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1/14: Southside Steve leaving Eagle (UPDATED)

southside-steve-1.jpg CREDIT: Rodney Ho/AJC

After just a year at 106.7/The Eagle, the station announced “Southside” Steve Rickman is leaving for other, unspecified opportunities.

This graf updated after I spoke with Steve at 6 p.m. EST. Odds are good that other opportunity is 100.5 but Southside can’t say. He said he loved the country station, loved most of the people there, but wondered if upper management knew quite what to do with him. “I really fit country music. I love the country listener. I’m from the South. One thing — Dallas McCade is my soulmate on air. I have never worked with anybody like that.” Interestingly, because of the switch Eagle and Kicks had between owners, when he joined Eagle in late 2006, they paid him full time but did not give him a contract. So he had no noncompete clause and could go somewhere else at any time. He said Eagle was working on making him officially full time and giving him a raise, but he had a window of opportunity for a new job that gives him a multi-year contract and more security.

This is just more evidence that the Regular Guys are coming back. The other indications:

— Larry Wachs telling me that they’re coming back on Friday before claiming he was just joking.

— Tim Andrews, former producer, is still around at 99X, ready to take over as producer of the Regular Guys 3.0.

— The fact both Larry and Eric have not had a full-time radio gig in 15 months and are readily available.

— Larry was in St. Martin Friday on vacation. A person without full-time employment for 15 months probably wouldn’t be going on vacation unless he was about to gain full-time employment soon.

For context, “SouthSide” Steve, known for his line “yeah… come on!” was an integral part of the original Regular Guys incarnation, the hometown Southern punching bag to Larry. He worked as the afternoon guy at 96rock for a bit with Tim Rhodes after the Larry & Eric were taken off the air in 2004 and even after they came back in 2005-06. In mid-2006, Steve and Tim were canned from 96rock and replaced by Jennifer Reed (now at WYSP-FM in Philly). In the fall, he started doing guest spots on the Regular Guys and was working on getting back on the show. But then the Regular Guys were canned a second time in October. In December 2006, Southside nabbed a job at Eagle as part of the morning show with Rhubarb Jones and Dallas McCade. A few weeks ago, he was no longer in the studio on air at the same time as Rhubarb. He’d be with Dallas the early part of the show, then Rhubarb would come in later. But when the siren song of Larry & Eric played before him again, it looks like he couldn’t say no.

One fact I didn’t mention Friday: 99X will continue on as an online venture at 99x.com and as an HD2 option. Many other stations that have left the AM/FM dial have gone this route too. How much money or effort Cumulus will place on this online version of 99X is unknown at this point.

Q100’s Bert Show talked about its move to 99.7 January 25 a lot this morning. The show even has a list of cities on its Web site that will be able to get Q100 once its at 99.7. When a caller badmouthed Leslie Fram (who is no longer part of 99X), the Bert Show came to her defense:

“That is an amazing woman,” Bert said.

“We have the most uptmost respect for Leslie,” said Jen Hobby.

“I used to work with Leslie. It is bittersweet. It is what it is,” said Melissa Carter, who used to be the Morning X news reader before joining the Bert Show.

Bert: “It’s time we had 100,000 watts. We earned it. 99X is not going away. 99X.com should still be part of your bookmarks on the Internet.”

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Comments

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By iam99sux

January 14, 2008 10:49 AM | Link to this

NOOOOOOOO! Not southside shirley. I’d rather have oldman fram, than …. no I wouldn’t Yeah C’mon!

By iam99sux

January 14, 2008 10:51 AM | Link to this

NOOOOOOOO! Not southside shirley. I’d rather have oldman fram, than …. no I wouldn’t Yeah C’mon!

By Joey Mills

January 14, 2008 10:54 AM | Link to this

Let’s hope that the 100.5 rock station and the new Q99 will become top rated stations in Atlanta. Chris Williams better be shaking in his boots. The Regular Guys have a loyal fan following. Cumulus messed up the lives of 3 great talents. They better be right instead of being like Clear Channel and bring in D-Listers like Giant Brian.

By iam99sux

January 14, 2008 10:59 AM | Link to this

NOOOOOOOO! Not southside shirley. I’d rather have oldman fram, than …. no I wouldn’t Yeah C’mon!

By Joey Mills

January 14, 2008 11:02 AM | Link to this

Rodney -

It’s Melissa Carter not Melissa Turner.

