It wasn’t long after Frank Ski left V-103 in 2012 after 14 years that he was having quiet discussions about a comeback. This Saturday, it happens. As soon as the “On Air” light blinks on, he’ll restart a conversation with this town he really never ended.
“I just want to open the mic and talk to the people,” he said.
He will be on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 7 to 11 p.m. Sundays.
“We’re excited about bringing Frank on,” Rick Caffey, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio Atlanta, told my colleague Melissa Ruggieri last week (Rodney Ho, who usually covers radio, has been on vacation). “He’s an addition to an already deep lineup. Where most stations have prime time Monday through Friday, ours is really seven days a week and now we have another pillar of talent on Saturdays and Sundays.”
When Ski announced he was leaving Atlanta in 2012, after 14 years at V-103, he sounded wistful yet hopeful. “We will definitely miss waking up every morning and coming into this studio and doing what we do every day, but we know God has other plans and other things He wants us to do,” he said on air as he prepared to sign off. “I want to expand and grow.”
During his time away he helmed afternoons for two years Washington D.C.’s WHUR-FM, announcing his departure last year. In January he announced a deal with Atlanta-based Bounce TV, a gig he’ll keep along with his new V-103 role, and said at the time a radio return was possible.
As it turns out, it was all but inevitable.
“It’s been talked about for a while,” he said. “Ever since I left the radio station I had been talking to multiple stations in Atlanta. Within a year (of leaving) I was talking to V-103 again.”
The radio industry, he noted, has gone through seismic shifts in recent years, as services like Pandora, Tidal or Spotify give listeners a reason to skip the dial in favor of streaming. Cognizant of evolving trends, Ski has embraced radio’s digital future.
“As a personality now you’re not just on the radio,” he said. “The on air part is really secondary to what I will be doing digitally. As everyone knows the cell phones have changed everyone’s perspective. We have to be more than just a voice on the air. It’s all about content.”
In keeping with the times, he broke news of his return in an Instagram post and has kept fans updated there as his comeback approaches.
“Five Days On The Job & Just Closed My First Big Client Deal At V103!” he posted along with the nice image above. “ This business is about Ratings & Revenue. Can you get the Ratings? But more importantly can you get the Revenue? Business is about Relationships! Establish Relationships By Helping Others Build. People Speaking Well About You Is Far Better Than Talking About Yourself.”
He used his time away not only to enhance his digital skill set but to take a broader view of the radio industry.
“It helped in so many ways. It helped me to look at Atlanta from an outside view,” he said. “It really gave me a chance to see the industry from the outside, understand the business of it. Atlanta is really the prime city for urban radio right now. There are cities that are bigger but this is the No. 1 urban market. This is the market to be at.”
A father of four who has been an active part of Atlanta’s philanthropic community, Ski is glad to be able to spend more time with his kids and longtime friends. He’d just returned from an awards program at his son’s school when he spoke to the AJC.
“When I was leaving the school I looked at him and said, ‘hey I’m really proud of you,'” he said. “I missed being around my kids.”
He also is glad to reconnect with many longtime friends.
“You know what I enjoy the most is being in a city that has so much,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago I’m with Andy Young and Dr. (C.T.) Vivian. When someone like Andy Young says ‘Welcome back,’ where else do you get that in America? I missed that.”
While he looks forward to his V-103 return and growing his role at Bounce, he has other irons in the fire: “I’m also talking about a couple of television stations here in Atlanta about joining their team.”