One of the nation’s highest-rated contemporary Christian radio stations is right here in Austin.
Since it hit the air four years ago, Spirit 105.9 has steadily climbed the ratings charts and now sits comfortably in the top five citywide in many key demographics.
Among women ages 25-54, a group coveted by advertisers, Spirit 105.9 placed second in October, for example. Among all listeners in that age bracket, it ranked fourth, according to Nielsen.
Its morning show, featuring hosts Steve Sunshine and Amy Byrd, has grown into a powerhouse of sorts. It was No. 2 among listeners ages 6 and up in October and regularly attracts almost 10 percent of all Austin-area women ages 25-54 listening to radio in the early hours of the day, general manager Tim McCoy said.
Weekend programming is highly rated as well, including the Sunday morning "Keep the Faith" show.
"We’re very blessed to be in that arena, to rank so high," McCoy said. "We’ve got a great team here, and we have a great navigator and captain in Jesus Christ."
The station will celebrate its success at Spirit Fest, set for Sunday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The event draws about 13,000 people annually, McCoy said.
Performers this year include Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Gungor, Building 429, Jamie Grace, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Shawn McDonald and Tedashii.
General admission tickets start at $25, with some discounts available for members of the military and children.
"This year’s Spirit Fest is going to be incredible," McCoy said. "We’re doing our best to bring as much contemporary Christian music to Central Texas as we can. We want people to see, hear and experience this music in person."
Part of the reason Spirit 105.9 has been such a hit, McCoy said, is because the music the station plays is family friendly — no sex, no violence, no swear words. It’s a claim many of its competitors can’t make.
"We will never say something or air something that would be offensive to children," he said. "It’s our mission to inspire, to help people, to let people know there’s hope."
KEYE anchor lands new gig
KEYE’s Deeda Payton will anchor her final weekend newscast Nov. 30.
Payton is leaving the station to become general manager of Community Impact’s Central Austin edition.
She announced the news on Facebook, saying, in part, "The time has come to announce I’m retiring from TV News. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of the most fascinating people, work with the best in the biz & make lifelong friends, but it’s time for a new challenge. Thank you all for your support!"
Payton joined KEYE in January 2013 as co-anchor of the station’s morning newscast before shifting to weekends. Prior to arriving in Austin, she worked at the Fox station in Oklahoma City.
A replacement for Payton hasn’t been lined up yet, the station said.
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