Frank Ski, former host of top-rated morning show at Atlanta-based radio station V-103 (CBS affiliate), a position held for 14 years (1998 – 2012). But take a look beyond the radio station and you’ll find somewhat of a renaissance man, whose accomplishments and interests are as broad and intriguing as the many subjects he covers every day. With an ever-growing list of talents, Frank Ski is a well-known journalist, producer and DJ, actor, motivational speaker, tireless philanthropist and most importantly – a husband to wife Tanya and father to four boys. Born in Harlem and reared in Miami, Frank continues to transcend barriers of race, creed and culture.
A noted pioneer of hip-hop music in early years, Ski has remained a major influence and contributor to the music industry as a DJ and producer and, of course, through his influence in the radio industry. As a New York native, Ski came to Atlanta from Baltimore, where he hosted shows on V-103 Baltimore and 92Q FM, both top-ranked stations. At V-103 Atlanta, Ski’s show, “Frank & Wanda in the Morning”, drew more than 1.2 million listeners a week and consistently was a listener favorite, in part due to its humorous take on news and lifestyle issues, as well as its celebrity interviews and radio appearances. From Terrence Howard and Michael Jordan to Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Frank’s roster of celebrity interviews covered a wide range of actors, athletes, musicians and politicians.
Ski also has an established career as a distinguished journalist, having reported on several prominent news stories over the years. Career highlights include the final interview with Coretta Scott King, and an exclusive interview with convicted child murderer Wayne Williams, which helped to launch the reinvestigation of the Atlanta Child Murders. The interview and subsequent reopening of the case made national headlines. In 2002, the honorable Reverend Jesse Jackson presented Ski with the distinguished “Journalist of the Year” award on behalf of the Rainbow Push Coalition – a noteworthy career highlight.
Perhaps less central, but equally as notable, is Ski’s foray into acting. He made his acting debut in 1994 in the feature-length film Detention (teacher). He has also had roles in Big Ain’t Bad (celebrity, 2002), Motives (senator, 2004), The Gospel (supporting cast, 2005), ATL (radio personality, 2006), The Path (adult Zechariah, 2006) and Stomp the Yard (celebrity guest judge, 2007). In addition to his acting skills, Ski also brought his musical talent to the big screen as he contributed to soundtracks for The Player’s Club (1996), Ax’Em (2002), HBO’s The Corner (2000) and The Wire (2002).
When not on-air or in front of the camera, philanthropy is Frank Ski’s passion. He is well-known in Atlanta as a visionary who looks beyond merely handing over money to children’s programs, but works to develop children as intellectual, creative, confident young people. His history of helping people in need is long and impressive. He finds responsibility in his celebrity to reach out, and in his words, “foster a global sense of involvement”.
Ski has served as host and spokesperson for many charitable and educational initiatives including the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and, after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, he spearheaded an initiative to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for displaced families. In 2005 alone, Frank Ski raised nearly a half million dollars for Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry and Homeless and Metro Atlanta Respite & Development Services, a non-profit agency that assists children with special needs. He is also involved with Rainbow Push Coalition, The Latin American Association, AIPAC, 100 Black Men, the Executive Entertainment Coalition of Atlanta and serves on the board of directors of Hands on Atlanta, Leadership Atlanta & the Alliance Theater.
Ski’s most notable philanthropic venture is the Frank Ski Kids Foundation, which provides financial assistance to low-income youth applicants and youth-serving agencies to expand opportunities for educational, athletic and cultural learning. Since its inception, The Frank Ski Kids Foundation has provided once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children, including all expenses paid excursions to Rome and Florence Italy, The Amazon and to Ecuador to explore The Galapagos Islands and the Charles Darwin Research Station, as well as annual events such as the Youth Bowl and Kids Week. Hundreds of Atlanta’s youth benefit from the positive opportunities the foundation provides each year. As a result, The Frank Ski Kids Foundation has received numerous awards and honors including Black Enterprise Magazine’s National Community Champion Award.
While philanthropy is his life’s passion, Ski takes time to enjoy some healthy indulgences as well. His personal interests include international travel, gourmet food and wine collecting. Frank’s world travels, vast wine knowledge and love of great food and entertaining helped lay the foundation for his latest venture, Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge in Atlanta, GA. Ski’s 8,000 square foot restaurant/lounge concept debuted in the fall of 2011 in the heart of Buckhead.
An Atlanta resident of 14 years, Frank is married to Tanya Rodriguez and has four sons, Jarrett, Franklin, Blake and Harrison. Always one to promote giving back to his community, Ski emphasizes philanthropic work with his sons and teaches them about the responsibility he feels he has to the community. Leaving each place a little better than he found it, Frank Ski’s influence continues to grow not just in the Atlanta community, but around the world.