All Christmas, all the time on 2 Austin radio stations

Forget about Thanksgiving, Majic 95.5 is already celebrating Christmas.

Even though Santa is still more than a month away from making his rounds, the Austin radio station has flipped to round-the-clock holiday tunes.

kkmj_1200x630_fb_ogIf you’re not in the mood for Christmas classics just yet, Majic is streaming its usual soft rock playlist on its website,

Contemporary Christian station Spirit 105.9 is also set to run 24/7 Christmas music starting on Black Friday (Nov. 25), general manager Tim McCoy told the American-Statesman.

“We want to celebrate Thanksgiving first,” McCoy said.

Longtime Austin traffic reporter Joe Taylor switches stations

Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor is back doing what he loves, helping Central Texans steer clear of traffic jams.

Starting today, Taylor, who previously delivered traffic updates on Time Warner Cable News and several local radio stations owned by Entercom, can now be heard on Spirit 105.9.

His reports will air on the contemporary Christian-formatted station between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 3:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spirit 105.9 is a completely different direction for my traffic coverage,” Taylor said. “I’ve produced traffic on music stations before, but never in this specific genre. What I like about it is the focus on local content, local voices. I approached (general manager) Tim McCoy because I think Spirit fits with my emphasis on local traffic reporting, something which goes beyond pulling up an app or looking at Google.

“I’m looking forward to joining Steve (Sunshine) and Amy (Byrd) in the morning. They have a huge audience in Austin, one that is pretty new for me, and that’s exciting.”

Taylor says he’s kept busy in recent months working with Number Nine Productions, his company that manages and produces a number of sports radio and television broadcasts. But, yes, he’s happy to once again be covering traffic.

“I’ve missed helping Austinites navigate the roads,” he said. “I’ve posted on social media from time to time about large accidents or big traffic stories, but there’s nothing like waking up with this city every day. I know what I do helps.

“Thanks to all of my social media followers and listeners for their support during the time off. I can’t tell you how many people stopped me and said, ‘Where’d you go?’ or ‘When are you coming back?’ That’s encouraging.”

Spirit 105.9 brings Christian artists to town this weekend for Spirit Fest

Jeremy Camp will be among the headliners at Spirit Fest.
Jeremy Camp will be among the headliners at Spirit Fest.

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.”

Spirit Fest

When: Sunday beginning at noon

Where: Dell Diamond

Tickets: General admission starting at $25