Fish 104.7 switches to Christmas November 21 at 5 p.m.

Marietta’s Nicole Lassiter and Gloria Lassister were rewarded gifts to help them get through Christmas this year, courtesy of Fish 104.7. Afternoon host Beth Bacall was able to make the announcement. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Santa Claus came to the Fish today as of 5 p.m. when it swapped out its usual Christian pop format for a full-on Christmas format for the next five weeks. This is the 16th season the station has made the switch.

Fish has not been consistent what day it changes over to “Feliz Navidad” and “O Holy Night.” Two years ago, it switched on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Last year, it chose Thanksgiving Eve.

Over the seven years, veteran afternoon host Beth Bacall has gotten the honors.

The first songs: Amy Grant’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and Michael Buble’s “Let it Snow.”

She also brought teacher Gloria Lassiter and her daughter and neonatal nurse Nicole in to decorate the tree. They had won Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant tickets for their show Saturday at Infinite Energy. (This is Nicole’s first concert ever and she even gets to meet both Smith and Grant.)

Nicole was the victim of a hit-and-run accident five years ago and hasn’t been able to work due to a spinal injury since 2014 due to constant pain.

Bacall surprised Nicole with gifts from the Fish Christmas Wish fund, courtesy of her mom. The station gave her $1,000 and whatever the listeners provided for the next hour so Nicole could get medical treatments to help her get back to work. Plus, they get a $500 Publix gift card.

“I’m a little shocked at the moment,” Bacall said.

“We’re so thankful that the Lord has answered this prayer,” Gloria said.

“I want to thank our Fish listeners,” Bacall said.

Afterwards, recipient Nicole said, “I knew she was up to something!”

Fish’s Christmas music mix is a mix of secular classics by the likes of Burl Ives, Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey and the Carpenters with covers of both religious and pop Christmas songs by Christian artists such as Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns.

Star 94.1 earlier this month started Christmas on its HD2 channel. (You can listen here.) Fellow Christian pop station Joy 93.3 usually swaps out to Christmas as well at some point this week. And Sirius/XM already has two stations up: a traditional Christmas station with just classics (Channel 4) and Holly (Channel 70), which mixes things up. (More specialized Christmas stations are on the way.)

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Phaedra Parks signs on as a Wilhelmina model

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 23: Television personality Phaedra Parks attends “Everything, Everything” Screening and Brunch at W Hotel Atlanta Midtown on April 23, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Phaedra Parks, the former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast mate who blew up her reality show career in a firework display of lies, is trying something a bit unexpected: modeling.

While “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast mate Cynthia Bailey has spent decades as a model, Parks at age 44 just signed on with Wilhelmina Modeling, a world famous New York-based model and talent agency with clients such as Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj and Shawn Mendes.

Us magazine has a bunch of her modeling photos here. 

This is a possible path for her to rebuild her tattered reputation. Her malicious prevarications against Kandi Burruss last year couldn’t have possibly helped her career as an attorney. She also has said she’s a mortician though it’s unclear after a search on the Web where she does her mortuary work.

She told Us magazine why she chose modeling as a new path:

I think I’m the face of “yes you can.” I’m a small town girl who has followed her dreams. Yes you can be a mom, yes you can be a lawyer and yes you can be a model. When the opportunity presented itself some people asked me “Why?’ and I said “Why not?” A supermodel started this company and she wanted to give power back to the women and I think I stand for the same things. I have the opportunity to show people that beauty can come in every size, shade, color and age. It’s exciting and an adventure!

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‘The Walking Dead’ ratings keep on falling

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The audience for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is, well, dying off.

Overnight ratings are down more than 20 percent year over year and are at their lowest level since season two in 2011. This past Sunday’s 7.99 million overnight numbers are the first time the show has been below 8 million since the 12th episode of season two.

RELATED: “The Walking Dead” recap of this past Sunday’s episode

DVR usage after three days boost ratings more than 40 percent so it’s not all depressing bad news. And those totals don’t include on-demand and other alternative viewing options which were not as readily available in 2011 and would likely lift the numbers even higher. (Nielsen only makes overnight numbers readily available to the public, but those numbers are increasingly less relevant as more people watch on demand.)

The show’s ratings peaked season five with more than 20 million viewers a week and have been falling ever since. It’s now in the 12 million range, which is still big relatively speaking in this day and age of vastly splintered viewing.

