KROQ’s Ted Stryker says goodbye during final show after 22 years at FM radio station
Ted Stryker wrapped up his final shift as host of the Stryker & Klein Show on Tuesday with the same easygoing charm that marked his 22 years on the air at KROQ FM (106.7).
There were lots of laughs as Stryker and the rest of the morning crew — Kevin Klein, Ally Johnson and DJ Omar Kahn — remembered highlights from shows past, took calls from listeners and played music by the radio personality’s favorite bands.
“There is no way I could have lasted in this job 22 years without incredible support from everyone I’ve worked with, but also the artists,” Stryker said, before sharing an anecdote about being the first DJ at the station to play Linkin Park years ago.
“I remember I was filling in for the afternoon host — I was doing nights — that was Jed the Fish, a legend,” he said. “They said I could play whatever I wanted to so I played ‘One Step Closer.’ Any time I hear Linkin Park and think about the band, I just get really great feelings.”
Then, after playing “One Step Closer” one last time, he took calls from listeners, thanking them for their support over the years.
“I’m only 23 years old, so I’ve been listening to you all my life,” a caller named Gwen told him.
“You’ve worked here at the station one full Gwen,” Klein joked.
“We’re losing a good guy, best of luck, buddy,” said caller Tim.
At one point, Stryker offered a list of some of the reasons that led him to leave the show.
“This is not a comedy bit. These are real reasons, but only 8 or 10 percent of the 100 reasons,” he said.
His list was, well, unusual, and if you can figure out what it means let us know: The movie “Palm Springs,” the TV series “Mad Men,” the city of Palm Springs, Idaho, System of a Down, the Quentin Tarantino movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” the Interrupters, longtime ESPN host Kenny Mayne, Zoom, “The Karate Kid “actor William Zabka, the TV series “Lost,” and Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser of ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption.”
“It’s a weird list probably for you, but not for me,” Stryker said at the finish.
“When Stryker spat out this list of random things, it only made him sound more and more like a serial killer,” Klein cracked.
The 50-year-old radio personality has not yet said exactly what he plans or hopes to do next.
“I want to be on record for the 700th time: there is no ill relationship within this show,” he said. “This is about personal and professional goals that I cannot meet in this operation, and I’m going to attempt to meet them in the next chapter of my life.”
His cohosts had put together a handful of pre-recorded comedy bits to tease their colleague and friend throughout the final show. One took shape as a faux news radio story on the similarities between Stryker and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also left his job, as CEO of the company, after more than two decades in the saddle.
“What’s next?” the newscaster said at one point. “Well, Bezos is planning to fly to outer space. Stryker is planning to watch ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and eat a cookie.”
He laughed, and agreed that was probably true.
A few minutes before 10 a.m., Stryker said his final farewells.
“This is it, I’m officially signing off,” he said. “And again, I’m not retiring from life. I’ve got a ton of energy. I’ve got a ton of things brewing both professionally and personally.”
He thanked colleagues past and present at the station for making his life and work there a fun ride.
“No matter what you do in your life, your world, your career, you can’t last anywhere for any length of time without people around you who allow you to work,” Stryker said. “It’s their support — people set it up for me on a tee. I just had to hit if off the tee.
“So thank you for allowing me to grow up in front of your eyes and ears the last 22 years,” he said as he cued up his final song, Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).”
“It’s been a wild, wild ride, man.”