|Shawnda McNeal & Atom Smasher (Mix 96.5 KHMX)|
Tattooed ex-KRBE morning/afternoon/night jock Atom Smasher is back from a nearly eight year absence from the Houston radio waves, but this time he's down the dial at his former station's competitor, Mix 96.5 KHMX.
"Houston is missing that young, sorta cool (at least we think) morning show," Smasher tells mikemcguff.com
Smasher, who admits he's older, wiser, fatter and now a father, says he is bringing new perspective to his show.
"We will talk about our kids but never in a cheesy doting parental way," Smasher reveals. "We laugh and most of our stories involve our kids doing inappropriate things. You will find 37-year-old Atom is a bit different from 20 something Atom."
After being fired from 104 KRBE's morning show in 2006 (he was Sam Malone's replacement), Atom Smasher has worked to get back to Houston morning radio.
"Houston is my home away from home," Smasher said. "I grew up in South Louisiana, but when I worked here, I developed relationships that tied me to this city forever. One being my wife who is from Kingwood. We were married here in 2005 and are currently bunking with her parents. Pray for us."
After his KRBE departure, Smasher left the Bayou City to host afternoons at Dallas Top 40 powerhouse 106.1 KISS FM KHKS.
"We were there for a couple of years, and had our first son Ryder," Smasher said. "Boom, Clear Channel lowers the boom and I get whacked in a nation wide jock massacre."
But Smasher's fortunes were about to turn for the better when he got a call from a mom and pop owned station in Evansville, IN. Smasher admits he had never heard of Hot 96 WSTO-FM but was anxious to get back to mornings. You might have heard of the people he was replacing too.
"I ended up taking the job left by Brad Booker and Sarah Pepper both of which had moved to Hot 95.7 in Houston," Smasher told me. "Strange huh?"
Even stranger, for those Houston radio listeners in the know, Booker ended up working on the Mix 96.5 morning show with Smasher's former co-host Maria Todd.
In 2008, Smasher met his current radio partner, Shawnda McNeal, and says he immediately wanted to work with her.
"She's funny, unique, a little crazy and totally vibes with me like no one else," Smasher gushes. "She is from Southern Ohio and stems from a family tree where grandma actually stole all their Christmas presents from Sears on year."
Now paired with McNeal, Smasher is hoping to steal the Houston morning radio ratings.
"When I got the call from CBS [KHMX's parent company] a few months ago, I jumped on it," Smasher said. "I was ready to come back and I hope I never have to leave again. We're ready to shake things up and couldn't be more thrilled about the opportunity given to us by CBS Houston. They believe in our show and we're ready to make 2014 our year!"
So how did he think he did on Monday's debut?
"While I think it was pretty good for a first day, I'm never satisfied with anything so I think it could've been better of course," admits Smasher.
On a personal note, I always thought Smasher was a great talent. I remember loving his KRBE night show and I'm not exactly a top 40 kind of guy. In fact, I had friends who were way more KLOL listeners at the time, admit they listened to KRBE back then just to hear Smasher crack open the microphone.
Sounds like KHMX is about to mix up the morning drive in a big way.
As I blogged last weekend, Houston will get another new morning show. The Breakfast Club will air on 93.7 the Beat later this month.
And back in Smasher's old stomping grounds of Dallas-Fort Worth is the return of The Jagger Mafia morning show on 102.1 The Edge KDGE-FM this week.
The Jagger Mafia morning show reunites original members Chris Jagger, Mondo Mike Vasquez and Jasmine Sadry.
"As much fun as it was to do other formats, The Edge is where I started and it's really exciting to come back," said Jagger in a statement sent to mikemcguff.com. "It will be great to do what I love with the people I care most about at the station that first welcomed me to Dallas."
The Jagger Mafia morning show was last heard on The Edge in 2006.