Editor’s note: This article was originally published November 25, 2013
Update: Mix 94.7 vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom provided the American-Statesman with this statement on the decision not to renew morning co-host JB Hager’s contract:
Today we are announcing that JB will no longer be a part of the JB and Sandy morning show. We thank JB for his service, his professionalism and for all the good he has done for people and the city of Austin. JB has made an incredible impact during his 17 years with MIX and we wish him all the best in the future. He will be missed.
Sandy, Sara and Alex are amazing talents to take the morning show forward. We are extremely excited about what the future will hold.
Everyone at Mix 94.7 is committed to delivering a top rated, fun and entertaining radio show, which will continue to deliver outstanding results for our clients and a high level of service to our community.
Earlier: JB Hager, one half of the long-running "JB and Sandy Morning Show" on 94.7 KAMX-FM, has departed the station after almost 18 years on the air.
Sandy McIlree, Hager’s friend and co-host, remains along with sidekicks Sara Osburn and Alex Franco.
McIlree made the announcement on the air this morning, telling listeners it was "a decision that was way over my pay grade."
"Our contract is up at the end of this year and our parent company Entercom has made a decision not to renew JB’s contract," McIlree said. "JB is a dear friend. I love JB Hager. Legally, I have to be here. I have to tell you JB won’t be back, and I don’t know how I’m going to do this."
McIlree, meanwhile, said he was unsure if he’d be sticking around.
Hager and station management weren’t immediately available for comment.
The move is the latest in a series of cost-cutting personnel shifts undertaken by managers at Mix 94.7. The station has switched from primarily live programming to an assortment of voice-tracked – or pre-recorded – hosts, including in high-profile afternoon and evening time slots.
Entercom’s other local stations include Majic 95.5, Talk Radio 1370 AM and the recently launched 96.3 RnB.
Hager’s exit comes during the station’s annual Bike for Kids campaign, which Hager and McIlree have overseen for years. Through listener contributions made in the coming weeks, Mix 94.7 will deliver hundreds of bicycles to needy Central Texas children this Christmas.
In the most recent Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) ratings period, Mix 94.7 placed 12th. Its morning ratings, however, are much higher.
Since starting at the station in 1996, Hager and McIlree have become one of the city’s best-known morning duos. They took their show to Dallas briefly, while remaining on Austin’s airwaves, and, more recently, spent almost two years on CBS affiliate KEYE-TV, where their radio show was simulcast from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.