News director Connie Swinney broadcasts on the hour at 6, 7 and 8 a.m., and noon, 4, 5 and 6 p.m. each weekday with interviews and news about your local government and schools and spot news in Blanco, Buchanan Dam, Burnet, Llano, Marble Falls, Johnson City, Lampasas, Spicewood and everywhere in between.
No other news organization in the Highland Lakes comes close to the quality and experience of the KBEY news team for fast and accurate coverage of local events with reports brought to you by DailyTrib.com with Daniel Clifton and Jared Fields.
You’ll hear it from our team of reporters first.
Reporter Connie Swinney got her start in journalism at a young age. She boldly applied for a position as an on-air disc jockey at a Big Spring radio station when she was just 17 and still in high school. And, she got the job!
She is now the news producer for KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and a staff writer for The Picayune and DailyTrib.com, covering the Highland Lakes. Her road to reporting wound through radio, print and even TV journalism in West Texas and the Hill Country, culminating in a perfect skills match for Victory Publishing’s many endeavors in Marble Falls.
Swinney grew up in Big Spring, where she graduated from high school and worked as a DJ and a news reporter for the local station.
“I answered an ad and got the job,” she says with her signature confidence. “At first, it was challenging, but I had good people around me, and they helped me sharpen my skills. I began to thrive and crave the daily demands of delivering the news.”
She took that experience — and her craving for news — with her to Texas Tech University, where she majored in broadcast journalism. She was news editor on the University Daily with a team of seven reporters. Her first job out of college was as the DJ on the overnight shift at an oldies station in Lubbock
“It was such a blast,” she says. “I developed an appreciation for an eclectic mix of music.”
She also developed an eclectic mix of skills, producing commercials and delivering the weather and public service announcements along with Deejaying.
After moving back to her hometown of Big Spring, she began a stint as a print journalist. She also met her husband, Billy Joe. She worked at the Big Spring Herald and the Waco Tribune Herald before moving to New Braunfels with her family, including twins, Aidin and Chloe. For several years, she worked as a stay-at-home mom while still freelancing for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.
At home in the Highland Lakes
Since 1998, she and her family have been in the Highland Lakes, where her journalism experience continued to grow. She was soon covering nine counties in the Hill Country as a TV reporter for KXAN-NBC. Although she had majored in TV journalism in college, she felt like a fish out of water, she says.
“This was my first opportunity to become a full-fledged broadcaster,” she says. “I had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the business, and they wrestled the print out of me.”
Well, not really. She’s still pretty good at that. What they did give her was another medium for her reporting skills, one that has served her and Victory Publishing well.
“It helped me evolve from a print-minded person to a broadcast-minded person,” she says. “Because of their guidance and applying my knowledge of news gathering, I was able to become very effective at it.”
So effective, in fact, that Victory Publishing owner Dan Alvey soon offered her a job. He was looking to move into broadcast and online journalism with a TV component.
“I love working for a family-owned company,” she says. “It fits in with my values. I also work with very talented and knowledgeable staff, so it’s a pleasure to work in an atmosphere where you’re encouraged to grow, be creative, be professional. It was almost as though all my experience prepared me to work for Victory because the elements of print media, online, video, radio, marketing and promotions are an integral part of the success of the company.”