Briefs: Robin Meade on opiate epidemic; Weather.com on Paris Accord withdrawal; Polo Sandoval; Star 94.1 slogan

This was posted on Friday, June 2, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta-based Robin Meade’s HLN morning show is called “Morning Express” for a reason. It’s typically zippy and chipper.

But Meade made an exception on Thursday morning when she interviewed Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine suing five pharmaceutical companies for fraudulent marketing regarding how addictive opiates can be. They ended up talking about 15 minutes, an eternity for her show.

She noted on air that this was personal: she had a first cousin in Ohio died after taking painkillers.

Meade said in an email that this wasn’t planned. “This is one of those times you get a last-minute guest on a news story that hits home and you just go with your heart and throw the stopwatch. Why? Because it’s hard to find someone NOT impacted by the opiod epidemic right now including my own extended family. It just didn’t feel right to cut the conversation short for the sake of adhering to our normal ‘news in the fast lane’ format. ”

She said they could have hit the legal angles as her live show neared its end at 10 a.m. and ended it. But she decided to keep going with him and hit the human angles. Here’s a brief segment:

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Conservative climate change skeptics are bemused by media alarm over Donald Trump pulling the United States from the Paris environmental accord. Atlanta-based Weather.com didn’t pull any punches and hit the alarm hard yesterday after the announcement, as you can see in the screen grabs below:

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CNN national correspondent Polo Sandoval is leaving Atlanta after a year and nine months to work out of the New York office.

He joined CNN in 2014 in D.C. and moved to Atlanta in 2015.

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With its ratings slipping in recent months, Star 94.1 has created a new slogan for itself: “Today’s Best Mix.”

As Roddy Freeman, a long-time Atlanta radio buyer in town, noted in a Radio Discussions board, this is not an original slogan but he thinks it’s “an effective positioner for Hot AC, a format that’s kind of betwixt and between.”

GM Mike Fowler said it’s simple: “It’s just what we play. It came back to us in research from our listeners when we ask about Star’s music.”

To Freeman, “I’ve also always felt a positioner that defined the format was an essential ingredient in a successful station. I lived in New York in the 80’s when WYNY-FM was a top-sounding AC station but didn’t use a positioning statement. Another station changed to AC as WNSR and drilled in that the call letters stood for New York Soft Rock, and quickly stole WYNY’s audience.”

He wondered if this move will help Star 94.1 out its recent ratings funk. To him, the Bert Show on Q100 is a major roadblock: “While the 2 of the show’s ancillary stars hold court on Star in the morning, The Bert Show’s constant is Bert himself, and it’s proven a tough show to break.”

In related Star news, Michael Chase, assistant program director and promotions director, has left Star. He wanted to go back to just programming, his former boss Fowler said. “He is a great guy and will do a great job as a PD,” Fowler said.

Chase had been at Star going back to 2001, when Steve & Vikki were holding fort.

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Christian Lee (who also goes by Khristian), traffic reporter for Kicks and Q100, lost his full-time job last month in what appeared to be a cost-cutting measure. I’m told he is now part time as a weekend and fill-in jock.

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