KUT Hits New Low?

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 3, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Just when I think I am over the monumental arrogance at KUT, they find a way of moving the bar higher. Or is that lower? Either way they have just stooped to new depths.
    Trying to cash in on the death of an Austin icon is bad enough, doing it while whitewashing the past takes unmitigated gall. Yet during recent fundraising, KUT personnel did just that. After playing a song by the late, great Doug Sahm, Eklektikos deejay Jody Denberg brought up the sad day of Sahm's death then spoke of how he and many of Sahm's friends came down for an impromptu celebration of Sahm's life that evening at the KUT studios. And that part is accurate, I was tuning in that night, and it was a moving, memorable experience.
    But what Mr. Denberg didn't say about that night is who was hosting that show. It was a Thursday night, and that meant The Phil Music Program, hosted by Larry Monroe. And it was no accident that the celebration was Monroe's show. His commitment to Austin music and personal knowledge of Sahm's music made it the obvious choice. But such a gathering could never happen today, now all guests must be approved in advance. And how would an hours long tribute to a legend fit into the "not-a-playlist" format that is now strictly enforced? For KUT to use the memories of that night for fundraising without giving Larry Monroe his due is crass and ignores current policies at the station. Sorry, Austin, but the next time we need a place to meet and grieve, KUT just ain't available anymore. They gotta play that new one from Mumford & Sons instead.
Thank you,
Jim Vest
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