Late Thursday morning, when Gene “Bean” Baxter says goodbye to Los Angeles, millions of morning commuters will lose a longtime companion. After nearly 30 years as one half of drive-time’s “The Kevin & Bean Show” on famed modern-rock station KROQ-FM, Baxter will hang his headphones on the mike stand one last time.
Baxter and Kevin Ryder have hosted “Kevin & Bean” continuously since New Year’s Eve 1989. As freshmen in one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, the pair had never hosted a morning show. Initially considered a failed experiment, “Kevin & Bean” worked its way up the Arbitron ratings one decimal point at a time and first landed the coveted No. 1 ranking in the market in 2003. Along the way, the show has boosted the careers of “Kevin & Bean” alumni including late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, comedic nerd Chris Hardwick, Fox Business News host Kennedy and podcast giant Adam Carolla.
The two have interviewed some of rock’s biggest stars, from Billie Eilish, the Foo Fighters, Jack White and Radiohead to Tori Amos, Arcade Fire, Green Day and U2.
“The most surprising thing about the hundreds of emails that I’ve gotten in the last few weeks,” says Baxter, “is how many people have been listening for all 30 years. It’s extremely humbling and extremely gratifying. And it makes leaving hard — hard for them and hard for me to give up that relationship.” (The show, which ranked 15th among morning shows in the L.A. market according to the October Nielsen ratings, will continue with Kevin as host; the station has not announced if it will appoint a new cohost.)
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