DALLAS, Texas -- Big Tex has lost his voice.
The State Fair of Texas has confirmed to KVUE's sister station WFAA that it has not renewed the contract of Bill Bragg, who had addressed fairgoers as the fair's iconic cowboy mascot since 2002.
"I made the decision not to renew his contract," said State Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding. "That is all the State Fair will be saying at this time."
In addition to having a different voice, Big Tex himself will be all new when the fair opens September 27.
Fire destroyed the original 52-foot statue on October 19 last year after standing tall for six decades. Big Tex is being rebuilt for the 2013 season.
Bragg, who has a long career in broadcasting, was the seventh voice of Big Tex. He placed second in a statewide contest for the job in 2001, and was selected to replace the winner the next year.