Something Is Wrong at KUT

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 21, 2009

Dear Editor,
    Something is gravely, gravely wrong at KUT these days ["Media Watch: Unwinding the Twine at KUT," News, Aug. 7]. Paul Ray’s and Larry Monroe’s hours have been badly cut and Aielli Unleashed has been canned. This is killing the golden geese. Paul Ray, Larry Monroe, John Aielli are KUT. They are its heart and soul. They are what make KUT listeners come across with 85% of KUT’s ever-growing budget, twice a year, regular as clockwork.
    The word from KUT is that if Phil Music Show and Paul Ray’s Jazz were as “successful as other music programs,” they wouldn’t have been cut. How do you measure success? A devoted listenership, reliable underwriters, and massive outcry when they’re threatened – that sounds like success to me.
    I don’t understand how KUT’s $5 million budget paid for Ray, Monroe, and Aielli last year and how its $5 million-plus budget can’t this year. However, if cuts really need to be made, cut David Brown. Cut management, in pay and in positions: They are not what KUT is about and clearly can’t be trusted with its future.
    KUT has become the best in the nation by sticking to the basics: great people, great music, local control. It’s about hiring and keeping wonderful people like Aielli and Monroe and Ray and giving them the time and room to do what they do well – play music that interests, inspires, amuses, exasperates, delights, and unites Austin.
    Reinstate all of Monroe’s and Ray’s hours and benefits! Bring back Aielli Unleashed! Restore our trust in KUT!
Julia Welch
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