A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


KROQ Killed the Radio Star

KROQ 106.7 veteran radio host Kevin Ryder has announced his abrupt firing from the popular radio station

Morning commutes in Southern California are admittedly not the best part of waking up. As it usually goes, you leave the house late, and there’s 30 minutes of traffic. You’re probably combing your hair or applying makeup in between stop lights. Any entertainment that could take your mind off of the hectic drive to school or work at the crack of dawn would be welcome.

That’s where radio stations like KROQ come in. Or they did, at least.

The Los Angeles-based “World Famous” radio station KROQ, broadcasted on 106.7 FM, was home to a popular morning radio show known as “Kevin and Bean” with hosts Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter.

The alternative rock station aired the show from Jan. 2, 1990 to Nov. 7, 2019, until Baxter left the show in the fall of 2019. Known for being comical, lighthearted and sometimes a bit cheeky, the show was a staple in many SoCal residents’ morning routine, leading the pair to gain loyal listenership and even became inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. The show featured celebrity interviews, call-ins from listeners and even live music performances. After Baxter’s departure, the show continued on until 2020 as “Kevin in the Morning with Allie and Jensen on KROQ,” adding on hosts Allie MacKay and Jensen Karp.

It all came to an end, however, when KROQ fired their entire morning crew on March 17, 2020.

The list of fires includes Ryder, MacKay, Karp, producer Dave Sanchez, Jonathan Kantrowe and board operator Destiny Lopez.

Ryder posted a tweet on Mar. 18 describing what went down in the KROQ studios. “Hey party people! Not sure how to say this, so here it is: Yesterday, @kroq called every one of us on the morning show and told us we were fired,” Ryder tweeted. “There are 3 guys here to throw me out of the building (I couldn’t make this up).”

The question is, what would cause a station to let go of a host who had been with them for 30 years?

Ryder discussed possible reasons and motivations on Twitter, where he later tweeted that he assumed the firing was due to “ratings, which were down.” This isn’t uncommon, as radio stations have been losing a fight for engagement in recent times, especially with the spawn of podcasts and streaming services like Spotify. For Ryder though, there is more to the story than just ratings.

Before saying his final goodbye to fans on air, Ryder shared some of his personal feelings about the station.

“Along the way, the one criticism of the station I’ve had since day one is that they’ve always treated me, along with everybody else here, like we’re lucky to have jobs,” he said. “The management of the station uses that at times to be incredibly cruel to people … some of the more higher-profile ones — Lisa May, Ralph Garman — you guys know those stories all too well.”

Longtime KROQ personalities Lisa May and Ralph Garman, who were with the station for 18 years, were both previously fired by management. KROQ fired May in 2015 and then Garman later in 2017. Letting go of the morning crew might have only been a matter of time.

Fans of “Kevin and Bean” and “Kevin in the Morning with Allie and Jensen” have also had some choice words on the firing.

One Twitter user wrote in response to Ryder’s firing.

It’s dedication to local radio broadcasting that makes the industry what it is. The familiarity of “World Famous KROQ” coming through the car speakers before launching into a classic rock hit, the moment in entertainment history that the “Kevin and Bean” show held – it all contributes to the fan base. Being able to combine news, music and comedy for 30 years, all while developing a relationship with SoCal rock fans throughout the monotonous mornings, is incredibly special. For a major radio station to replace that, or try to replicate that, it makes you wonder: What’s next? What station will be next to drop their hosts’ morning shows or segments all together because of ratings?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Kevin in the Morning with Allie and Jensen” will now be replaced by “Stryker and Klein,” hosted by KROQ personalities Ted Stryker and Kevin Klein. It is set to run from 5 to 10 a.m.

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