KROQ's Lisa May Talks About Her Dismissal From the Kevin & Bean Show

KROQ's Lisa May
Consumers are creatures of habit. They like what they like and if there's not an excellent reason to change the product, don't do it. This is a lesson many companies have learned the hard way (remember New Coke?), yet so many businesses seem doomed to make that same mistake again and again. As the old adage goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

On February 20, the hosts of The Kevin & Bean Show (a popular morning radio program on Los Angeles' KROQ station) had their New Coke moment. They told listeners that they had decided to discontinue news and traffic and would be letting go their newsman Doc on the Roq and the show's popular female personality (and traffic reporter) Lisa May (for the backstory, click HERE and HERE).

Since then, fans have been extremely outspoken about the changes (many deciding to change stations and abandon the show altogether). Sadly, the radio hosts have tried to dismiss the backlash as feedback from a "vocal minority," but longtime fans of the show know better.

Today, I could not be more thrilled to bring you the very first, post-firing interview with Lisa May herself. She talks candidly about her removal from the show, the incredible fans, Boner (her dog), the studio cats, and the future of Lick Lisa.

Q: When it was announced that you'd no longer be with the Kevin & Bean (K&B) show, your fan base bombarded social channels to say how upset they were about the decision. Were you surprised by the outpouring of support?
Lisa May: I thought there would be some reaction, of course, but I honestly had no idea that people would react so strongly. It was amazing and wonderful and probably kept me from crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head for several days. 
Q: It was the universal consensus among fans that you were more than the traffic reporter on the show, but a full-fledged member of the morning team. Do you feel as though the K&B show undervalued the contribution you made to the program?
Lisa May: The whole reason K&B brought me into the studio from the Metro Traffic studios (aka Total Traffic) was because I was already functioning as more than a traffic reporter on the show. No, I believe they thought of me and treated me as a full-fledged member of the show. But they clearly miscalculated my impact on the show based on their decision to let me go and the fact that they were so unprepared for the reaction they got. 
Q: Do you think it's a fair assessment to say people in Los Angeles don't need traffic reports on the radio?
Lisa May: No, I think that's ridiculous. Waze is fine, but I only use it if I'm in the car with someone else. It's really dangerous to try to drive and use Waze. All the other morning shows still do traffic. I listen to traffic reports when I get in the car, and a lot of listeners have told me they really miss the reports, and that they saved them from getting stuck many times
Q: Are you currently on friendly terms with Kevin, Bean, and Ralph? Any hard feelings?
Lisa May: Both Kevin and Bean have reached out. Kevin sent me an email the day after I was let go and we wrote back and forth several times. He clearly feels very bad about how everything went down. Bean sent me a card on Taylor Swift stationary expressing the same thing and asked me to call him. I gave him a call last week and he said the same thing as Kevin, more or less. Then we discussed Downton Abby, like we do. 
Q: Fans were shocked/hurt/outraged when Ralph started blocking them on Twitter for supporting you. How did you feel about that?
Lisa May: I was pretty shocked, too, and I think it just inflamed already hurt feelings even more. I imagine he wasn't expecting the listeners to respond the way they did, and didn't really think it through - just reacted. I believe he addressed it the following week on the air and said he was just protecting himself from the angry messages. 
Q: Bean likened your departure to Saturday Night Live, with people coming and going from the show. Do you think that's an accurate comparison?
Lisa May: No, I don't. And that comment was a little upsetting. Obviously when Jimmy Kimmel left and Matt Money Smith and Psycho Mike left, they made the decision to go. And they were and still are loved and celebrated, and welcomed on the air and at KROQ shows. I, on the other hand, will never be welcomed to go on stage at an April Foolishness to introduce an act. So bad comparison, Bean! 
On the other hand, if he's just referring to the show, then yes, people have come and gone and the show has survived just fine. And I'm sure it will survive my departure as well, although a lot of listeners have left.
Q: Have you listened to the new show with Allie MacKay? Do you believe there is anything she's bringing to the show that you couldn't have, given the opportunity?
Lisa May: Any new person will bring new things to the show, just by virtue of being a different person and having different interests and strengthsI listened the first few days that she was there, but she was just finding her way at that point, so she can't be judged based on that. I haven't listened since then so I don't know what she's bringing to the table.
Bean did tweet a response to a listener the other day that I thought was interesting - the listener said they were upset I wasn't there, they didn't enjoy the show as much, and they weren't going to listen anymore. And Bean's response was "the show is 98% the same" which begs the question - two questions really - was my impact only worth 2% and if the show is going in a new direction, why is it still 98% the same?
Q: Not only are listeners upset that you're no longer with the program, most feel you weren't shown the respect you deserved (especially after being with the show for 24 years). Do you think there were things within K&B's power that they could and should have done differently? If so, what?
