. This was a comedy-oriented show that wasn’t quite ready for primetime.
1999-2002: Dave Marino. He’s a talented guy who was never utilized properly or given room to breath. He’s now doing imaging at 790/The Zone.
2002: Moby. After a long successful stint at Kicks, Moby simply didn’t fit well in the classic rock mode and lasted only a few months. Management shoved him to traffic to try to get him to leave but he stuck around for several months getting a big paycheck and doing traffic while the “Mission Impossible” theme played behind him. He’s now doing a syndicated morning show heard on country stations in Rome, Athens and Griffin.
2003-04: Mara & Dunham; This was a quick fix after Moby. The pair was just starting to congeal as a team when CBS pulled the plug on Z93 and switched to Dave.
2004-06: Barnes & Firfer: Hoping to resurrect the magic of 99X, CBS hired Steve Barnes (right) but without Leslie & Jimmy, it wasn’t quite the same.
2006-07: Firfer & Orff: This was a stopgap show, which actually did as well, if not better, than the Barnes days.
2008: Zakk Tyler. We’ll learn soon enough about how this guy will connect with the Dave audience.
This will be the fourth new morning show in town over the past four months, following Project’s Giant Brian & Shaffee, the Morning Mess at Star and the Bull’s Cledus T. Judd show. I don’t think Atlanta has faced this much morning turmoil in ages.
And technically, there’s a fifth new morning show. WGKA-AM, which has relied on syndicated programming on weekdays since its inception, will debut its first local early early morning show which starts at 4:30 a.m. and runs through 6 a.m. starring Joel Aarom. The 27 year old has done their fun weekend “Hub” talk show, with a rotating crew of opinion makers. Bill Bennett will continue from 6 to 9 a.m. Joel’s show starts Monday January 28.
ABOVE: I took this shot of Joel last year for a story about the Hub Show.
“Joel hits the target demographics (males 25-54),” said Jeff Carter, WGKA program director. “We want to give him a daily live program and see what happens.” And if there’s breaking news, Joel can do cut-ins from 6 to 9 a.m.
WGKA’s strongest shows are Bennett and Laura Ingraham from 9 to noon. It’s good to see WGKA finally investing in some local weekday talent, even if it’s well before sunrise.