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Created by The Core DJ's Jul 6, 2014 at 4:18pm. Last updated by The Core DJ's Jul 6, 2014.

Popular Atlanta Radio DJ and Philanthropist Frank Ski to Leave V-103FM

As anticipated, Frank Ski announced this (Thursday) morning that he’s leaving R&B/hip-hop station V-103 after 14 years.

His side kick, Wanda Smith announced she’s leaving the show as well…to spend more time with her family and work on her comedy project. We love that chic! :(

Frank Ski says he doesn’t plan to leave Atlanta (though his Dunwoody home is now for sale for $2.2 million). He promised he will be heard again on the radio but wasn’t specific. Most personalities have a six-month “non-compete” which will keep him off the air during that time period.

Ski , 48, read a formal statement on air just past 7 a.m. today. He noted how he moved to the city with his wife Tanya from Baltimore in 1998. He said Atlanta has participated with him in his biggest personal moments, including the births of his three children. He mentioned his weekend DJ club gigs, becoming friends with some of Atlanta’s biggest politicians, including the late Maynard Jackson and the current mayor Kasim Reed. He recalled how he was the last person to interview Coretta Scott King, how he met Pres. Barack Obama before he became president, how he got to interview convicted child killer Wayne Williams.

He mentioned all the travel he did all around the world and forming his Frank Ski Kids Foundation. He referenced 9′/11, Hurricane Katrina and Jenna 6. He also noted his new restaurant he opened last y ear.

“This is not a good-bye, Atlanta, but instead to be continued… very soon,” he said. Ski’s show with partner Wanda Smith was No. 1 for virtually the entire time he’s been on air here over his entire run at V-103, typically drawing one million listeners a week.

In a poll speculating on the change yesterday, about 56 percent guessed correctly that Ski was leaving.

No confirmation yet but the No. 1 station in the market will likely replace him with afternoon host Ryan Cameron, a move many have been anticipating for years. Cameron is insanely popular in this town. He gets a fare higher percentage of positive comments on this blog than Ski. Three years ago during Ski’s last negotiations, I had posted a poll asking folks what they thought of Cameron moving to mornings. A vast majority were supportive of that move, but V-103 chose to keep Ski at the time.

Cameron returned to V-103 as afternoon host more than eight years ago after a long stint as morning host on rival Hot 107.9 (originally Hot 97.5). He was paid morning host money to be the afternoon guy, a luxury V-103 could afford. He was able to live normal working hours compared to morning hosts as well.

But alas, the time has come and Cameron is likely to take over in early January.

Ski’s final day will be Friday. Bottom line: he couldn’t come to an agreement with CBS Radio for a new contract. I’m not sure if he was asking for too much or if CBS gave him such an insultingly low offer, he couldn’t stomach it and was willing to walk. He has been under a temporary contract the past couple of months as the two sides negotiated.

Cameron signed a new deal earlier this year. Ski promised they will also confirm who will take over mornings – presumably Cameron.

Here is Ski’s statement in full:

Dear Atlanta:

Fourteen years ago, V-103 General Manager Rick Caffey and I set out to create a morning show that was informative, entertaining and inspirational — and year after year, you’ve blessed us with #1 ratings in every age category. I’m beyond blessed to get paid to do what I love most, to be on the radio with more than a million listeners every week. I have enjoyed waking you up every morning, deejaying the hottest parties every week and whether it be in the streets, the grocery store, your school, a football game or in places of worship, I have truly enjoyed getting to know you and your family.

When I moved here in 1998, I was newly married and hadn’t even started my family. Major milestones and defining moments have happened while on the airwaves of V-103. My children were born here in Atlanta, and you shared in that joy — all three times. Tanya & I started the Frank Ski Kids Foundation a decade ago, and because you supported our annual Kids Week, Youth Bowl and Wine Tastings, you made it possible for us to expose hundreds of kids to their future, and ultimately, realize their dreams.

I’ve grown personally from interviewing those who have made Atlanta the great city it is, and I’ve flourished from genuine relationships with people like Maynard Jackson, Andy Young, Bill Campbell, Bernice King, Shirley Franklin and my good friend, Kasim Reed, whose individual legacies will live

Atlanta, you’ve allowed me to bring so many important triumphs and tragedies to life. To be blessed with the last interview with Ms. Coretta Scott King, challenged by the jail interview with convicted murderer Wayne Williams, and completely honored to interview the young Senator from Chicago, President Barack Obama. The list goes on — from the iconic and unforgettable Whitney Houston to the incomparable living legend, Mr. Stevie Wonder, you’ve witnessed and experienced countless defining moments with me.

You encouraged me when I flew to New York hours after 9-11, when I drove to Louisiana for the Jena 6 story and even when we pulled our entire city together to raise hundreds and thousands of dollars for Hurricane Katrina victims. You’ve been there when I suffered a loss, and when the hard work allowed me to try things I never could have dreamed for myself.

We’ve traveled around the world together… to Asia, Africa, South America and beyond, and have returned home with deeper connections to each other and our communities. You celebrated with me in 2011 when my dream to open a restaurant became a reality. I thank you for all of those shared times — the laughter, the tears and the victories. And with that, Atlanta, I have decided to end my tenure with V-103

My decision to leave my V-103 family has been one of the most important and most spiritual decisions of my life. For years, I’ve delivered the Inspirational Vitamin and have told you to live by faith, not fear, and to believe in the power of God’s plan for your life. I’ve encouraged you to ‘Let Go and Let God’ — and now it’s time for me to do the same. It’s time for me to walk in faith — but chase my passions and spiritual purpose to expand my brand & grow. It’s time for me to explore other opportunities that will allow me to serve more people on a greater level.

Thank you to General Manager, Rick Caffey, for believing in my talent, and allowing me to be the leader of a radio station that truly believes in service & community. Thank you to my cohost, Wanda Smith, for trusting in my abilities to lead the Morning Show on a successful 14 year journey. Thank you to the entire V-103 family — on-air and behind the scenes — your efforts, enthusiasm, hard work & support will always be appreciated. And thank you to YOU, Atlanta, for allowing me to be a part of your family, and unselfishly being a part of mine. As the story continues, you will hear me again on radio & I will not leave the city I call home.

As one beautiful chapter ends and another begins, I will take the memories we’ve created and never forget how the story began. I look forward to sharing the next chapter with you, and creating even more unforgettable memories. This is not a good-bye, Atlanta, but instead — to be continued… very soon.

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