Lisa May: This type of thing doesn't happen in a few days. Meetings have to happen, contracts have to be negotiated. I believe this all started at the beginning of 2015 - maybe even before that. There was plenty of time to discuss how they wanted this to play out, but I don't think that happened. I know they felt really terrible about the way it all went down, but based on our friendship, I think they could have come to me. They said that the lawyers told them they couldn't and I'm sure that's true, but they know me well enough to know I wasn't going to sue or say something before it all happened.
But the way this played out, although I've done nothing wrong, it's like I left in disgrace. And even going back into the station would be incredibly uncomfortable, though I have friends who work there. 
Q: Many devoted fans and longtime listeners are boycotting the K&B show due to your departure. Countless others say the show has lost that something special it once had. What would you like to say to your hardcore supporters?
Lisa May: Those wonderful, amazing people have truly lifted me up and I'm trying to get back to each of them individually to thank them (I'm still not caught-up on that but I'm determined to do it). Rather than leaving the show, feeling like I failed in some way, they've helped me to feel like I have a place in L.A. radio and their response has led to some programmers in town getting in touch with me to see what I might want to do next. So whatever my next job is - I know it will be thanks to all the wonderful love and support I've gotten from listeners. 
Q: What, if anything, do you miss most about being a part of the K&B morning program?
Lisa May: I miss the camaraderie. All the inside stuff that happened before the mics were turned on. Also, meeting all the guests and not only what they said on the air, but the delicious stuff they said off the air. I can never repeat any of it, but the juicy gossip was so much fun! And meeting all the listeners at the shows was always a blast. We never got to do enough of that. 
Q: If asked back to the show, would you go?
Lisa May: No. It would feel like a step backwards. I'm looking forward to doing something that challenges me in new ways, and lets me fully express myself.
Q: With unemployment comes a clean slate. If you could do anything for a career now, what would it be and why?
Lisa May: Initially, I thought about doing something different - everyone knows how much I love animals and I considered doing something that involved dogs. And I've thought about other things, too. But I got to guest-host on the Phil Hulett and Friends Show last week and it reminded me of how much I really do love radio. It's for the same reason that I love theater - it's live and anything can happen, and often does. So my hope is to stay in radio. I'm really thinking about the kind of show I want to do, and talking to some people who are interested in my plans. 
Q: Listeners know you looked after the cats near the KROQ studio. What's going to happen to the cats now?
Lisa May: When I went into the station to get fired (or laid off, as they say) I knew what was going to happen although no one had actually told me at that point, so I brought all the cat food I had in my car. And after the "incident" I took the food into Aissa Juarez's office. She's the marketing director and a huge cat love. I left the food on her desk and sent her an email when I got home asking her to make sure they were fed and watered every day. I really miss those little buggers!
Q: What does Boner think about your new schedule and you being around early in the morning?
Lisa May: He's in my lap right now. Under my sweatshirt. That's how he spends every morning and he seems very happy about it.  
Zzzzz. Boner's tired. He's heard all this before.
Q: With Beer Mug out of the picture, is your boyfriend poised to take over Lick Lisa duties?
Lisa May: He always has, and no pesky rules. :)
Q: When fans look back on your time with the K&B show, what do you hope they remember about you?
Lisa May: From what they've expressed, I think I'm very happy about the way I'm already being remembered. Listeners say I was always happy to meet them and talk to them, I who responded to their emails - be they complaints or words of praise. I spoke up on the show when the guys were getting stupid and ridiculous and put them in their place. I wasn't afraid to make a fool out of myself (let's remember the Linkin Park - "shut up when I'm talkin' to you" scream)and I loved to laugh. A lot. 
Q: Any final words?
Lisa May: The ugly ending can't erase 24 years of time spent with wonderful, funny, talented people. And also K&B.  Just kidding!
But seriously, I'm really grateful for my time at KROQ - I always knew I had an amazing job and never took it for granted and I knew we had the best listeners ever. And now I know I have many, many wonderful friends - most of whom I've never even met -  who are rooting for me and are excited to hear about what's next in my life. It doesn't get any better than that!

Be sure to follow Lisa May on Twitter to stay connected and hear about her future projects. Also, you can hear Lisa May on the Alison Rosen is My New Best Friend podcast, available for download on Monday, March 23.

UPDATE: Lisa May will be stopping by the Heidi and Frank Show on KLOS this Tuesday morning, March 24.

32 comments:

  1. Awesome interview and great insight into Lisa as a person. Really hope she lands something cool soon.

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  2. Millicent B AccardiMarch 17, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    Thanks Lisa May for this interview! One thing that still angers me is how BADLY Kevin and Bean handled this. It was as if Lisa left in disgrace. How difficult would it have been to end the contract on amicable terms or to allow Lisa May to resign? This happens ALL THE TIME. Then, she could have still been a part of the KROQ family if she wanted (returning to promote events or guest hosting). BUT, now, all ties are severed. I think THAT more than anything is what angered fans. After Lisa May's 24 years of contribution to the show, she clearly deserved better! Shame on Kevin and Bean.

