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After he was fired and before he left the station, outgoing KROQ morning personality Kevin Ryder, of “Kevin & Bean Show” fame, was given a chance to say farewell to listeners, on behalf of himself and six other members of his team that were suddenly let go. The five minutes he spent on the hour were as full of sentiment as you might imagine after a 30-year run at L.A.’s most enduring rock station — but the clearly tearful host also didn’t pull any punches when it came to what he thought of the management that cut them all loose.

“I’m truly baffled by KROQ’s cold, heartless attitude toward the people who built this station. They’ll say it’s just business, but for a long time, it wasn’t. For a long time, it was family and no business,” Ryder told the station’s shocked listeners. (Listen to the audio, below.)

“Our boss said, ‘You know, there’s never a good time for this.’ No — but there is a bad time for this, and it’s during a global pandemic when all the businesses are basically shutting down,” Ryder said. “It’s not a great time to be looking for a job. So the King of Mexico, Beer Mug, Omar, Old Man Ruben, Destiny — all of us were fired and we’ll have to look for work.”

After offering profuse thanks to fellow workers and the station’s listeners, Ryder said, “Along the way, the one criticism I’ve had about the station from day one is that they’ve always treated me, along with everybody else here, like we’re lucky to have jobs. And the management of the station uses that at times to be incredibly cruel to people. … There’s a lot of people who left because of the toxicity of what was going on here. … People who made huge contributions were discarded like they were trash, or left the station because, like I said, it was toxic. … Allie and Jensen and I worked for a long time. This is a ridiculous way for us to be treated as well. I have all the faith in the world in Allie and Jensen; they’re both incredibly talented people, but they didn’t deserve this from our station.”

Audio of Ryder’s final five minutes on the station was uploaded by Jay Tilles, former producer of the “Kevin & Bean” morning show, who’d been with KROQ since 1991 before leaving the station (and radio altogether) in March 2018. “The morning show I spent more than half my life building is no more,” wrote Tilles, who has worked on a planned documentary about the history of KROQ going back to the mid-1970s.

Sources say that, although Ryder said the entire crew of the morning show was being let go, Omar is an exception and will continue with the station.

The replacement morning show on KROQ, as reported by Variety in our earlier story, is “Stryker and Klein,” to be hosted by Ted Stryker and Kevin Klein. Stryker took to social media Wednesday to share his “conflicted feelings” about being moved from afternoons into the coveted morning slot. “I have the best coworkers a guy could ask for and they are being let go while I’m being told I’m starting mornings soon with Klein. … I’m feeling sad, anxious, nervous, upset and frustrated… I 100% understand what everyone is feeling.”

KROQ alumnus Jimmy Kimmel shared his dismay at the decision Wednesday, tweeting, “Shame on you KROQ ‘management’ for caring so little about the people who gave you so much. Especially now.”

 

The full text of Ryder’s farewell:

“I have something to say that’s very difficult. I’ve worked at KROQ for over 30 years, almost 31. I started the first day of 1990. Yesterday I got a phone call that  I and everyone here on the morning show at KROQ was fired, and it was a surprise to all of us. All of us: Me, Allie (MacKay), Jensen (Karp), the King of Mexico, Beer Mug, Old Man Ruben, even Power 106 board operator Destiny, who just started like three months ago. If they knew me, they were let go. Why were we fired? I don’t really know. This isn’t a joke, it actually happened.

“I would like to thank KROQ for allowing me to come on this morning and say goodbye, because a lot of people don’t get that chance. This radio station was built by a lot of people before me. A lot of those people are verified lunatics. The World Famous KROQ was built by lunatics. Rick Carroll, Rodney Bingenheimer, Richard Blade, Jed the Fish, our former program director Kevin Weatherly, who left about a month ago, Jimmy Kimmel, Matt Money Smith, Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew, Lightning, that guy Bean —RIP —(and) music director Lisa Worden. There’s so many different people; it’s an incomplete list, and there are too many people to mention and I don’t want to forget anyone. But they’ve been like family for a long time, and some of them are in the studio with me. And it’s crazy.

“The new people in charge now, they weren’t here for the building of the World Famous KROQ. I don’t think it means anything to them. It’s a numbers business, and there’s no family aspect to it anymore. It’s only numbers. But this place was built without numbers. It was musicians, artists, music, (and) the special relationship between the music, the station and our fans. There’s no other radio station on the planet that has had the support and the love of fans like KROQ has. You guys have been incredibly loyal and loving and giving. And many of you have literally grown up with us, because Bean and I are incredibly old.

“But I just wanted to take this time to say thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for connecting with our music, our lifestyle, our weirdness, for being along for the ride. We’ve talked many times about the charity that I help run, Friends and Helpers. Every single time when there’s a point where we needed you guys, we would tell you, and you would go overboard helping these sweet people escaping the abusive relationships. There aren’t words enough to say how grateful I am for your support — especially for that. Truthfully, it was an incredible privilege to have been able to create what we did, and all of us that worked at this station are extremely proud of what we accomplished. We still are. We always will be.

“Along the way, the one criticism I’ve had about the station from day one is that they’ve always treated me, along with everybody else here, like we’re lucky to have jobs. And the management of the station uses that at times to be incredibly cruel to people. Some of the more higher-profile ones have been Lisa May, Ralph Garman — you guys know those stories all too well. There’s a lot of people who left because of the toxicity of what was going on here. And look, with any great project, there (are) problems. So there were problems, and this station handled them poorly, at times. People who made huge contributions were discarded like they were trash, or left the station because, like I said, it was toxic.

“To everybody that worked here in any capacity, thank you. Allie and Jensen and I worked for a long time. This is a ridiculous way for us to be treated as well. I have all the faith in the world in Allie and Jensen, they’re both incredibly talented people, but they didn’t deserve this from our station.

“Our boss said, ‘You know, there’s never a good time for this.’ No — but there is a bad time for this, and it’s during a global pandemic when all the businesses are basically shutting down. It’s not a great time to be looking for a job. So the King of Mexico, Beer Mug, Omar, Old Man Ruben, Destiny, all of us were fired and we’ll have to look for work.

“I don’t understand all of that. We live in an incredibly polarized society where everybody’s screaming at each other and spewing hatred. And I’m truly baffled by KROQ’s cold, heartless attitude toward the people who built this station. They’ll say it’s just business, but for a long time, it wasn’t. For a long time, it was family and no business.

“I could spend all day on that, but I really just wanted to say thank you for listening, and for being part of this journey. Your loyalty has been very humbling and appreciated. And to everyone I’ve worked with, it’s been a crazy, fun ride. It had to end some time. Sorry it ended so suddenly. I’m sorry it happened like this. Now I’m gonna go sleep for about a week. Okay, bye.”