Voice of Big Tex says 'personality conflict' led to dismissal



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Posted on March 27, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 10:32 AM

DALLAS — Visitors to the State Fair of Texas might not recognize his face, but for more than a decade Bill Bragg's voice was larger than life.

"I'll tell you, this is the first day I've been at a loss for words since I've been in this business — and that's 42 years," he said.

For 24 days a year over the last 11 years, Bragg — a broadcast announcer, has been the voice of Big Tex at the annual exposition.

But on Tuesday afternoon, the Fair fired him. Actually, his new boss did, Vice-President of Public Relations Sue Gooding.

"It was just a personality conflict between she and I, I think," Bragg said. "I'm willing to do anything they want or say anything they want."

The reason for the firing remains unclear.

Bragg said he and Gooding were negotiating a new contract and money was never at issue.

Bragg added he was never clear on his exact title. In addition, he said he took down his personal website after Gooding expressed concern about some of the Fair-related content on it.

She let Bragg go in a short e-mail Tuesday afternoon.

"Your services will not be needed for the 2013 season," she wrote him.

When asked by News 8, Gooding said only: "I have made the decision not to renew his contract. That is all the State Fair will be saying at this time."

"I think everyone lost in this situation," Bragg said.

He was the seventh voice of the fair's icon, and was the second-longest serving spokesman.

The State Fair is rebuilding its 55-foot-tall mascot after fire destroyed the original. When the new one debuts this fall, it's supposed to have an updated look and we now know it will also come with a new voice and personality.

Gooding said no one has yet been selected to replace Bragg.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com