By Deirdre

January 14, 2008 11:09 AM | Link to this

Wow, Rodney…just as American Idol is starting, all hell breaks loose in ATL radio…..are you getting any sleep?

By JD

January 14, 2008 11:10 AM | Link to this

So when Sean Demery left, it was b/c he was losing his job… not b/c of his marital issues.
Someone needs to pop Bert’s head. He’s getting a big ego… and very greedy.

By iam99sux

January 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Link to this

NOOOOOOOO! Not southside shirley. I’d rather have oldman fram, than …. no I wouldn’t Yeah C’mon!

By Norma Hater

January 14, 2008 11:16 AM | Link to this

YEAM C’MON! The Reg Guys coming back to save Atlanta radio. Long live Wachs & SS7. BACON!

By wildey

January 14, 2008 11:17 AM | Link to this

Steve stole yeah C’mon from Hullinger at 96 rock. Glad to see the gang returning.

By Bud

January 14, 2008 11:33 AM | Link to this

If the RG’s can anchor a new Classic Rock station, it’s worth a shot. Larry is annoying, but some of his bits on superdeluxe.com weren’t that bad. I can only hope they’ll try some new stuff in their new incarnation.

By Toopster

January 14, 2008 11:58 AM | Link to this

It’s still amazing to me that Atlanta has the weakest morning shows of the top 10 markets, and the stations keep recycling the same talent over and over (see Regular Guys 3.0). Bert show is ok—but all they do is talk to people and put them on voice disguiser. Juvenile at best.

By minotaur

January 14, 2008 12:13 PM | Link to this

Atlanta radio recycles old morning shows until there is nothing left of them but the name. (McKee, Moby, Randy & Spiff, O’Brien, Rude, Hughes) Eats them alive, sucks out the last bits of talent, and leaves them lying on the roadside like an empty sardine can. Usually three times is the charm, so, we can at least be glad that this is the last hurrah for TRG. The bad news: Steve & Vicky have one more life left, the Bert Show is still on the air in it’s first incarnation, and the Morning Mess has just begun. Cledus, you ain’t far behind, son.

By gttim

January 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Link to this

The reason The Regular Guys can’t get radio gigs anywhere else is because they suck. Truly pathetic they are going to be recycled yet again in Atlanta. This is why people are spending money on XM and Sirius.

99X was good, and popular, in its days because they broke new talent and played new music. There is still a lot of new music being made, there is just nobody on terrestrial radio playing it.

I learn about it now by listening to satellite radio, internet radio and various blogs. I learn of incredible bands that have never been played in Atlanta, and this is music 99X would have broken many years ago.

By agenturge

January 14, 2008 12:17 PM | Link to this

My hopes are the audio stream will be better for 99x.com and that it will go the route of WOXY or KNAC.

By good hire

January 14, 2008 1:24 PM | Link to this

Guess the folks at Cumulus were impressed at how ratings WENT UP at 96 Rock with an INTERIM morning show after the Regular Guys left.

By Ben the Bunnyman

January 14, 2008 1:28 PM | Link to this

Now that I lost my gig at Double Vision it look like I still have a chance to be a VeeJay.

Hubbahubba

By jabster

January 14, 2008 1:33 PM | Link to this

Moby is now in syndication and is doing well, especially with smaller-market country stations that can’t afford full-time big talent. You can pick him up in the ATL on WNGC 106.1 out of Athens (actually Gainesville), WTSH South 107 out of Rome (actually Rockmart), and WEKS 92.5 out of Griffin.

By bemorepositive

January 14, 2008 1:36 PM | Link to this

It’s a sad time for both developing artists and those who were established by breaking out of 99X. For the people who listened religiously to the ones they aspired to be (Fram, Demery, etc), the absence of 99X is downright disheartening. Leslie Fram is an excellent talent. Not only is she terrific on air and in the programming arena, she is an outstanding person with a kind heart. The loss of 99X shouldn’t be a time to bash what was once great, but a time to reflect on 99X’s force in the music industry and hope that this isn’t a harbinger of the downfall of other terrestrial radio outlets that have supported new music. To those opportunistic individuals who want to name call and blame (and seemingly celebrate) when something that was once loved and revered goes away, maybe you should refocus your energies and do a better job yourself at whatever you are up to.

By Mark

January 14, 2008 1:38 PM | Link to this

The RG are retuening to Atl radio? YEAH, CMON!!!

