Gene “Bean” Baxter, the co-host of morning drive-time “The Kevin & Bean Show” on Los Angeles’ KROQ for nearly 30 years, announced on Wednesday that he is leaving the show later this year, and moving to England, his birth country, with his wife, Donna.
Baxter made the announcement at the beginning of the 7:00 a.m PST hour, before tweeting about his departure as well.
Just announced on the @KevinAndBean Show, after 30 years I am leaving the show at the end of the year to move back home to England, the ninth largest island in the world. Much more to come on this. ???????? pic.twitter.com/XjPfasWwJw
— KROQ's Bean (@clydetombaugh) March 6, 2019
Baxter and co-host Kevin Ryder debuted their show on Jan. 2, 1990, which rose to strong ratings behind a mix of comedy segments, interviews with rock and movie stars, and alternative rock hits from the ’90s and ’00s. “The Kevin & Bean Show” became a launching pad for several former contributors, including Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, “Psycho” Mike Catherwood, and radio host Matt “Money” Smith.
Baxter’s quirky personality and interest in the onetime-planet Pluto (his Twitter handle pays homage to Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto) and fascination with the U.S. Postal Service endeared him to listeners, while also leaving him vulnerable to jokes. For years, Baxter and Ryder have been the hosts of the Weenie Roast and Almost Acoustic Christmas, KROQ’s two biggest annual concerts, as well as April Foolishness, a yearly comedy show put on by “The Kevin & Bean Show.”
Baxter said that he plans on pursuing a radio job once he returns to England, although it might be difficult because of his “stupid American accent.” Baxter was born in the U.K. and moved to the U.S. decades ago. It’s unclear what direction the show will take at the end of the year once Baxter exits.
Baxter notoriously moved away from Los Angeles more than 15 years ago but continued to co-host the show from his home in Seattle, and later, New Orleans. He took several months off from the show in 2018 to deal with medical issues. Baxter and Ryder were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2015.
Ryder saluted his departing co-host on Twitter on Wednesday morning, saying “this will make [Baxter] happy. And that makes me happy.”
— Kevin Ryder (@thekevinryder) March 6, 2019