When David Cannon — much better known as the “Ace” half of “The Ace & TJ Show” — got into his car around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, he seemed almost unable to believe where he was headed.
“I just left home, on my way to Kiss 95.1 for now – 11 years?” the Charlotte radio personality said, with an incredulous laugh, as he spoke on the phone with The Charlotte Observer. “It’s been a long time.”
An hour later, Cannon and his on-air partner Ritchie “TJ” Beams officially broke the news during an appearance on the morning show Kiss 95.1 co-hosted by Steve Maney and LauRen Merola: After more than a decade away, Ace & TJ will return Monday morning to their original station in Charlotte – WNKS 95.1 FM.
But the new show, which airs from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays on the Beasley Media Group-owned station, will sound a little different from the old one. And the new global concert, like the one Cannon and Beams held last year, has many tentacles.
“It’s weird to explain, because we’re basically doing a variety of different shows every day now, if that makes sense,” Cannon said. “So yes, our 6-10 show that we do every day on our app — and which is heard on a few radio stations across the country — will remain the same. What we do for Kiss will be unique content under a shorter form, but still very suitable for this audience.
“If you’re a fan or have ever listened to ‘The Ace & TJ Show’ and enjoyed it, this is exactly what you’d expect: just us, having fun, trying to entertain you every days, giving you something to talk about, giving you something to share later today, and so we’re looking forward to it.
Cannon said the format for the exclusive Kiss 95.1 show is still being finalized, but in terms of the amount of conversation you can expect to hear from them, he added, “Probably more similar to the terrestrial shows of noon 9 to 12, in terms of how much we’ll be on the air. But the content will be that we’re doing our regular content.
Meanwhile, the 6-10 show that Cannon is referring to is the extended, all-talking version of his daily morning show — “Ace TJ 5G,” which will continue to be available for live streaming from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and on demand 24 hours a day. -7 via AceTJ.com and, starting Monday, Kiss951.com (as well as a variety of mobile and desktop apps).
Also new will be the ability to watch an accompanying Cannon and Beams video stream. Initially, there will only be live video of the final hour of their 6-10 show, Cannon said, but the hope is that eventually all four hours will be viewable online.
The show’s various incarnations will continue to air in syndication in more than a dozen other markets nationwide.
Once “Ace & TJ” launches on Kiss 95.1 next week, Maney and Merola’s current morning show will begin running a shorter hour, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. instead of until 10 a.m.
Go full circle
Cannon and Beams have been Ace and TJ since 1993, when the Louisiana natives were first paired on a Top 40 station in Alexandria, near their hometowns of Pineville and Winnfield. They moved from evening to morning, then Baton Rouge, then stations in Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama, before being hired to do Kiss 95.1’s morning show in Charlotte in 1998.
While making the announcement on air Wednesday morning, Beams gave a nod to what that old show was all about.
“When we were on Kiss before,” he said, “we would just go on and talk for 13, 14 minutes at a time and not even play commercials. If we were hot, we’d be like, ‘Oh, put on all commercials in one pause.’
In May 2011, after being unable to agree on a new contract with CBS Radio, the duo left Kiss 95.1 – and due to a non-compete clause in their contract, they were not allowed to issue in Charlotte or negotiate with other locals. stations until December. So they spent six months streaming “The Ace & TJ Show” on computers and mobile devices, broadcasting their syndicated program from a rented studio.
They then spent over 9½ years as morning show hosts on Hits 96.1, before blowing up their formula last summer by taking their full show to the streaming world while also (initially) offering 60-second time stamps and (eventually) additional on-air content for 95.7 The Ride.
As for the return to Kiss 95.1, Cannon summed it up by visiting Beasley Media Group’s Southend studio saying, “It’s exciting. It’s really exciting. … They say “you can’t go home anymore”, but we go home in a very different way. And so it’s just an exciting time for us. We’ve been through a lot of changes over the past year, me in particular over the past two years. So… it’s fun. And today’s gonna be fun, and next week’s gonna be fun again After fun.”
This story was originally published July 13, 2022 8:01 a.m.