Congressman Mike Conaway has visited the KXYL studios many times since first being elected to represent Congressional District 11 in 2004. Over the years, the Congressman visited the KXYL studios to promote his service on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Agriculture, and to discuss legislative issues of the day. The interviews have ranged from contentious interviews over the Affordable Care Act, to light-hearted interviews about his experience playing on Odessa Permian’s first state championship football team. Regardless of the conversation, the interview ends with smiles and handshakes, and a trip to a docile town hall meeting.
Wednesday, April 12, was different. As Congressman Conaway entered the KXYL studios, activists and reporters from the national media gathered at the Harvey House where an hour later, the Congressman would be grilled by voters and political operatives about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, statements he made concerning foreign intervention in American elections, and accusations of being anti-gay.
Conaway knew that, at the town hall, cameras would be rolling, eager to catch any misstep that could be used to discredit him on a national level. While the KXYL morning show doesn’t typically throw “gotcha” questions at their guests, Conaway knew that the media was still listening, and a prime performance was needed on the air, as well as at the town hall.
Conaway discussed the need for new healthcare legislation, efforts to build a consensus healthcare package that a majority of the members of Congress could support, and to conduct an honest and fair investigation into any alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
For KXYL morning hosts Leland Acker and Larry Mathis, it was another Wednesday.
“Leland, I always enjoy coming on your show,” Conaway said as he left the studio. “You always do your homework.”
Over the years, KXYL has worked to build a morning show that is both entertaining and informative. The formula has included popular contests, like the “Steak in the Game” prediction contest that takes place every football and basketball season, as well as interviews with high-ranking public officials, national pundits, celebrities and entertainers.
The formula paid off, with Nielsen ratings showing KXYL as the second-ranked radio station in the Brown County area among adults aged 25-54, right behind its sister station, The Breeze 96.9.
Early this year, Wendlee Broadcasting announced the addition of Larry Mathis to the KXYL morning show. Mathis would join veteran broadcaster Leland Acker, who became the show’s lead following the passing of longtime morning personality Brian Wade. Wade’s wit, humor and bright personality gave the show an uplifting feel, and built an audience that included those who are not traditionally talk radio listeners.
When Wade passed away last November, Acker said he felt as if the spirit of the show had been taken.
“Brian was the one who put the happy in the day,” Acker told the Brownwood Bulletin during an interview following Wade’s death. That statement became the headline, and a tagline that described Wade’s legacy.
Finding a replacement for Wade was out of the question. The best that Wendlee could hope for was a personality that could compliment Acker’s personality, and help create the next chapter in KXYL’s service to the Brown County area. Those expectations were far exceeded by the addition of Mathis.
Mathis brought an in-depth knowledge of sports, and thus was made the sports anchor for the morning show. KXYL’s sports segment was then expanded during the morning show to accommodate Mathis’ comprehensive coverage of local sports and commentary on national sports.
Mathis also brings another conservative insight to the show’s news and political coverage, and his humor keeps things entertaining.
Acker continues his role of providing news and political coverage, and interviewing quality guests to keep local residents informed. He also anchors the local newscasts.
Together, Acker and Mathis put together a show that entertains and informs, and provides vital news, weather and sports information to get Brown County’s day started. Highlights of their recent shows include their comprehensive interview with Congressman Conaway, an interview with State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham following key Senate votes on bathroom, immigration and school choice legislation, and a tell-all interview with one of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s top aides.
The KXYL morning show, featuring Leland Acker and Larry Mathis, airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays on News/Talk 102.3 KXYL, and on 1240 AM. The show streams live online at BrownwoodRadio.com.