KUT Should Stay Local

RECEIVED Wed., July 15, 2009

Dear Editor,
    I urge KUT to reconsider using a voice-tracked deejay in place of local talent. If you are unfamiliar with voice-tracking, an example of this profit-boosting tactic is when one prerecorded deejay replaces the live deejays in 50 different cities. The one taped voice is sent to the 50 stations, and now there is just one deejay to pay instead of 50. Radio giant Clear Channel uses voice-tracking, but I can’t understand why KUT would do this by replacing our local talent with UnderCurrents With Greg McVicar. Yes, there are several taped NPR shows on KUT, but they all offer extra goodies like interviews, news, or storytelling. UnderCurrents is simply a tape of a deejay playing standard songs. KUT’s mission is to provide a community service, not to lose touch with our community by outsourcing deejay duties. Paying UnderCurrents instead of a local deejay transfers money out of the Austin economy. KUT could afford local deejays in 2000 when its budget was $2 million. KUT today has a budget of more than $6 million, so there is no financial reason to cut local deejays. The axed KUT overnight spots also helped build up our young talent into the Austin deejays of tomorrow. Before he became a radio, TV, and Esquire magazine big shot, a young Andy Langer honed his chops on a KUT overnight shift. Austin has lost this spot for our community to grow and retain talent.
Chris Faulkner
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