All the hype over this war between Rick’s group and Negan’s Saviors has not been able to overcome the gradual ennui of fans who have been following the show for several years now.

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Atlanta’s Eva Marcille pregnant with second child

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 25: Eva Marcille (L) at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Eva Marcille, a former “America’s Next Top Model” winner, actress and future “friend” of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is pregnant with her second child, People magazine reports.

Marcille, who is also on the current cast of VH1’s “Scared Famous,” moved to Atlanta full time not too long ago to be with her boyfriend, attorney and former Atlanta mayoral candidate Michael Sterling. This will be their first child together, a son.

She also has a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Marley Rae, with ex Kevin McCall, a rapper, songwriter, actor and record company executive.

Marcille was announced as a recurring character on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” but after three episodes, she has yet to appear. Kim Zolciak, another recurring cast member, is set to show up this coming Sunday, based on the upcoming trailer.

RELATED: My recent Eva Marcille interview

 

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Stephen Colbert opens with Georgia Dome/MARTA video jokes

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Stephen Colbert on his late night show on CBS Monday night opened with some light-hearted jabs at the poor Weather Channel camera man who was shooting the Georgia Dome implosion. A MARTA bus drove by just as the building imploded blocking his shot.

The camera guy could be heard saying “Bus! Get out of the way! Get out of the way bus! Ugh! What the?… Dammit!”

Colbert, chuckling, said: “I gotta tell ya: this is going to ruin the Weather Channel’s reputation as the premier place to watch buildings explode. I just want to say: can a bus drive in front of 2017 for awhile?”

“Or maybe park in front of Charlie Rose?”

MARTA, by the way, is not making the bus driver available for interviews, according to spokeswoman Stephany Fisher, who used to be an anchor at CBS46.

RELATED: 

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Kevin Hart announces the birth of his son Kenzo

Kevin Hart is a dad again. He and his wife, Eniko, welcomed baby Kenzo this morning.

The couple married last year after getting engaged in Atlanta. Hart popped the question at a Phipps Plaza restaurant while filming “Ride Along 2.”

More recently he and frequent collaborator Will Packer filmed “Night School” in Atlanta. That project called for him to wear this chicken suit.

God is truly amazing….Kenzo Kash Hart was born at 1:45am ….He is Healthy & already smiling. Thank you all for your prayers!!!! We love & appreciate ya #Harts

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) November 21, 2017

Looks like mom was ready for her new bundle to get here!

Instagram Photo

Hart has two kids with his former wife Torrei

Instagram Photo

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‘Political Rewind’ replay: The Atlanta constants of traffic and Confederate symbolism

Today’s edition of GPB’s “Political Rewind” began with a discussion of the expansion contemplated for I-285 and whether room should be reserved for a transit option.

Not commuter rail itself, but a kind of reserved space – just in case we get around to it.

Then there’s the topic of streets named for Confederate leaders in Atlanta, and the thing itself. It looks like Confederate Avenue in Grant Park is on the chopping block, judging from statements coming out of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

If you couldn’t catch it live, click below to listen now:

Today’s panelists: Host Bill Nigut; yours truly; Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul; Republican activist Julianne Thompson; and Senate Democratic Leader Steve Henson of Tucker.

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DOJ sues to stop AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner (including CNN)

Donald Trump is not a fan of CNN. CREDIT: Getty Images

Posted Monday, November 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The Department of Justice Monday filed a lawsuit to block AT&T’s efforts to merge with Time Warner, which owns DirecTV, HBO and Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting. This is considered one of the biggest U.S. anti-trust battles in decades.

“This merger would greatly harm American consumers,” said Makan Delrahim, the assistant attorney general for antitrust, said in a statement. “It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy.”

AT&T plans to fight for the merger in court.

“Today’s DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent,” AT&T’s general counsel, David McAtee, said in a statement. “We are confident that the court will reject the government’s claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent.”

Some news reports have said DOJ would only allow the merger if AT&T disposed of either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting, including CNN. AT&T – which is one of the largest Internet and cable operators – is not predisposed to making the latter move since the point of the acquisition is content created by the likes of CNN, TBS and TNT. The Justice Department and the White House have denied that this is an effort to punish CNN for coverage Donald Trump has hated.

