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Jasmine – And the Fan Fans – Got Screwed

As I write this in preparation, the weather outside here in Dallas Fort Worth has been cold, cloudy and gloomy. It’s been like that since Wednesday, and that’s not surprising to me.

For it was Wednesday that the new management at my favorite radio station, 105.3 The Fan, dealt me and many other loyal listeners a blow that has us depressed and up in arms.

Jasmine Sadry, the very popular “sidekick” on The Fan’s morning show “New School,” announced that afternoon that The Fan was not renewing her contract. That morning was her last day on the air.

And the resounding cry of Fan Fans was loud and clear: “WHAT… THE… HELL?????!!!!!”

Radio and media is a volatile business; I get that. I have friends who have worked in the field, so I know all too well that turnover is very high in their line of work. But you would expect them to make good decisions. And this is not a good decision.

They just up and kicked out someone who had a large and loyal fan base, kicking those fans in the crotches in the process. And they got rid of someone that I truly consider a friend.

It was roughly 13 months ago that I first met Jasmine in person. I was at the Fan Sports Lounge on one of those nights when she agreed to come on and get heckled by Arnie Spanier when he was at The Fan. When she came in that night, I saw a Jennifer Aniston lookalike (think Rachel circa Season 3) that made me say “Wow.” I couldn’t stop myself from jokingly confusing her for Ms. Aniston; when she laughed back, I could tell she was a fun person.

(For the record, I have since dropped the Aniston comparison. She now reminds me more of a grown-up Amy Jo Johnson, AKA the original Pink Power Ranger, which is better because A. I had a major crush on that Ranger as a kid, and B. Jasmine admitted to me she wanted to be the Pink Ranger as a kid.)

Let’s get this out of the way: I knew early on I would have no shot with her. She now is in a relationship with Jake Runey, and even though she’s joked about “being in a relationship isn’t what it’s cracked up to be,” I can tell they’re happy, and I’m glad for both of them. Still, I could never stop flirting with her, since it’s probably the closest thing to a relationship I’ll ever get, and the fact that she always went along with it just showed me the type of person she is – as beautiful on the inside as out.

I love The Fan, been a loyal listener almost since its launch. But this decision has really tested my patience with them – the management, not anyone else on the air.

Sources have told me that certain on-air personalities (I won’t say who to protect them) were not to even mention Jasmine on the air, citing the risk of “legal issues.” This is complete bullcrap. During Bruce Gilbert’s term running The Fan, the station underwent quite a bit of turnover, getting rid of Ben & Skin, Jagger, Barskey and Gregg Henson. But all of them (to the best of my knowledge) were given enough advance knowledge to say their own goodbyes on the air, and the remaining talent was allowed to wish them well also. No legal recourse was taken as a result as far as I know. It was one of the reasons I came to like The Fan’s organization in addition to its broadcasts.

I’m not just venting all this because of any personal feelings I have toward Miss Sadry. From a business perspective, this makes no sense.

New School’s ratings were on the rise last I heard, and you can’t tell me Jasmine wasn’t a big reason for it. It takes something special for DFW to warm up to a show hosted by a Redskins fan and a Yankees fan, and she was it. Not just because she was a local product and UNT alum; her vivaciousness and humor on the air, whether it was giving publicity to online sports talk hosts or hilarious impersonations of ESPN’s Doris Burke, gave people a reason to get up early in the morning.

Jasmine will be back on her feet – I have absolutely no doubt about that. She is too talented, too charming and too charismatic to be off the air for long.

But 105.3 The Fan was just dealt a huge blow by a new management team that apparently wants to “make its mark.” And it could take them a long time, if ever, to recover from that mark.


3 Responses

  1. Well put. I only listened to New School because of Jasmine. I m out now. I’ll go listen to Jagger again.

  2. After reading this story about Jasmine, I feel compelled to comment.

    You are correct in that radio is a volatile business. People come and go in this industry as much as any industry. Keeping a job in radio is based on ratings (which generates revenue), talent and quality of content. I see that the ratings for all shows on the Fan hover in the 1-3 area depending on what time of year it is.

    As I recall, Jasmine was a holdover from the prior format. It appears that she was kept on as there was too much time on her contract to cut her loose. The new management that you refer to is actually the original management of the Fan. Gavin Spittle was the original PD on the Fan and then was sent off to another market. Thus, he is not new to the Fan-just another recycled person in the radio business.

    “Sidekicks” are generally the first to go whenever there is a shake up. Since Jasmine was a sidekick and her contract expired whenever Spittle came back, it was easy to let her go. As far as talent, I do not know whether she had anything in her bag or not. I see that she is attractive. I do not know anything about her personality. A “sidekick” has to be able to ride shotgun or be the lead whenever one of the primary hosts of the show is out. Could Jasmine do this?

    As far as your comment about her being “very popular” with a “large and loyal fan base”, the only things I can say about this is look at the monthly radio ratings, and she does not have many Twitter followers. Whereas Twitter may or may not have anything to do with a radio personality’s fan base, it still is something to ponder. Jasmine’s Twitter followers total 9816. Other “sidekicks” such as The Ticket’s Gordon Keith (50,024) and Donovan Lewis (17,103) are very popular and have large and loyal fan bases. They also can ride shotgun and be a lead host whenever called on.

    The Fan’s morning show ratings appear to have risen recently since they are competing for second place against a network show that concentrates on things in the Northeast. The Fan and ESPN swap back and forth between second and third place. However, a rise of 0.1 to 0.2 in the ratings is nothing to brag about. Once again, talent and quality content play a big factor.

    Speaking of ratings in March, 2013, the highest rated hour at the Fail was from their morning show at 3.5. In contrast, the Ticket’s highest rated hour was from Dunham & Miller at 10.9. Simple math shows that this is more than 3 times the ratings of the Fail morning show. Meanwhile, 1310 The Ticket keeps cruising at No. 1 in both categories with not much reason to check the rearview mirror.
    In the key men 25-54 demographic, which pays most of the bills, it was The Ticket (8.2), Fan (3.2), ESPN (2.9). The Ticket was top-rated in town among all radio stations up and down the dial.
    In homegrown, heavy-hitter hosted shows weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. among men 25-54, it was The Ticket (8.2), Fan (3.2), ESPN (2.9). The D-Bag night time spares don’t get included in the ratings because night time does not matter in the ratings.

    Since the Fan has let go two of the three on air females, does this make them “sexist”? Maybe Spittle knows something that either you don’t or refuse to see.

    Maybe Jasmine will find her way back on the radio. She sounds like a good candidate for an FM Top 40 drive time show.

    • Well, I do know her personality, and for what it’s worth, I did always feel that she was being restricted in what she could do on that station. She is much more than just a pretty face, I assure you. People I know accused her of not knowing anything about sports based on just what she did on the air, and I can tell you that’s complete BS. Whether there was actually sexism in the Fan’s management, I can’t say. But if you’re gonna cite the fact that they’ve just let two women go, I would counter that with the fact that they at least had them on the air since the format change, and they have so far still retained Slater, who was hired as a host for the sports talk format. Compare that to The Ticket, which I believe has never had a female on its air ever. I will not deny that The Ticket dominates the ratings, and that is likely because it more embraces the sexist, homophobic “boys club” mentality that will draw the young male demographic the media loves but was not my taste. If The Fan feels it has to go more in that direction to compete, it does make me a little sad.

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