Money Didn't Talk During KUT Fund Drive

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 9, 2009

Dear Editor,
    I'm glad to see Austin Powell commenting on the problems at KUT in “Off the Record” [Music, Nov. 6]. But I'm hoping that he was just being flip with the "if money talks" remark; if not, he's way off in his assessment.
    The fundraiser at KUT should not in any way be viewed as a referendum on the programming changes there. Save KUT Austin has never advocated any kind of boycott of the station or its underwriters; that has been in bold type on the front page of the website for weeks. Instead, members were encouraged to make their own decisions and follow their own consciences. Some of us, such as myself, decided not to donate at all in order to show our disapproval. Others donated during certain shows to show support for that type of programming. Some indicated their displeasure by reducing the amount of their pledges and asking the call-takers to note the reason why. In short, there was never any effort made by the group to adversely affect the money raised by KUT. We are supporters of the station, and we have no desire to cause any financial trouble there.
    If anything, the results of the fund drive bring the original reason given for the canceling of the weeknight programming into question. The original spin was that they just couldn't afford the cost of these shows any longer. But of course that was never credible to start with, so there has been an ever-evolving list of reasons coming from station management ever since. But this has never been about money; KUT has always had successful pledge drives, and hopefully it always will. But when station management takes your money, they have an obligation to listen to community concerns on how that money is spent. And that hasn't been happening for years now.
Thank you,
Jim Vest
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