Longtime Morning Host Jason Dick Laid Off from 101X

Final half of Jason & Deb updates on their departure

Jason Dick at 101x (Courtesy of Jason Dick)

After nearly two decades of radio activity that brought multiple Austin Music Awards, Jason Dick – the ribald and irreverent host of various 101.5 KROX-FM morning shows – has left the airwaves.

In a Twitter thread posted early Friday morning, Dick announced that his contract with the station, also known as 101X Alternative Austin, “will not be renewed.” In an interview, the deejay tells the Chronicle that station managers Waterloo Media informed him of the news after his last show, on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“In this business, especially with an expiring deal, you kinda do every show like it’s your last,” he tells the Chronicle. “I’m proud of the show we did that day. I said the word ‘sexapalooza’ several times. I wouldn’t have wanted to do a grand send off anyway.”

Dick’s has worked with 101x his entire adult life, first hired by the station’s promo department in 2000 at age 18. Still a UT-Austin student, he made his first on-air appearance only a few months later, and became an official member of the Morning Show team shortly before graduating in 2004. Starting in 2006, Dick was paired with Deb O’Keefe as co-hosts of the morning Jason & Deb show.

Among multiple Best of Austin wins, the Chronicle wrote of the long-running drive time program in 2015: “The word ‘personality; is key… Brit Deb O'Keefe is a tattooed jock with a soft spot for unwanted dogs. Jason Dick is a big man with a big love of gambling and sports. Together they clash, click, and make it sound easy. Deb's crank calls aimed at getting an "I love you" from a stranger are comedy gold.”

Their program ran until February of last year, when O’Keefe was fired from the station. At the time, she posted on social media: “Our owner has extreme dislike for me, and used a petty reason to get rid of me… He is a petty, Trump loving moron, who has decimated our staff and affected our company [morale] horribly since he took over, and who has more money than sense.”

O’Keefe’s termination led to a rebranding as Jason Dick & Friends, with Emily Svahn filling in beside Dick and co-host/producer Nick Hajda. Now free of their titular ringleader, his former friends will lead a program once again rechristened as The Morning X, assumably accommodating any future shuffling of personnel. Like O’Keefe before, Dick expressed support for his colleagues in the social media post on his firing.

“On the day you get fired, it’s easy to be angry, and I wouldn’t say I was pleased, but my overwhelming emotion was gratitude for all the opportunities that company afforded me,” Dick tells the Chronicle. “As for my future, the problem with getting everything you ever wanted when you’re 23 is one day you might be 41 and not have it anymore – so I gotta figure out how to want again, or I’ll be homeless real quick.

“I have many interests, but I have to explore how to turn them into careers. So many people have said to me: ‘you’re such a huge talent, you can do anything you want.’ Maybe it’s my immense talent, but I perceive that as bullshit. If that’s the case, I’d like to play power forward for the Spurs.”

General manager Bruce Walden, speaking on behalf of Waterloo Media, declined to comment when the Chronicle reached out for a statement.

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Jason Dick, 101X, Deb O’Keefe, 101.5 KROX-FM, Jason & Deb, Waterloo Media

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