Longtime V-103 radio hosts Frank Ski and Wanda Smith announced their departure Thursday.
Wanda Smith announced her departure Thursday (Courtesy V-103)
Frank Ski and Wanda Smith held a press conference after their on-air announcement Thursday.
Frank Ski and Wanda Smith topped Atlanta radio ratings charts for years with the Frank and Wanda Morning Show.
ATLANTA -- Atlanta's longest-running music radio hosts, Frank Ski and Wanda Smith are leaving V-103.
Ski and Smith have been hosting the Frank and Wanda Morning Show at V-103 for 14 years. They've topped the ratings for most of those years together. Ryan Cameron will take over mornings on V-103.
"It is time Atlanta for me to explore other opportunities that God has for me that will allow me to serve more people on a greater level," Ski announced on the air shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday.
Smith announced her departure an hour after Ski.
"For you not to be on the radio in Atlanta is a tragic loss for Atlanta," entertainer Steve Harvey said on Thursday's show. Harvey interrupted his own syndicated morning show on Majic 107.5/97.5 to call into V-103. "I know how business goes. Somebody's making a huge mistake over there. What you don't do is let a legend go because legends have a tendency to resurface."
Ski, who had been in talks with station executives for months over the show's future, insisted there was no bad blood with V-103 or its parent company, CBS.
Ski says he's 100% committed to staying in Atlanta. He says his multi-million dollar Dunwoody house is up for sale, because his family recently bought a home in Buckhead to be closer to his son's schools. He owns Frank Ski's Restaurant and Lounge in Buckhead.
Smith said she planned to take a long vacation with her husband then dive into her comedy and even write a few movies.
"We're going to take a break and go down to Florida and get on our boat that we purchased that we have not been able to get on," said Smith.
The co-hosts thanked the entire V-103 family, including listeners.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in turn, thanked Ski and Smith.
"I just called to express the complete gratitude of everybody out here," Reed said on the show. " My only message for [Frank] and Wanda is let's go! We got stuff that you want to do. Let's get out here and let's go!"
That's just what Ski and Smith encouraged their listeners to do.
"I just want people to never be afraid. Reach out whenever your heart and your mind is telling you to do something, whether it's a job or a relationship, your kids," said Smith.
Speculation had filled social media since Ski told listeners Wednesday he would "make the biggest announcement of my life" Thursday.
He and Smith will still host their popular Christmas show on the air next week.
Ski issued the following statement Thursday:
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 forever.
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.
Thank You & God Bless,