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Morning host Bryan Beck departs KGSR

Gary Dinges, Static

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Former 98.1 KVET-FM Bob Cole's noncompete clause is up.

Music lovers gathered March 17 at the W Austin Hotel for 93.3 KGSR-FM's live South by Southwest broadcast featuring Keane and others got a shock when DJ Bryan Beck told them he's leaving the station.

"There was an audible gasp in the room, then I got a very nice round of applause," Beck told me. "My hands were shaking. My knees were weak. I felt like I did when I bungee jumped. I was scared to death."

Host of KGSR's morning show for the past five years, Beck, 47, will move to the San Francisco area later this year. He's been with the station since 1987, previously working the 9 a.m. to noon shift.

Beck's wife, a financial adviser, is from the Bay Area, he said, and the two have an opportunity to move into a home belonging to her family.

Neither has a job lined up just yet.

"I was born and raised in Texas and never thought I'd leave, but we have an opportunity to begin a new life out there," he said. "I'm going to wait and see what happens."

Over the next few months, Beck said he plans to catalog the many artist interviews he's conducted over the years — some so old they're on digital audio tapes and cassettes.

And, as you might expect, he'll enjoy being able to sleep in.

"KGSR has been very good to me," Beck said. "It has been an amazing ride."

The return of Bob Cole?

I have some good news for all the folks who've been asking about former 98.1 KVET-FM morning host Bob Cole.

A presence on Austin's airwaves for more than two decades, Cole posted a message to his many fans on Facebook on Sunday:

"Just wanted to thank everyone for all the kind words and support these last three months.

"My non-compete period is now over and my 'freedom' is now here. I'm outta jail — and hope to have some news to share in the next few weeks!

"I'll come here to Facebook first to 'break' any news — as soon as I have it."

$35,000 raised for cancer center

NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM reports its live South by Southwest broadcasts brought in more than $35,000 for the Seton Shivers Cancer Center — more than double last year's total.

The station welcomed a number of SXSW artists, including Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kat Edmonson, Justin Townes Earle and Ruthie Foster, to the Four Seasons Hotel Austin on March 15-18. Listeners gained access by making a $10 donation to the cancer center.

More than 3,400 music lovers showed up, according to a KUT spokeswoman.

"We're thrilled to have doubled our fundraising total since last year," said Rob Hagelberg, general manager of the Four Seasons. "It's so great to see the community come together to enjoy live music and to help support Central Texans living with cancer."

Around the dial ...

"The Bobby Bones Show's" annual dodgeball tournament happens Sunday at the IMT Monterey Ranch apartments, 4701 Staggerbrush Road. More details at 967kissfm.com. ... Speaking of Bobby Bones, the morning host is now heard in more cities. WRGV-FM, a station serving Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., has picked up his show. ... Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.

Contact Gary Dinges at gdinges @statesman.com or 912-5987

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