FoGR Pods: Podcasts from the Friends of Georgia Radio
By Georgia Radio Innovators
In this series of interviews from Friends of Georgia Radio, we'll profile the men and women who have served listeners across the state and made a name for themselves through leadership and innovation.
Laura Starling, Morning Personality WDEN Macon, GA
Laura Starling—Laura got her start while in Athens for college, but headed back home to finish her degree at Wesleyan College in Macon, and before she even graduated, she started working at powerhouse country WDEN. 40 years --- and three changes of ownership later --- she’s still doing morning drive at WDEN. She’s a ADDY Award winner, a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, and a regular winner of macon.com’s voting as Macon’s “Best DJ.” Along the way, she’s sung with Kenny Chesney, and been pranked by Faith Hill’s manager. Here, Dennis Winslow unpacks her long and successful career.
September 26, 2022
Kaedy Kiely 97.1 The River Atlanta Part 2
Kaedy Kiely has been doing drive time radio in Atlanta for 40 years, first at iconic Atlanta station 96 Rock, then at Classic Rock Z93, and then as both Morning Drive host and now afternoon personality at top-rated 97.1 The River. A native Atlantan and Emory graduate, Kiely’s first calling was singing and acting, but the radio bug hit her and she’s now one of Atlanta’s longest running air talents. Dennis Winslow finds out about her best and worst radio interviews and more in Part 2.
September 01, 2022
Kaedy Kiely 97.1 The River Atlanta Part 1
Kaedy Kiely- Kaedy has been doing drive time radio in Atlanta for 40 years, first at iconic Atlanta station 96 Rock, then at Classic Rock Z93, and then as both Morning Drive host and now afternoon personality at top-rated 97.1 The River. A native Atlantan and Emory graduate, Kiely’s first calling was singing and acting, but the radio bug hit her and she’s now one of Atlanta’s longest running air talents. Dennis Winslow traces her long career path, along with the lows of a breast cancer diagnosis, and her career highs including her induction into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
August 06, 2022
Bear O'Brian, WCGQ, Kiss, Kissin' 99.3, Columbus GA
BEAR O’BRIAN grew up in Manchester listening to Atlanta and Columbus radio, dreaming that he, too, could be on the radio. He started along the path right out of high school with jobs in Perry, Barnesville, Monroe, and Wrens, but when he got that chance to go to legendary station WCGQ in Columbus as a copywriter, he took it. Several weeks later, the long time morning guy quit, Bear asked for the job, and got it, spending the next 40 years in morning drive at WCGQ, KISS, and Kissin’ 99.3, with a side trip to Florida and Alabama, and a stint as a stand-up comic. Here, Dennis Winslow unpacks this Georgia Radio legend’s career.
July 14, 2022
Mara Davis-Part 2
Mara Davis enjoyed a long career as an Atlanta-based FM radio personality at Z93 and at Dave FM. And this week, the story about finding out about finding about not one – but two—format changes from the most unlikely sources. First time, from Rodney Ho in the AJC. And the second time,she got the news from her ex-General Manager. Radio war stories, and “after radio” from Mara Davis in Part 2.
June 30, 2022
Mara Davis Part 1
MARA DAVIS enjoyed a successful first act as a longtime Atlanta-based FM radio DJ, TV host, emcee and gal about town. In these podcasts, she discusses her arrival at Classic Rock Z93 in the mid-90s, and the transition to Dave FM, and later, hosting “Mara’s Music Mix” on 90.1 WABE. Mara’s been the talent booker job at Adult Swim and booked top bands from Cage The Elephant to Neko Case, Jason Isbell, Sting and emerging talent like Doja Cat and Billie Eilish. She co-hosted a Georgia politics podcast, serves as Secretary on the board of the Grammy Chapter in Atlanta, contributes at Paste Magazine, and donates her time to organizations including the Atlanta Humane Society, Helping Mama's and The Homeless Period Project.
June 21, 2022
Don Benson Part 2| WQXI AM/FM Atlanta
94Q, and sister station 790 WQXI were nationally-known Atlanta radio brands, known for innovative and creative promotions, with cutting-edge talent in all departments and an internal “hall vibe” like few other stations. In part 2, Dennis Winslow explores with Don the formatics that made 94Q such a fierce competitor, and reveals details about how legendary GM Jerry Blum inspired the staff.
June 13, 2022
Don Benson Part 1| WQXI AM/FM Atlanta
Don Benson eventually ran the whole company as President and CEO of Lincoln Financial. Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of his start as an intern for legendary programmer Scott Shannon and his arrival in Atlanta where he watched one of the most heavily promoted radio promotions of the 1970s fizzle because of a technical glitch. And, Dennis Winslow talks with Don about becoming PD of “The FM QXI,” and the birth of the iconic “94Q.”
June 05, 2022
Mike Roberts | V103 Atlanta
Dennis Winslow sits down with Mike Roberts as he tells the story of his career as PD of two of the city’s iconic urban stations – first WIGO, and later V-103, where he hosted the longest-running morning show in the station’s history and took the station to the top of the Arbitron ratings. Then, Mike talks about becoming an entrepreneur with his own small cluster of stations in Macon, and his new life as an owner.
June 05, 2022
John Lauer | WGST/WPCH Atlanta
John Lauer served as VP/GM of two iconic Georgia radio stations: Peach FM95 and WGST Newsradio. After rising through the ranks at CBS radio, he came to Atlanta in 1968 as FM took off and helped assemble an all-star team of managers and staff at both stations. He continued in the role through ownership changes from Sudbrink to Meredith to Jacor. Richard Warner interviewed Lauer in March 2022.
June 05, 2022