Intel has been able to confirm the wild rumors flying inside the Atlanta radio industry Thursday afternoon that the B98.5 FM morning show team of Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke is over.
Multiple sources tell us that McCoy was fired after Thursday’s broadcast.
Radio insiders tell us that Locke was offered a one-year solo deal at a greatly reduced salary.
McCoy and Locke did not answer when we rang them for comment Thursday. B98 vice president for programming Tony Kidd, who reportedly swung the ax, did not return a request for comment.
On Thursday night, Dan Kearney, B98 vice-president for sales called Intel back to say he couldn’t comment on personnel matters or staff contracts.
Full disclosure: Atlanta magazine recently partnered with B98.5 FM for yours truly to be an ATL Intel radio correspondent for McCoy and Locke.
Industry insiders speculate the firings occurred because of McCoy and Locke’s price tag in a down economy.
Still, we’re hearing the veteran morning show team recently made bonuses for their on-air performances after a strong ratings book at the end of 2009.
For their targeted Baby Boomer demo, ratings-wise, the show was on par with Q100’s The Bert Show and V-103’s Frank Ski and Wanda Smith show.
In 2008 with much fanfare, B98.5 FM hired the veteran morning team after a 15-year successful run at Star 94.
Ironically, “Live with Regis and Kelly” co-host Regis Philbin gave a shout out to the morning team this week on air, proclaiming them the longest-running morning show in Atlanta with 20 years racked up on the airwaves.
“This is a complete shocker,” Dave FM morning man Jimmy Baron told us. “I’m just stunned. Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke are market legends. Everyone applauded B98 when they made the no-brainer move to hire them and put them back on the air two years ago. It seemed that they had found a really good home there.”
McCoy and Locke were reportedly paid out the remainder of their two-year contracts with Cox Radio that expire June 30.
There was no immediate word what B98.5 FM will air in the interim on Friday morning. . .