By Gary Dinges
JB Hager was already gone from 94.7 KAMX-FM. Now his former morning co-host Sandy McIlree is, too.
Mix 94.7 management announced this afternoon that the station has parted ways with McIlree effective immediately.
The two are among the city’s highest paid radio personalities.
Hager, who had co-hosted the Mix 94.7 morning show with McIlree for almost 18 years, revealed last week that his contract hadn’t been renewed.
Since then, McIlree and sidekicks Sara Osburn and Alex Franco have stayed on the air. Both Osburn and Franco will remain with the station, a spokesman said.
McIlree had previously said his contract was also up for renewal and that he wasn’t sure if he’d remain with the station.
“JB and Sandy have been part of Mix for 18 years, which is a lifetime in radio,” vice president of programming Cat Thomas said. “JB and Sandy made an indelible impact on our station, their audience and the city of Austin. But unfortunately, the declining performance of the show and the expense of the show no longer made economic sense, and we were unable to come to terms. We thank them for their work and wish them the best in the future.”
Figures from Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) show “The JB and Sandy Morning Show” placed eighth among listeners ages 25-54 and seventh among the key demographic of women ages 18-49 in November.
Thomas told the American-Statesman that a new host has been hired and will be revealed soon, and that Osburn and Franco will continue to be a part of the station’s morning show. They’ll handle hosting duties by themselves on an interim basis until year’s end.
“We’re excited about the future of Mix in 2014 and our new morning show,” Thomas said. “We’re pleased to announce that Alex and Sara will be staying and we will continue to play the best music our audience loves. However, we are delaying the formal announcement of our host as we work out the final details of the new show.”
Mix 94.7 is owned by Pennsylvania-based Entercom Communications. Entercom’s other local stations include Majic 95.5, 96.3 RnB and Talk Radio 1370 AM.
The decision to discontinue the Mix 94.7 morning show comes during the station’s annual Bikes for Kids campaign, which raises money each year to buy bikes for hundreds of needy Central Texas children.
Bikes for Kids will go on without Hager and McIlree, Entercom officials said.
“Bikes for Kids remains a part of the fabric of our station,” Thomas said. “It will absolutely continue.”
Since starting at Mix 94.7 in 1996, Hager and McIlree had 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.