In his first official gig since KROQ fired him in March, Ryder will partner with Mike Catherwood to host “Great News with Kevin & Mike” starting January 4. “Great News” will be distributed as both a video series on YouTube but also as an audio podcast. The show is reunion of sorts for Ryder and Catherwood, who spent several years as a board operator on “Kevin & Bean” and regularly appeared on that show.
“I really connect with those stories that there are still good people out there, and still doing good things, and if everybody was like that, this life would be a lot better,” Ryder said. “There are endless stories. You just have to look a little bit. It’s just such a difference from watching the news, reading Twitter, going on Instagram, it just seems like it’s much more needed right now. It’s just kind of a natural way to evolve for me.”
As of this month, Ryder is now free to pursue other opportunities, having still been under contract with Entercom until the end of November. The company continued to pay out the remainder of his contract after pulling his show, “Kevin in the Morning with Allie & Jensen,” off the air in March. (“Kevin in the Morning” launched in January as the successor to “Kevin & Bean,” after co-host Gene “Bean” Baxter left KROQ to move to London.)
He’s the latest “Kevin & Bean” alum to launch a new project in recent months, as a bit of a “Kevin & Bean” creative universe has emerged. Baxter and former “Kevin & Bean” player Allie Mac Kay are now hosting a three-times-a-week podcast on Patreon, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat,” while former “K&B” producer Dave Sanchez, imaging director Omar Khan and board op Jonny “Beer Mug” Kantrowe created the weekly show “Jankytown,” and former co-host Jensen Karp is also behind several podcasts. They join another ex-“K&B” player, Ralph Garman, who has hosted “The Ralph Report” on Patreon since 2018.
Catherwood is also a prolific podcast host, with shows including “Mikey Likes You.”
“When I was out of work, and I was just thinking about what to do, who I would want to do it with, I just thought Mike would be a perfect person for this project,” Ryder said. “He’s one of those few people that’s really funny but also a good guy. And a lot of times you have to pick between the two.”
Ryder is working with a production team to assist with the technical equipment and studio space to get “Great News” on YouTube, with an eye toward eventually finding a partner. “I’m paying for the costs as the business, and we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “Because it’s on YouTube, it’s going to be produced television, and hopefully at some point we’ll be able to sell it to somebody, such as a streaming service or local TV.”
Ryder is producing “Great News” through his new company, I’m a Kid. Through the company he has also spent much of the year writing a book about his three decades at KROQ and his wild ride there, from being caught in the 1990 Depeche Mode near-riot at Wherehouse Music to the time “Kevin & Bean” almost caused an international incident by prank dialing French president Jacques Chirac.
“My timetable was to finish in time for Christmas, but I wanted to make sure I do it right,” he said of the book, which is about 80 percent done. “That’s taken discipline, because you have to do a lot of research, call people that were there, talk to different people and find out what it was like from their vantage point. So I decided not to put myself on a timetable and just really try to do it right, and finish it that way.”
Beyond the book and “Great News,” Ryder is mulling other opportunities as well, and currently on a bit of a podcast tour — including reuniting with Baxter and Mac Kay to discuss his new show on “A Cup of Tea and a Chat.” But don’t expect a “Kevin & Bean” reboot anytime soon, even though Ryder and Baxter remain in close contact and ended their 30-year partnership amicably.
“Honestly hasn’t the guy done enough, working with me for 30 years?” Ryder quipped. “We get along well, we talk, we text, we’re good. But there’s nothing that says he has to work with me again. And so I just feel like I’m good and he’s good and as long as we’re happy and we’re moving along. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen in the future but because we really do have a strange chemistry. I’m absolutely not against working with Bean again but I don’t think it’s for us right now. And I think that’s okay because neither of us are upset about it, neither of us are angry at each other and neither of us are ruling out something in the future but for right now it’s just, I think, having more projects [for ‘Kevin & Bean’ fans] is better than fewer.”