Every day when John Swift gets home from his job at an oil and gas company, he goes to work on his passion project, RadioKaty.com.
Swift and his wife, Patricia, run the web-based station out of the media room of their Katy home. The stream is on 24/7 and has been up and running since October of last year. The station operates under a multigenre music format, John said.
Taking a divide-and-conquer approach, Patricia finds the music and her husband adds the songs into the station’s rotation.
John developed his passion for radio during his 12 years of employment at Clear Channel, now known as iHeartMedia Inc. He served as director of productions for the Houston division of the station until 2009, when he decided to leave the company after the birth of their son.
RadioKaty.com is not the couple’s first attempt at launching a radio station in Katy. In 2008, John and Patricia hosted a music-only stream featuring top 40 pop radio hits. In addition to having to pay royalties for use of the songs, the pair also struggled with the technological difficulties that accompany a web-based streaming service.
Years later, Patricia, a stay-at-home mom, found herself with some time on her hands and circled back to the radio station they had once operated. This time however, she said she was determined that things would be different.
“I didn’t want to venture into the norm,” she said. “We’ve heard a lot of really good independent artists at places that we’ve gone to and I was like, 'This time let’s shoot for that.'”
John uses this soundboard for audio production of the RadioKaty.com live streams.[/caption]
Another thing that sets the station apart is its dedication to covering local events and charities. John and the Swifts’ partner Daryl Cunda can often be found doing remote live streams from various events in and around the city, including the Katy ISD FFA livestock show and Cane Island’s Bow Wow Bash and Dog Show.
“I tend to look for those kinds of things because I’m from Katy, and I love everything about Katy,” Patricia said.
The station is averaging more than 200 unique listeners during the week and 700 to 800 listeners on the weekend. RadioKaty.com listeners can tune in to the stream on multiple platforms, including the website and iOS and Android apps.
In the Community
RadioKaty.com participates in a variety of local events. Here are some places they will be in the upcoming months:
- March 26 from noon-5 p.m. The station will present a live remote broadcast from The Real Craftwives of Katy Spring Expo at No Label Brewing Co.
- May 20 from noon -5:30 p.m. The station will be at the Gumbo Round-up cookoff event with the Morton Masonic Lodge No. 72 in Richmond, Texas, to raise money for Behind the Badge Charities.
- May 27. The station is hosting a family-friendly 1980s style Battle of the Bands event at Wildcatter Saloon. Twenty percent of door proceeds will go to Katy Christian Ministries programs to end child abuse.
- June 17. The station is hosting a second Battle of the Bands event at City Limits in Rosenberg to help raise money for the fight against child abuse.