Yesterday was an amazing news day for industry vet Frank Ski. I’ve known Frank for quite some time and I knew V103 had it’s share of changes but I didn’t expect him to resign. He announced that he was leaving V103 after 14 years of service on the air yesterday. Radio Facts got to speak to Frank last night as he was on his way out and I was about to take a final so both of our times was limited. Perhaps the whole situation sounds strange to many, leaving without any prospects, but I fully get and comprehend on what Frank is saying. We asked him the questions we knew were on the minds of our readers…. Let me state that CBS Radio gets pretty high rankings from our radio pros and readers, it’s the corporation that we hear the LEAST complaints about. I just wanted to state that in all fairness and I don’t really see a complaint against them here either. Hopefully this interview will clear up a few things…
KEVIN ROSS: Frank, I’m sure you know many in the industry are scratching their heads and asking how you could leave a GREAT job with no prospects in this industry and in this horrific radio gig economy? What gives?
FRANK SKI: You know Kev, this is not something that I have not been thinking about for a long time. I actually started thinking about it during my last contract five years ago. I wanted to be syndicated at this point and CBS could not make it happen.
KR: When you approached them, had you already decided what you were going to do if they said no?
FS: Yes, I knew I had to make a move and I had to do it on faith. Look at Ryan Seacrest… he was in here in Atlanta on the air when I started here and look at him now. Who would have imagined. I feel that I should be able to advance in my career too.
KR: Yes…but Ryan Seacrest is white?
FS: Yes I know that but that’s the problem and I know you can understand this because I read your site all the time. Black men in radio are always considered one-dimensional. It’s either that he does Urban AC or Urban or he’s a DJ or he’s an Urban PD. Why can’t we be a host of an international TV show or something greater?
KR: Well, yes, I absolutely agree, and this is a conversation I CONSTANTLY have with many programmers and Radio people. To that end, it is most unfortunate that our own perceptions are often clouded with what others in the industry (or even in our own community) surmise us to be. Blacks are not in a lot of high-ranking positions in entertainment I get that but to leave under these circumstances, considering that must have been a VERY difficult decision to make.
FS: It was, I was very nervous. Half of me wanted them (CBS Radio) to say no and the other half of me wanted them to say yes. I knew if they said no I had to step up to the plate and I’m not sure even they thought I would go through with it. Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner are friends of mine and I have the greatest respect for them Kev but Steve, Tom, Rickey Smiley, Yolanda Adams are all in the market and the Frank and Wanda show was still beating them. Why shouldn’t our show be considered for syndication too?
KR: You know Frank, truth be told Rickey, Steve and Yolanda are not veteran radio pros like we are. That’s not taking away from their ability to do a show but they didn’t pay the dues. It’s almost as if they are blessed and we are cursed for being trained. That’s what had me so bitter a few years back about syndication. We did all the hard work and they reap the benefits. Then I realized it’s a business and perhaps I made the wrong decision to enter it. Perhaps your experience is what hurts your chances. So are you leaving Atlanta?
KR: Isn’t your house up for sale?
FS: Yes but I had already purchased another home to be closer to my kids’ school. The drive was over an hour for my wife each way each day and it was too inconvenient. I’m not leaving Atlanta.
KR: Are you and Wanda going to work together in the near future?
FS: I can’t say, it depends on what the future holds.
KR: Is your restaurant still open?
FS: Yes and business is great.
KR: Any final thoughts for this interview?
FS: Yes, just because things are going great doesn’t mean we should be comfortable. When we get comfortable we don’t progress and time passes and we may never realize our dreams. Sometimes you have to step out on faith to open the doors to what’s in store for you and to prepare yourself for the opportunity. I’ve gotten a lot of calls and I’m deciding what’s next for now. Thanks to you and your readers for your support