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V103's Ryan Cameron: Behind the mic

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ATLANTA -

The newest voice on Atlanta morning radio is really a longtime fixture of the local airwaves.  From his childhood listening to V103 to his college days at the University of West Georgia, Ryan Cameron says he always wanted to work in radio.  

Whether the mic is off or on, Cameron is either cracking up or cracking jokes.  The newly-crowned V103 morning show host says laughter is the key to ensuring that the average commuter can enjoy a little comic relief.  

"The goal is for people who are going to work-- not going to the south of France hooking up their yachts and eating caviar and lobster, they're going to work in a traffic mess-- to get them to work without them losing it," he explained.

Cameron and his former afternoon drive team launched their new show in early January.  He was tapped to replace Frank Ski, who ended his 14-year run in December.  After years of entertaining drivers on their ride home, Cameron says he's excited but truly humbled by the opportunity to keep them amused on their way to work.

"Going from the intern to the sixth morning man in the history of the radio station is very surreal to me," said Cameron.  

In 1990, he was a 26-year-old Blockbuster Video store manager doing standup comedy on the side.  He decided to step out on faith and pursue his childhood dreams of working in radio.  

"When I left to become an intern working for no money, the guy told me, ‘Are you crazy?  You're making $12,500 a year.  In two years, you'll be making 15!'" he said.

But the lure of $15,000 a year wasn't enough to keep Cameron at Blockbuster.  Instead, he volunteered to do anything anyone asked of him at V103.  As an intern, he says he was the guy who opened records and filed them—and brought everyone coffee.  That internship led to a lucky spot on the air, which eventually turned into his own show.

Then in 1995, the Atlanta native who had already established quite a following called it quits and left town for a radio gig in D.C. He returned to Atlanta in 1996 and in the two years that followed, he met the love of his life, got married, had two daughters and a son, three dogs and a turtle.  

He's become a fan favorite as the voice of the Atlanta Hawks, and racked up a host of accolades in his career.  But it's his Father of the Year Award that he cherishes most, given the trouble he had with his own dad.  

"My father was never there for me my entire life," Cameron said.  "He dealt with substance abuse his entire life."  

Cameron credits his mother Marolyn with teaching him the life lessons his father could not.  She's also the person who first forced Ryan to discover his sense of humor. Decades later, snappy comebacks are a staple of his career--- along with a mix of music, entertainment, news, current events, and of course laughter that will drive commuters to The Ryan Cameron Show.

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