"Todd and Erin" on KBEE (alias "B-98.7") are out to oust the morning-show jinx at the station.
FM-98.7 has had 18 different morning team-ups on the air during the past 17 years, a real revolving-door situation. "Todd and Erin's" predecessors, "Simon and Brady," were able to add some stability to the station by lasting nearly 3 1/2 years on the air, more than twice the previous average.
A married couple, "Todd and Erin" (Collard) are poised to remain on the air for at least five years. They surpassed the six-month mark Wednesday, and if their core ratings are a true indication, they are a hit.
According to the latest Arbitron estimates that came out at the end of July, "Todd and Erin" had a 5.7 percent audience share of women, ages 25-54. That's second only to "Dain and Peggy" at KSFI and represents an enormous improvement from 10th to second in those ratings.
Watching the DJs for about 90 minutes of their morning show reveals that their progress is no fluke. Aided by "Shamus," they know how to talk to their audience.
"Its been real fun," Todd said, adding that it was exciting that Citadel Communications (owner of KBEE and six other Salt Lake stations) gave them the freedom to use their strengths and didn't dictate a style for them. In fact, Citadel has built the station around "Todd and Erin."
Erin does weather and commentary, while Todd leads the show and does most of the running around, and Shamus concentrates on the control board. Kristy Snow does news and traffic from another room.
The DJs do plan each morning's show, but they also leave plenty of room for extemporaneous things that come from their great chemistry together. Regular features like "Mind Probe" and "Celebrity Challenge," plus others add stability to the show. They will also usually delve into a topical question of the day.
As one of the friendliest morning shows, these DJs don't delve into the risque, and they keep things moving with a sensible mix of talk and adult contemporary music. During music breaks, they may briefly talk about non-radio things, but when the song is nearly over, they spring back into action.
"Todd and Erin" were part of the "Fisher, Todd and Erin" show, which was the longest-running FM radio team until one year ago, when the Collards decided to go out on their own. Today, former teammate Scott Fisher is on KQMB with "Laura."
Ironically, Erin was previously on the FM-98.7 morning show briefly in 1990, when she did a program with "Uglee Jerry."
Shamus, from Montana, knew KBEE program director Rusty Keys from another radio market and got a chance to pave the way for "Todd and Erin" starting in December 2001. He remained with them after they started on Feb. 14, 2002.
"Todd and Erin" had a set of twins a few years ago and Erin says it's their nanny who allows them to be on the air from 5:30-10 a.m. each weekday. (Shamus' wife is pregnant and is due in about six weeks.)
RADIO HAPPENINGS KUUU, FM-92.1, will host "Summer Jam" for the fourth straight year on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Utah Valley State College Baseball Diamond in Orem. Tickets are at all Smith'sTix locations.
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