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  3. The very best thing about this whole mess is getting to see JUST how amazing Lisa is as a person, not just a radio personality. But as a radio personality? What a pro. Onward and upward, Lisa May!

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  4. Millicent B AccardiMarch 17, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    And the worst thing is seeing how awful K&B actually are. I had thought so much better of them.

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  5. This just reinforces how much I love her.

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  6. Great interview!

    Although I've never met Lisa, she really seems to be the definition of class. She's only looking forward, which is about the healthiest thing one can do in this situation.

    I also saw Bean's "2%" tweet...thought he was better than that. But he's not.

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  7. Awesome interview. I'm glad Lisa chose this as her way to share her views on her being fired. Can't wait to hear what's next for our Lisa May. :-)

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  8. LISA MAY a total class act from day one till now...
    FUNNY how in the K&B rebuttal where THEY addressed what happened etc., Ralph acted like an persecuted innocent... and how only a MINOR amount of kroq listeners were mad about lisa getting fired... K&B eat a DICK!

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  9. EXACTLY!!!! LET'S NOT FORGET how awful RALPH IS TOO! blocking lisa may supporters? acting like he wasn't a supporter of allie mckay claiming he knew nothing about her but in the same "rebuttal" later revealed he had been planning on utilizing her background in voiceover work to add to their RIDICULOUS fake news bits...

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  10. I love you Lisa May. You're too good for Kroq. Those bastards.

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  11. Lisa May; I really miss you on the show; I've tried to listen; but I still feel a bit angry about it. I may go back; who knows. It just sucks this happened and more than anything im really disappointed in some if the guys reactions; especially Ralph. Lame, just lame.

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  12. When they played my AFRO line call about chocolate after Lisa May was able to taste and identify flavors and she responded all horrified I was so happy to even have that tiny bit of interaction with her. I have since switched to another morning show and miss hearing her talk. Great interview.

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  13. Ralph seriously is a douche. Who only cares about himself. COMPLETE LIAR ABOUT EVERYTHING! Trying to play the innocent victim through this whole Lisa May being fired BS. In the k&b rebuttal, Ralph claimed he knew nothing about Allie Mackay but by the ending segment after 2 commercial breaks, he screwed up his own lie, and went on and on about Allie's impressive voice over work and how he had been intending on making her part of his HORRIBLY done impersonation bits.

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  14. I hope your next move is great for you.

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  15. Boo, I thought Lisa was on vaca. I was listening the other day thinking "this substitute is trying way to hard, can't wait for lisa to come back. So sorry Lisa !

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  16. Lisa, you are a great person.
    I wish you the best for your next gig.
    It was very disapointing to hear K&B cowardly justify the firing.
    If they seriously think this is a way to improve the show, in any way, they are deluded.
    I can't listen to the show anymore because no matter how good it is, I can't get over the fact they let down their coworker of 25 years in a very ugly way :(

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  17. Kevin and Bean are radio dinosaurs who have to realize that their time is nearly up. KROQ's demographic will eventually get wise and realize that these guys have been on the air so long because they surrounded themselves with talent. Ralph is the show right now, but on several occasions he has proven himself to be quite a dick.
    Lisa May was, and will always be, the heart of the show. And without heart, they will only be around for so long. Tick tock tick tock, K&B...

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  18. Lisa, you will find your niche without those A-holes! 💔 Miss you... not listening to the K&B show.

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  19. If they had to get rid of someone it should have been ralph. He is annoying at best

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  20. Lisa, all the best to you and your future endeavours. We will continue to support you.

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  21. i miss listening to K&B, but, like lisa, i think there is just no going back :( … dicks ruin everything for everybody

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  22. I agree with a previous comment. Kevin and Bean are rapidly approaching their 60's and the show's days were already numbered. The ugly departure of a beloved team member is only expediting the show's demise.

    They clearly made an egregious miscalculation upsetting the chemistry to the extent they have. Their target demographic should be aging with them. Trying to hold a younger demographic (when you're 50+) is pathetic (think Dick Clark's last few New Year's Eves).

    Moreover, the whole change shows K & B and Ralph in their true light. They're 'personalities' who are paid to laugh at each other's schtick. They are fake. Turns out they're exactly like the Ryan Seacrest they've mocked so mercilessly for years. They're him and he is they. Fake smiles. Fake laughter. Manufactured comedy (that mostly misses). No chemistry at all.



    Thank goodness of iTunes (or Google Play Music if you're so inclined).

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  23. The “change” has just highlighted how repetitive the show
    is:

    Opening, show biz beat, Ralph does a voice, guess who
    Tweeted what, guest, contest, Ralph does another voice, show biz beat.

