Just flipped on contemporary Christian station KLTY/94.9 FM to see if it had started its annual tradition of Christmas music yet, and it has -- the song playing when I tuned in was Brandon Heath’s Night Before Christmas, and as I write this the station is going with a (semi-)secular classic, Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad.
Aside from the title, by the way, Heath’s Night Before Christmas bears little relation to Clement Moore’s poem. Hear it here:
Didn’t catch the exact time of the switch, but judging from KLTY’s Twitter feed, it was sometime Thursday evening -- just in time for the shift from burping turkey meals to enduring early Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving night.
KLTY was a model of patience, waiting nearly two weeks after KLUV/98.7 FM went all-Christmas (and stirred up already-bubbling rumors about the station’s future). KLTY’s future, on the other hand, isn’t in doubt -- it’s one of the most popular, if not the most popular, Christian stations in the country, and in the November Nielsen Audio ratings, it was tied for second overall with country station KPLX/99.5 FM “The Wolf” -- with both well behind powerhouse Top 40 KHKS/106.1 FM “KISS-FM.”
Since Portable People Meters were introduced in DFW in 2008, holiday periods are the only times that KISS hasn’t ranked first overall in a monthly ratings survey. KLTY has been one of the stations putting up one of the strongest challenges, and it will be interesting to see if that momentum carries it into the No. 1 slot during a holiday “book.”