Riley Couture moved off morning show at Power 96.1

Riley Couture 2015

About six months after Scotty Kay and Bret Mega were unceremoniously dropped from the highly-rated Power 96.1 morning show, the third leg of that team Riley Couture has now been bumped off as well.

PK and his wife Denise will stay on.

On the bright side, Couture still has a job at Power. She has been moved to 10 a.m. to noon. I heard this shift came as a surprise to her.

She has a contract so a pay cut is not immediately imminent. In fact, I’m told she recently re-upped. But why would Power pay someone morning show money to do a mid-day shift?

Neither her boss Dan Hunt nor Couture have responded to my inquiries as of yet.

Despite the show’s best ratings in its two-year history, Power management inexplicably let go Scotty and producer Bret in late February, leaving Couture behind. (Over 15 years of covering radio, I had never seen a show with such strong ratings dismantled like that before. They were ranked No. 2 in January among 18 to 34 year olds, only behind the Bert Show on Q100.)

Less than a month later, Power hired PK and Denise to join Couture. PK (real name: Panagiotis Kalentzis) had last hosted a show in HoustonBrian Michel, iHeartMedia/Atlanta regional senior vice president for programming, had already worked with him before, which is probably why he was hired.

Ratings fell off after Scotty and Bret left, bottoming out in July at a 4 rating among 18 to 34 year olds, less than half of the peak achieved by Scotty, Bret and Riley. (Ratings did rebound a bit in the most recent four-week period.)

There have been changes at all four pop stations in the mornings this year. Star 94.1 earlier this year dropped Drex, Cassiday and Tingle in favor of Jeff Dauler and Jenn Hobby. The Bert Show at Q100 added Brian Moote to replace Dauler. B98.5 let go Jeff Elliott and hired Tad Lemire, keeping Melissa Carter.

Scotty and Bret recently started a morning show in Dallas. 

Couture joined Power in 2014. (I did a short feature on Scotty and Riley in late 2014.)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 

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