The longevity of the 53-year-old broadcast personality Bert Weiss was touted July 17. He was celebrated for his 20 engaging, hilarious and honest years of The Bert Show. For loyal early birds, with a heavy female audience, Weiss airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. to an estimated 1 million people a week.
The radio personality has morphed and modernized with a diverse and young staff, social media, apps and podcasts. Thriving over two decades, staff, media, and selected friends and family gathered at 5Church Atlanta at the renovated Colony Square with an indoor/outdoor soiree.
Born in Brooklyn, Weiss began his professional career in San Diego where he was a research assistant and in the promotions department, working his way up to being a sidekick. He ultimately landed in Atlanta in March 2001, spreading his wings as the headliner.
Staying on top of his game and expanding his reach, Weiss’ show syndicated in 2010 to 25 markets such as Nashville and New Orleans. As part of Cumulus Media for the past 16 years, Bert appeared on the cover of Atlanta magazine in 2005: “The Bert Show, Yes, It’s Tacky, But We Can’t Stop Listening.”
Weiss keeps the show lively and unscripted with gossip, prank calls, true confessions, love triangles, comments on cheating hearts, and titillating high jinx. He is beloved because of his own “skin in the game” foibles, including his drinking, vasectomy and divorce.
5Church was elaborately decorated with large turquoise and smaller, gray-striped balloon arches, monogrammed Bert Show pillows, and glowing table cubes. COVID was taken very seriously as guests had to pre-register their vaccine status earlier in the week and show proof at the door. Those without proof, were given an on-the-spot COVID test.
Music blared and the indoor-outdoor setting allowed for the cool breeze on such a pleasant night. Outdoors, the photo-op stage light scripted “STAY SEXY.” A gracious wait staff served tuna tartar, truffled devil eggs, spanakopita, sliders and the like before the main dining area opened into a multi-level pasta bar.
The inside and main stage area TVs played ongoing videos of Weiss’ antics, such as trying on an elegant wedding gown, wearing a fake pregnancy stomach pillow, and most importantly, scenes of his well-executed charity Bert’s Big Adventure. The organization started in 2003 and treats children from 5 to 12 who are chronically or terminally ill with proven financial need to a five-day trip to Disney World, all expenses paid. “BBA” is estimated to have supported over 160 families in the United States. Families may receive a chartered flight to Orlando, park passes, the whole nine yards. For this, he was the recipient of an 11Alive Community Service Award.
Camaraderie and emotion filled the room as Weiss mingled easily with guests. Friend Don Anthony said, “Bert is one of a kind. I put him high up on a shelf by himself.”
Weiss’ attorney, both personal and professional, Scott Merlin, and wife Jessica Schwartz Merlin, a school counselor, have vacationed with Weiss.
Scott said, “Bert is a phenomenal father. He is genuinely nice. Men like him are hard to come by. As accomplished as he is in the entertainment world, Bert is still modest, humble and easy to work with.” Audio producer K. Lee exclaimed, “Bert is one awesome dude!”
Read our private convo with the star:
AJT: What are your fav places to hang out?
Weiss: Well, this is about to change. I’ve lived inside the perimeter for 20 years and I’m in the process of moving to Suwanee. I loved the BeltLine, but looking forward to spending time on the greenway.
AJT: What are some surprises we might see in the future?
Weiss: Life is one big surprise, isn’t it? Heck if I know what’s coming.
AJT: To what do you owe your success?
Weiss: Being vulnerable, authentic and hiring amazing, gifted people to be part of the staff.
I thought the Saturday party was a sensational evening. I don’t really take the time to reflect on the success that the show has because it doesn’t feel over. I’m bad at that. But it felt fantastic to relive the past 20 years and embrace what this show has done over 20 years and how special and impactful it has been.
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Bert Weiss
- Rett Thompson
- The Bert Show
- 5Church Atlanta
- Colony Square
- Beverly Hills
- San Diego
- New Orleans
- COVID Test
- Bert’s Big Adventure
- Disney World
- Community Service Award
- Don Anthony
- Scott Merlin
- Jessica Schwartz Merlin
- K. Lee