    It’s the same show every day. I’ve always loved Kevin and
    Bean but I’m quickly getting over it.

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  24. I have zero respect for KROQ/ K&B now over this...Allie/Alley/ Alie? changed the chemistry to off the charts wrong and its totally not fireworks like it was with Lisa...too bad! It really worked... it was a really cool enjoyable morning show... I can just see K&B's inner thoughts during the first week of ?Allie? "Oh $#!+...what did we just do?!" Lol I boycotted KROQ and anyone who tries to look for it on my radio...well...they have been warned that fingers will be chopped off! yup that's just how much I am annoyed by it all...so sad because I really liked the old show ps. all that b.s. about people not liking change is just that, I had a taste of the first week and it was rancid

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  25. KROQ Is Getting Boring.March 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    I must admit that the show is getting worse. It's now fallen into that "Wacky Morning Zoo" type of shows that I hate. Because of my early AM work schedule I've been able to listen to K & B since day one. And I mean since day one!! In between the million times that they play The Foo's and those God awful Chili Peppers songs, I enjoyed the banter they all would do. Been listening to KROQ since high school and have heard all the past shows. I try to listen now and there's just nothing there. If you've listened for a long time you can just feel that something is missing and there's an empty space. No one likes change and it's hard when things do but when something is changed so quickly with no warning it's weird. Especially when something changes that has been a part of your everyday habits for the past 24 / 25 years. I mean no ill will for the new girl and good luck to her but like all others who have typed that they think the show is almost at the end, I agree. By the way, in between commercials I used to listen to "The Sound" but now that they have that awful Mark guy for that POS "Mark and Brian" garbage I don't listen to that either.

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  26. Thanks for being there for us every morning Lisa. I look forward to hearing you on the radio again real soon. Good luck and God bless.

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  27. I was in the shower when I heard the pathetic excuse of an explanation coming from the guys.To say I was I was shocked and appalled, would be an understatement. KROQ has been my morning radio station for decades! I feel like there's been a death in the family.


    I have since made the effort to give the "new direction" of the show an opportunity to prove all of us long-time and fiercely loyal fans of the show that things were going to be okay. That their decision to cut loose such adored personalities wouldn't impact the quality of the show. Bad Call guys. It's not working for me. My thought is this: If this "new direction" was supposed to be such a vast improvement, then why has it not been apparent IMMEDIATELY? It's been a month, and I still don't hear it. Yet the absence is undeniable. The sound of the new voice is just a woeful reminder of what we lost. What a dumb-ass mistake that was!!


    Lisa May, THANK YOU for being the voice of reason in the room and bringing a touch of class to the airwaves. That you for letting your personality shine through. It's honestly not the same without you. Bright side; you'll no longer be locked in the dungeon or given crappy QVC presents. After soo many years of listening, I feel privileged to have been able to know that I listened to the Kevin & Bean Show in its glory days. ALL THE BEST! xoxo


    Thank you for the article.

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  28. Nice interview from a class person. I've been listening to the station since it was in Pasadena. Because of that loyalty I've listened to the chuckleheads since they started. They're lucky they didn't pull jail time over that false murder bs with that idiot sluggo. (Google it. They are pretty stupid). I digress. Looking forward to hearing Lisa May on klos. I'd highly recommend switching from kroq in the morning to klos. Best of luck Kelly!

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  29. Millicent B AccardiMarch 22, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Why K&B would ditch a successful formula without marketing research is beyond me. Film studios test endings and onscreen chemistry with test audiences. K&B just threw 25 years away with no thought. Not to mention how hurtful this was to Lisa May, Doc and long-time fans. More than a month later, and not one person on the K&B FB page says the show is better--

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  30. Millicent B AccardiMarch 29, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    I just shared part of this on KROQ-- After 6 weeks, it's clear. Lisa May was a amazing sounding board. She served a key role, which K&B discounted. Even Doc provided comic relief. In short, K&B fired two straight men and hired a 4th funny man, which is a deadly formula for comedy. Allie is not the problem. She would have been fine replacing Ralph (for example).

    The problem IS that K&B NEED someone to provide neutrality. Like Paul to David Letterman. Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis. Ben Stein to Jimmy Kimmell. Dr Drew to Psycho Mike.

    Even info-mercials need a straight man to say OH WOW-- I can save $500 on car insurance? Lisa May was this. Her value has been deeply discounted by KROQ. Anyone can be a comedian, but it takes intelligence to be the voice of the listeners. Lisa May was fabulous on Heidi and Frank (a show I had never listened to before), she elevated them, like Gracie Allen lifted George Burns. Comedians are a dime a dozen. But Lisa Mays are priceless. It is difficult to do what Lisa May did and does. K&B never realized this. It's their loss.

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  31. Awesome!.... Good for you Lisa. You are true lady. Love you!

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