KUT-FM Moving Away From Listener-Supported Community Base

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 21, 2009

Dear Editor,
    The management at KUT-FM continues to try and justify their recent programming changes ["Media Watch: Unwinding the Twine at KUT," News, Aug. 7] as being either due to financial considerations or a move to reflect what they call “flat listenership.” But as Stu Wilson put so eloquently last week [Postmarks, Aug. 21], those reasons just don’t fly.
    What is really happening has been a slow but steady move away from the listener-supported, community-based station of the past to a more underwriter-based AAA station. And their own actions and attendance at the Public Radio Development & Marketing Conference held in San Diego in July show that as a fact. The following is a news blurb from that conference:
   “The PRDMC is attended by all formats in public radio (News/Jazz/Classical), including the steady growing Triple A format. … The following Triple A stations are sending staff to the conference: WFUV New York, KCRW Santa Monica, WXPN Philadelphia, KERA Dallas, WTMD Baltimore, KCMP/The Current Minneapolis, WYMS/Radio Milwaukee, and KUT Austin, among numerous others.”
    This is further proof that station management has hijacked KUT’s noncommercial charter for their own long-range goals. It is time for the UT system and the citizens of Austin to demand that KUT go back to the community-based station that it was intended to be.
Jim Vest
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