Big D & Bubba find new radio home in East Texas

Radio duo set to return to East Texas airwaves on Monday, Aug. 9
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 8:05 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 7:34 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Big D & Bubba radio show will return to East Texas airwaves on Monday, Aug. 9, on KKUS 104.1 The Ranch, according to the show’s executive producer.

“This is the fastest we’ve ever replaced a lost affiliate,” said Patrick Thomas, President of Silverfish Media and Executive Producer for Big D & Bubba. “We couldn’t have done it without the outpouring of support from the community.”

Big D & Bubba will replace current KKUS morning show host Charlie O’, who is moving to afternoons starting Monday, Aug. 9.

The move to The Ranch comes after the duo was replaced on competitor 101.5 KNUE with a local morning show on Monday, Aug. 2, after a 21-year run.

The change was immediately met with pushback on social media from longtime listeners.

Derek “Big D” Haskins and Sean “Bubba” Powell talked about the end of their East Texas radio run in an interview with KLTV on Tuesday. They said they were contacted by KNUE leadership about two months prior to being taken off the air.

“They contacted us and said that they were going to get out of our contract. And, let us go basically,” said Big D.

And while the end of their run on KNUE wasn’t quite as abrupt as some on social media had assumed, that didn’t make it any less of a difficult or disappointing end for the duo.

“We never got to say goodbye, say thank-yous. It was really one of those things that hit us hard,” said Powell. “This is family. We’ve known these folks, people throughout East Texas. And to not even be able to say goodbye was the hardest part.”

“Big D & Bubba” is a syndicated show, originating in Nashville. It first hit the air in Tyler-Longview on KNUE in 2000, making the station one of their oldest affiliates.

Carleen Dark, Tyler Market President for Townsquare Media, said the radio duo was aware of their impending exit from KNUE.

“I’m not sure why they say they didn’t get a chance to say goodbye when they knew when,” she said. “And for whatever reason, they chose not to do something. I really couldn’t speak as to why they would feel like they didn’t have a chance, because I know they did.

Dark says the decision to stop airing the show was not a decision to save money, but a decision to focus on East Texas.

“We believe the best way to super-serve our audience and our market is to be local,” she said. “This was a decision that was absolutely not made lightly by any means and there were a lot of people involved in the decision making. It was talked about and researched for months and months before the decision was made.”

And while she understands that change is difficult, it is Dark’s hope that East Texas listeners give KNUE’s new morning team a chance.

“I think that the more they listen, and the more they see how involved in the community this team will be, and some of the positive things they will be able to do right here locally, not being based out of Nashville. I think people will come around.”

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