Friday, July 4, 2014

Rickey Smiley to Hot 97?

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Courtesy: Uptown Magazine
The New York Post sprinkled in a tidbit about the future of Hot 97 in an article which discussed why Angie Martinez made the move to Power 105 (SPOILER: her salary doubled).
Last week at a dinner for stand-up comedian Rickey Smiley thrown by Uptown magazine, guests were buzzing that Hot 97 may pick up Smiley’s radio show, which is syndicated in 70 markets. Smiley is considered a protégé of Steve Harvey.
Smiley and his morning show crew are already seen on "Dish Nation" on the local New York City Fox affiliate but having a daily spot puts his show on a different platform. Here a couple of observations:

  • Smiley's show has a very Southern humor feel to it when it comes to the scenarios which are discussed on the show to even the host's accents. Will New Yorkers be able to relate to the show's hosts personally?
  • Even if they're able to relate to New Yorkers, does Hot 97 really expect anyone they put on air to beat "The Breakfast Club"? The show has already solidified it's place as an authentic, vital destination for hip hop heads. Despite the RSMS cast's chemistry, I'm not sure their humor will be enough to stay competitive.
  • I wonder if Hot 97 ceding their morning show slot to syndication would spark a website to start a local NYC hip hop morning show alternative to both Hot 97 and The Breakfast Club since TBC has lost a lot of its local flavor after going national.
  • What happens to Ebro, Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds? Could they continue to work for Hot 97 exclusively online through their "Juan Epstein" podcast and fill-in on the radio whenever a staff member takes off? Could they be in line to replace and compete against Angie Martinez? If they happen to be let go, they could become very useful for TV networks seeking voices to define them like Revolt, Music Choice and Fuse.
  • The two biggest winners in this potential move are Rickey Smiley and Radio One. 
    • Smiley's family-friendly humor is proving to be triumphant and his success is being validated with the addition of a new affiliate in New York. Coming soon, he could make a full crossover to mainstream America in the same way Steve Harvey did (as the NYP mentions). 

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