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To his fans outside a makeshift memorial at Kidd Kraddick's Las Colinas studio, he's a legend.

"He just always made me smile, no matter what he was doing," said one fan.

The popular radio personality, whose popular morning show was syndicated in more than 75 markets, loved to tell jokes.

"He's witty, he's smart and he's real," another fan said.

Only this time, the joke was too real. On July 22, Kraddick offered his own "deathbed confession" in a comedy routine with his on-air staff.

By Saturday night, his shocking demise was trending on social media.

Former co-host and friend Jocelyn White initially thought it was hoax. "I had been out all day yesterday. I then went on Facebook and read it on Facebook," she said.

Back in the early 90s, White and Kraddick started his KISS-FM morning show together, and went from worst to first in one year.

White later left the broadcast, but watched as Kraddick grew from local radio host to radio syndicator. He created a company called YEA Networks, and established the Kidd's Kids charitable organization helping sick and terminally ill children.

Friend and competitor Adam Bomb of i93 believes Kraddick's death will lead to changes for multiple radio stations and for Kraddick's ensemble cast, including Big Al Mack, Kellie Rasberry, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens.

"He really set the tone for syndication; he's all across the country", Bomb said, adding he was concerned not only for the staff of the show, but what will they do. He admits filling Kraddick's shoes will be a tall task.

"It takes years to have that kind of chemistry," Bomb said.

Big Al Mack, one of Kraddick's on-air sidekicks who owns a tavern off McKinney Avenue in Dallas, declined to speak on camera, but said meetings are taking place to determine the next steps.

Jenna Owens is also a Kraddick in the Morning regular, and she used her Facebook page to thank loyal fans:

"To my closest friends, family and all of you who have supported me and the Kidd Kraddick family over the years, I want to say thank you for the overwhelming support during this unimaginably difficult time. I know we talk for a living and words don't do the emotions justice right now, but we will be going on-air tomorrow at 7 am central time to share our feelings and to hear yours. I hope you join us so we can be together because that's what Kidd would want. xoxo, Jenna"

Jocelyn White says it will never be the same.

"I can't see the show going on without Kidd; it was Kidd Kraddick in the Morning," she said.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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