KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune morning show co-hosts Mac McClennahan and Donna Cruz. Staff photo by David Bean/Courtesy photo of Cruz
When you wake up with the “Wake Up Show” on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, you’re hearing two new voices, but co-hosts Mac McClennahan and Donna Cruz are both old hands in the radio business. They bring years of experience and a love for local radio that define what it means to be a community service-oriented station.
“If you want to know what’s going on in your own community, that’s where you have to turn,” said McClennahan, whose background includes a lifetime in radio from rock to country to Christian.
Both he and Cruz were on-air personalities for KFMK Spirit 105.9 FM/Crista Ministries-Austin until the station sold in 2020. Spirit is now K-LOVE with its programming based out of California.
“You just don’t have the local vibe with those stations like you do with a family-owned station like KBEY,” Cruz said.
KBEY Operations Manager Joel Burke brought the two on board to boost listenership and community connections.
“Donna is a great storyteller, which is really important,” Burke said. “And Mac knows this area like the back of his hand. He knows people here. He’s been a part of the local community for years.”
McClennahan followed the sound of his voice to a radio career. He got his start in entertainment in high school when his voice and stage presence came to the attention of the right person.
“I was emceeing a student council meeting in high school and the drama teacher heard me,” he recalled. “She said, ‘That voice, that voice! I want that voice in my one-act play.’ We went to state with that play. That was my first entrance to performance.”
Most of his radio jobs were in country until he eventually found his way to Christian radio. After Spirit 105.9 FM sold, he became concerned with the continuing drive toward consolidation in radio, which is why he is excited about working at a family-owned local station like KBEY 103.9 FM.
“I think the future of radio is live and local,” he said. “The future is just like what we’re doing in Marble Falls. It’s owned by a family that cares about the community they are in, a family that wants to give back to the community.”
Cruz has TV experience as well as years behind the mic at country and Christian radio stations. She got her start in El Paso after working for a magazine that went under without any notice.
“I came to work and it was cleared out, right before Thanksgiving,” she said. “I was literally down to the last $75 in my bank account.”
She used that money to make a demo and, in about three days, was hired to voice a commercial. She turned her last few bucks into a $500 paycheck and a career.
When she moved to radio, it was to a rock station in San Antonio. She anchored a local NBC-affiliated TV morning show and worked for VH-1 on air, among other things, before being called to Christian radio. She now has a syndicated program, “Keep the Faith,” that plays in 220 English-speaking markets across the United States and around the world.
Her focus is “creating contagious encouragements,” she said. “That means doing things like playing songs that uplift you and sharing encouragement and hope with other people.”
“I had my heart tugged into ministry,” she said. “I just felt that was what God wanted the next step to be in my career.”
McClennahan and Cruz are now two-stepping into the “Wake Up Show” on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, where they are committed to good music, community events, and local news and weather.
“It brings me home,” Cruz said. “I grew up in San Antonio, and KBEY has that whole Hill Country vibe and country music sound. It’s so pure Texas.”
McClennahan also used the word “home” when talking about the Highland Lakes and KBEY.
“It just feels like home, ever since I used to come here hunting as a child,” he said. “And to have a local, family-owned radio station, that brings immediacy and it connects to community in a big way.”
“We are really proud and excited to have Mac and Donna on board,” Publisher Mandi Goldsmith said. “Victory Media is committed to quality radio, accurate local news, and entertaining, informative magazines, websites, and newsletters. Mac and Donna are joining an excellent team of professionals that will enhance our products and help us grow along with this community.”
Listen to the “Wake Up Show” from 6-10 a.m. Monday-Friday on KBEY 103.9 FM, at KBEYFM.com, or via the KBEY app.