By Snoopermom

January 14, 2008 1:47 PM | Link to this

Thank goodness he’s leaving Eagle 106.7. I can’t stand him; didn’t like him on 96 Rock and he sure didn’t fit in on country station. Dallas is bad enough but having the both of them together was horrible. Maybe Rhubarb will start coming on air before 7:00 now.

By no1uno

January 14, 2008 1:53 PM | Link to this

Southside Steve will be a success wherever he goes thanks to the year of invaluable knowledge he acquired under Victor Sansone.

By Joe from Kentucky

January 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Link to this

Yes theyre putting the band back together!! Too bad Chuck Doty cant make it…. Doty in the morning Doty in the evening… Bacon rules

By iam99sux

January 14, 2008 2:22 PM | Link to this

99x sucked! Period. Alternative is dead. It’s the choice for f*got psuedo-intellectuals who think they are better than everyone else cause they listen sissy bands. The Regular Guys were at the top of their game. I think 96 was looking for a reason to axe them for some stupid Managers idea to change the station. The new projects name is G-A-Y & Giant Head Brian and co can’t do a show. The only thing redeeming is the music. I bet 100.5 will come out as it’s competitor.

By Skip Caray

January 14, 2008 2:30 PM | Link to this

Hey Bloomquist: nice to fly under the radar eh? Fire my son will ya?

By good hire

January 14, 2008 2:32 PM | Link to this

Unfortunately for TRG, “the top of their game” was under a three share at the time of their dismissal.

By Mark

January 14, 2008 2:32 PM | Link to this

Leslie Fram munches rugs. No talent whore.

By Billy McDonald

January 14, 2008 2:35 PM | Link to this

I so excited for Larry an Eric. They deserve sucess an Atlanta need a new morning show for the fans.

By Billy McDonald

January 14, 2008 2:38 PM | Link to this

I so excited for Larry an Eric. They deserve sucess an Atlanta need a new morning show for the fans.

By megahertz

January 14, 2008 2:51 PM | Link to this

Bert blows chunks, TRG are finished… but how’d ya like to be sales guy at CC trying to sell dollar a holler spots for Cletus T. Thudd? I admit that Jamie Massey has a very nice ‘bend over the board’ quality.

By NFLbelle

January 14, 2008 2:54 PM | Link to this

Well spoken “bemorepositive”…it’s refreshing to read your comment. Bert Wiessel screwed everyone at 99x and everyone who loved 99x. Bert you don’t “deserve” a stronger frequency because you destroyed careers and listener’s hearts. You deserve nothing but a swift kick to the seat of the pants. I hope you fail. I’m sure there are thousands more who wish you the same fate. You have serious Napolon complex. You don’t neeed to screw with people just because you need a ladder to get in your automobile, shrimp!

By Brian

January 14, 2008 3:47 PM | Link to this

So, NFLbelle wants to make Bert the bad guy because he has a better, more popular show than 99Xcrement.

Leslie had several chances to put a successful morning show on the air after the original Morning X ended and she failed every time. Maybe if Susquehanna had blown Skeletor out years ago the station might have survived, but I doubt it.

The research shows that “alternative” is an empty format term and that the format is dead. Just like 99X.

Long live Bert Weiss and Q100.

By Rodney Ho

January 14, 2008 4:06 PM | Link to this

Joey. We have a Melissa Turner at the newspaper. I’ve done that multiple times!

By NFLbelle

January 14, 2008 4:18 PM | Link to this

Brian, how much are they paying you to sell your soul to the devil? One dollar, two at the most? Look, you don’t know jack about the situation and your opinion is pointless. Cumulus wouldn’t let Leslie or anyone else at 99x take the station in the correct direction…playing new music, and breaking bands. They thought everyone wanted to hear Pearl Jam and Nirvana for the one millionth time…give us a break Cumulus! Listeners tuned in to 99x to hear new stuff. They are the ones that ran it into the ground, not Leslie, not anyone else. They are responsible. One can only hope they do the same thing with Bert Weissel and his laughable show.

By Brian

January 14, 2008 4:28 PM | Link to this

Flip over to Q100, NFLbelle. They play TONS of new music. The morning show’s really good, too.

By bob

January 14, 2008 5:27 PM | Link to this

Thank god, now that flamers and hippies dont have a flagship station maybe they will move away from here. Hopefully TRGs wont be neutered this time and can be themselves for years to come or at least till eric kills larry.

