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Bye Bye Bobby Bones

Popular KISS FM jock goes Nashville, but will I?
Abby Johnston, 1:50pm, Thu. Feb. 7, 2013

Bobby Bones’ show on KHFI 96.7 “KISS” FM represents everything I hate in radio personalities. For starters, it’s hard to justify four hosts struggling to name the Rolling Stones’ frontman during “Name That Tune.” Add in an ultra-conservative and a male chauvinist, and it just gets worse. That said, I listen to it every weekday morning, 6-10am.

When it was announced Monday that the locally-generated Top 40 syndicated program was moving to Nashville, I was struck with a sense of betrayal. Beginning Monday, the show can be heard on sister frequency KASE 100.7 FM, also 6-10am, and while it’s true I only dial in KISS once a day for the sole purposes of hearing morning banter, the show’s move may finally buck me as a listener.

Mostly, it’s the loss of proximity – common ground. When Amy recounted stories of her runs around South Austin, I wondered if we used the same routes. When they raved about Hopdoddy Burger Bar long after it became a SoCo mainstay, I sighed deeply for them being so out of touch.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that Bones was getting too big for Austin, and that’s a good thing. He assembled his own dream team and turned KISS FM’s negligible ratings into a national goldmine, far outscoring any other local show. His executive producer, Alayna, once interned at the show; he met co-host Lunchbox at a bar, and Amy during a talent search. Bones’ perfectionist tics are precisely the things that got him to Nashville.

The show feels like a conversation between friends, and that’s what kept me listening. I love to hate Lunchbox’s antiquated and misogynistic attitude toward women and his party-boy lifestyle. He’s the awful, insensitive brother that, despite everything, you know deep down has to care about something. Lunchbox’s foil, Amy, has captivated listeners with her struggle to have a child, and as she chokes up on air, I’ve shed tears with her.

Recently, listeners flooded the president of Haiti’s Twitter with personal appeals to let Amy bring back a Haitian orphan, true testament to how her story affected her audience. I also enjoy the infrequent commentary and self-deprecating humor from assistant producer Ray. Mostly, though, there’s Bobby, who through the years has revealed himself as one of the most genuine and open hosts on the radio. I wonder if he and his girlfriend will stay together.

Best of luck to the Bobby Bones team. While I’m not entirely sure your plan to bring “Austin to Nashville” is feasible, I expect that listeners like me might well be charmed – against all odds.

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