Jose Mesa in the KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune studio working on his mid-day show, which can be heard from 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman
The newest voice on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune belongs to Johnson City native Jose Mesa, who has taken over duties of mid-day DJ.
“He’s fresh out of school and brings a fresh approach,” said Ben Shields, operation manager for KBEY, part of the Victory Media family that includes DailyTrib.com and The Picayune Magazine. “And, he’s local. To me, that’s very important. He knows the area.”
A graduate of Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Johnson City, Mesa earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication in 2021 from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. That’s when he first fell in love with radio.
“I started out as a music major,” he said. “But I found I didn’t have the passion for it, so I transferred.”
Working with college radio station KSAU, he interviewed students, worked hour-long shifts on the air, and cut commercials.
“I had a lot of fun with it,” he said.
Mix the skills he learned in college with his experience under the Friday night lights during high school, and you have the perfect combo for handling production of KBEY’s live broadcasts of the Marble Falls Mustangs football games, another of his duties.
Mesa was a left guard for the LBJ Wildcats before he decided he’d rather be on the field in the marching band. Starting in the fifth grade, he learned to play the coronet, sousaphone, and tuba. At 13, he picked up an electric guitar, playing in a couple of cover bands during high school.
“As I started growing more, I got an acoustic guitar and started playing folk and country music,” he said, listing Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings as favorites. Now, he’s writing his own music and working on recording a demo to introduce his talent to Highland Lakes live music venues.
He also provides backup vocals and harmony for other musicians in the recording industry. He just returned from Florida, where he did vocals on a friend’s record.
The youngest of seven kids — two brothers and four sisters — Mesa lives in Johnson City, where he grew up making regular trips to Marble Falls to watch movies and go out to eat. Spicewood’s Krause Springs was another favorite spot during his childhood.
“I’ve got a lot of great memories here, and I just wanted to be back in the beautiful Hill Country,” he said.
When asked about his goals in life, Mesa had a quick answer.
“I want to have my voice heard,” he said. “I want to play live music, and not just a certain genre — I want to play them all. I want to get into jazz, too.”
And, he wants to be on the radio.
“He’s got a very soothing voice,” Shields said.
Tune in and hear for yourself. He’s on from 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune. You can also stream live at KBEYFM.com or via the KBEY app.