By NFLbelle

January 14, 2008 5:30 PM | Link to this

The TONS of new music sounds like everything else on the planet. There is nothing refreshing on that station. I’m a rock-n-roll chick; hip-hop is not my thing. I’ll pass, but thanks for the offer lad!

By bob

January 14, 2008 5:39 PM | Link to this

NFLbelle, the music out there sucks and the music they wanted to play was worse than whats played on top 40. There is no way an old c**t like leslie ever could pick out decent music, hell for the past 10 years as PD the music has sucked.

By JakeSK

January 14, 2008 6:35 PM | Link to this

Goodbye DAVE FM! If the REGULAR GUYS are coming back..I’m IN!! Besides Zakk has been in this town for well over a month,how much longer do we have to wait already? Rodney you said a few articles ago that CBS’s management were looking a female for him..word from inside the Q100 building is that he may be thikning of bringing former Q nasty trailor park girl, Traci St. George, geez why don’t you just make it a double “nails-across the chalkboard voice sounding, male look-a like-band groupies to join ZAKK and get Leslie Fram while your at it!” Try getting a chick who hasn;t been fired from this market or left due to health problems. Both Framm and Band-groupie Saint caused a ton of problems in the Cumulus buildings, I know my wife worked as an AE. PLEASE bring back The regular G’s! No offense to Bert, the music on Q is too pop for me. I WAS looking forward to seeing Holly out of Dave and Tyler coming in, but it’s like waiting 6 months for a girl to go down on me, ain’t gonna wait Dave FM. I’m looking foward to the regular guys!

By mike wheeler

January 14, 2008 9:17 PM | Link to this

The Regular Guys aren’t going affect Dave FM. I’m going to destroy the place ALL BY MYSELF, just like I did with Clear Channel Atlanta.(whenever I run out of bad programming ideas, I call my old buddy Marc Chase)

By noZEROuno

January 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Link to this

Southside Steve will NOT be a success wherever he goes thanks to the year of UNvaluable knowledge he acquired under Satan (Victor Sansone).

By noZEROuno

January 14, 2008 11:01 PM | Link to this

Southside Steve will NOT be a success wherever he goes thanks to the year of UNvaluable knowledge he acquired under Satan (Victor Sansone).

By finally

January 15, 2008 10:54 AM | Link to this

So sad to see that treatment for Steve. I enjoyed his show and knew some of the answers to his College of Musical Knowledge. I also knew when the Retroplex was dismantled he’d be gone soon. Sadly it has been “99x Everything Repetetive” for years. I found myself cringing at Leslie’s forced laughs, NOTHING has been that funny on there in a LONG LONG time! I am hoping the new 100 station will be a vast improvement. Good luck Steve!

By Lindy

January 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Link to this

So much goes on behind the scenes you just don’t know about. You can put everything off on Leslie as she was the PD and should have been “responsible” for playlists, promotions, on-air talent, etc. But when you have the big company come in and they have no clue - Cumulus doesn’t know the format and wants to ignore what the core audience wants to hear - there is only so much a PD can do to make an impact. Leslie spent hours upon hours at the station every day because she is dedicated, loves 99X and all of the people she has worked with over the years. You could see what an impact she has had when you would go to any promotion, remote, concert, even movie screenings. The team at 99X really seemed happy and would brag about how cool it was to work at 99X and for Leslie (and Jay, etc).

When you have amazing talent, Axel, Sean, Steve, Toucher, Dekker, etc., it seems so easy to have a successful station. It really is disheartening to know that you may have all the right ingredients, but if you don’t listen to the chef, you can end up with a big hot mess.

I wonder how many of you folks bashing 99X and the jocks are from Clear Channel? Chris Williams is just bitter about getting canned for having poor taste!

By tommy the tard

January 23, 2008 6:08 PM | Link to this

When will be The Regular Guys 1st day back on air and on what station? Cause i’m in… Somebody kick me in the nuts for listening to star 94 crap since TRG were kiicked offf again.

By tommy the tard

January 23, 2008 6:10 PM | Link to this

When will be The Regular Guys 1st day back on air and on what station? Cause i’m in… Somebody kick me in the nuts for listening to star 94 crap since TRG were kiicked offf again.

By tommy the tard

January 23, 2008 6:10 PM | Link to this

When will be The Regular Guys 1st day back on air and on what station? Cause i’m in… Somebody kick me in the nuts for listening to star 94 crap since TRG were kiicked offf again.