Frank “Ski” Rodriguez, the driving force behind the longest-running and highest rated morning radio show in Atlanta, is leaving V-103 after 14 years at the helm.
Known simply to metro ATL-liens as the legendary “Frank Ski,” the New York City-born Rodriguez, 48, has said goodbye to the “Frank Ski and Wanda Morning Show” after negotiations regarding his stay at the radio station — as well as talks about possible retry with national syndication — broke down with CBS honchos in his New York hometown. Rodriguez was looking to compete with the likes of nationally-syndicated shows hosted by Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley and Michael Baisden. He and Wanda Smith had been flying back and forth to the Big Apple trying to renegotiate a deal, but to no avail.
Frank Ski leaves an unforgettable legacy at the station. He and Wanda Smith, who is also leaving the week before Christmas, hosted the highest-rated show in Atlanta, in every age group, with over 1.2 million listeners every morning. He was the last person to interview the incomparable Coretta Scott King as well as gave an interview to the then-junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, as he was campaigning for the presidency. Ski was recently married when he arrived in Atlanta to wife, Tanya, 14 years ago and all three of his three sons were born in the Georgia capital.
Rumors have it that Ryan Cameron will take over the morning show slot. Big Tigger, who came to fame on BET, will slide in in the slot that will be vacated by Cameron, sources close to the show reveal. Frank Ski will stay in the city of Atlanta despite the fact that his $2.2 million suburban Atlanta home is up for sale, and will remain the radio genre.
Ski had been part of the longest-running local music morning show in Atlanta on the same station: 14 years with Wanda Smith, outlasting Steve & Vikki and Randy & Spiff. He leaves being known as a prolific deejay, journalist, philanthropist, entrepreneur and conscientious humanitarian. His Frank Ski Kids Foundation, created in 2000 and run by his wife, former radio deejay Tanya Rodriguez, hosts a yearly Youth Bowl football competition and gives young people the opportunity to travel abroad on excursions that support the foundation’s science, technology and art programs and organizes a yearly trip to the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. There have also been excursions to the Galapagos Island in 2007, the Amazon Rainforest in 2008 and a trip to the birthplace of the European Renaissance in Florence, Italy in 2009. Rodriguez recently opened up his Frank Ski’s restaurant on Peachtree Street in the Buckhead section of Atlanta where he held his latest Frank Ski Wine Tasting Christmas party to benefit his Frank Ski Kids Foundation.
Click on continue below to look at the photos that best illustrate his illustrious career at Atlanta’s V-103 “Frank and Wanda Morning Show.”