This is considered a “vertical” merger because the two companies are not directly competing with each other. A similar Comcast/NBC Universal merger in 2011 went through with some conditions attached.

 

 

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Catching up with Johns Creek’s Angelica Hale (‘America’s Got Talent’ runner up)

Angelica Hale poses with two fans Marvin (rightr) and Martin (left) in the J.W. Marriott lobby by Lenox November 20, 2017. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Posted Monday, November 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk

Angelica Hale is a tiny bundle of energy, nibbling on a Chick Fil A chicken biscuit and pointing agog at a video on the TV of the Georgia Dome imploding.

The Johns Creek 10 year old is also a celebrity thanks to her wide-ranging, pitch perfect, emotive singing voice that propelled her to second place two months ago on NBC’s popular variety competition show “America’s Got Talent.”

In the lobby of the J.W. Marriott at Lenox Monday morning, she and her family were about to leave for New York City where she’ll perform on the Sprout float during the legendary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (She is set to perform around 10 a.m. hour on NBC in case you want to catch her, a spokeswoman said.)

On Sunday night, she had sung “O Holy Night” to lead into the lighting of the annual Christmas Tree on top of Lenox Mall. During the interview, several fans, including a crew member for the band Casting Crowns (who also performed), came by to wax poetic about her vocal abilities and get pictures taken with her in front of a Christmas tree in the hotel lobby.

Angelica, who has lived in Los Angeles the past few months as her mom Eva gave birth to Angelica’s sister Abigail, said the past two months have been a whirlwind of concerts and performances. She flew last week  to sing Audra Day’s “Rise Up” at the Atlanta Falcons/Dallas Cowboys game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Their home in Johns Creek has been mothballed, her dad James Hale said, so they haven’t even stopped by. But they do plan to move back to metro Atlanta in early 2018.

Her father remains her manager. He decides with Angelica which events she should perform at, trying to limit her workload and travel to once or twice a week. “You have to say no sometimes,” Angelica said.

James said they are being deliberative about creating an album while she continues to build her voice and musical skills. Remember, she’s only ten years old. “We’re not rushing,” James said. “We’re pacing ourselves.”

After Thanksgiving, they are flying to Taiwan for a corporate event, the first time Angelica has ever gone overseas. James, a finance and accounting consultant, said though not everyone in the world gets “America’s Got Talent,” videos of her performances are available on YouTube so she now has followers all over the world.

She recounted her moments on stage at “AGT” during the waning minutes of the finale awaiting whether she’d win or come in second. Darci Lynne, the 12-year-old ventriloquist singer, ultimately won but Angelica insisted she was not disappointed.

“It was one of the best nights of my life,” Angelica said. “I didn’t even think I’d make the top five. It was so suspenseful. I was crying so hard. All of that pressure on me!”

Earlier this month, she got to perform four nights at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas with Darci  and two other “AGT” finalists.  “It was fun and nobody was judging me!” she said. And she even got to go trick or treating with Darci dressed as a unicorn. Nobody recognized her, she said, which was a nice break.

Angelica is also thrilled to have a little sister. “She’s doing really well, not crying too much,” she said. She sometimes cradles her in her arms but is not ready yet to change a diaper. “I don’t want to yet,” she said. “I push the stroller and kiss her a lot!”

And the family, despite all the travel, is managing well so far.

“It’s been really busy but really rewarding and a lot of fun,” Jame said. “What a cool life!”

Hale, who received a kidney from her mom at age six that saved her life, also recently taped PSAs for the National Kidney Foundation:

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Barack Obama posted a Joe Biden meme and Twitter can’t handle it

So ardent was the bromance between former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that the “barackandjoe” Twitter account is a thing.

If you have time to kill and need a chuckle by way of photos of Biden pointing at stuff or smiling cheekily complete with clever captions, check it out – or just search the hashtag #JoeBidenMemes.

And now there’s one more, contributed by Obama himself, to celebrate Biden’s birthday. Within minutes the post had been liked, retweeted or commented upon more than 100,000 times.

MORE: Joe Biden memes are taking over the Internet

ME: Joe, about halfway through the speech, I’m gonna wish you a happy birth–
BIDEN: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
ME: Joe.

Happy birthday to @JoeBiden, my brother and the best vice president anybody could have. http://pic.twitter.com/sKbXjNiEjH

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 20, 2017

 

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