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StarBulletin.com

She's a little bit country — and so is he


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POSTED: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dita Holyfield and Mike Gatlin are the official new morning team at country music station KHCM-FM 97.5, following a two-week tryout on the air.

The pair was promoted from within and the station plans a print and TV marketing campaign to promote them externally, said Jeff Coelho, general manager of Salem Media of Hawaii Inc., a unit of Calif.-based Salem Communications Corp.

The weekday show airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., after which Holyfield serves as local sales manager.

Gatlin, also known as Mike G, is the assistant program director for KHCM and works in commercial and other production for Salem's Honolulu station cluster, which also includes KHNR-AM 690, KAIM-FM 95.5, KGU-AM 760, KHUI-FM 99.5 and KKOL-FM 107.9.

One of the show's benchmarks is to give hometown temperatures in places other than Hawaii, twice an hour.

“;It's getting good e-mail response,”; Coelho said.

In addition to trying to appeal to the local community, the hosts hope to connect with listeners “;who are not from here, who are stationed here or who are from somewhere else, originally,”; Holyfield said.

Listeners who are far away from home find it a sort of touch-point.

Gatlin added, “;We're definitely making sure it's a Hawaii morning show, but also connecting with ... (the) good majority of our audience,”; that is from other places.

Holyfield is a performer and recording artist who has plied her country music trade in Hawaii for 18 years and has been with Salem for three years. Gatlin has worked in Hawaii radio for 16 years and has been at Salem for two.

Chemistry between any performers in any setting is important “;and it's really fortunate that we get along so well,”; Gatlin said.

“;He's the beauty and I'm the brains,”; said Holyfield.

Ryan's Grill extends lease

Ignore the rumor going around that Ryan's Grill at Ward Centre is going to close.

The parent company of the lone restaurant on the second floor just signed a lease extension.

“;I can tell you the rumor is not true,”; said Will Powers, vice president of marketing for Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited Inc., who spoke with the company's chief financial officer before returning TheBuzz's call.

Ryan's has enjoyed “;decades of very prosperous and very community-oriented growth.”;

He did not have details on the duration of the extension but said, “;we're doing quite well and are excited to extend that lease and continue to do business in Honolulu.”;