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KUT
City of license Austin, Texas
Broadcast area Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area
Branding KUT 90.5
Frequency 90.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
90.5 HD-2 for BBC World Service
Format Public radio
Power 100,000 watts
ERP 100,000 watts
Class C1
Callsign meaning K
University of
Texas
Affiliations NPR
Owner The University of Texas at Austin
Webcast KUT Live Feed
KUT HD-2 Live Feed
Website www.kut.org/
KUTX
City of license San Angelo, Texas
Broadcast area San Angelo, Texas
Branding "KUTX 90.1"
Frequency 90.1 FM (MHz)
Format Public radio
Callsign meaning University of TeXas
Owner University of Texas at Austin

KUT (90.5 FM) is a listener-supported public radio station owned and operated by faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin. It is the National Public Radio member station for Central Texas. Occasionally there is confusion between KUT and KVRX 91.7 FM, the University's student-run radio station, because both are owned by the University of Texas and are based out of the UT campus.

KUT's main transmitter broadcasts at an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts and is located just west of Lake Austin in Westlake Hills. A second station, KUTX, serves San Angelo at 90.1 MHz.

The station was first established under its present call letters in 1925, but was absent from the airwaves from 1927 until 1958.

Contents

Programming format

KUT's format is locally-produced music programming from 9am-3pm weekdays, with brief National Public Radio and local news updates on the hour. Between 3pm-7pm, a block of nationally syndicated public radio shows are aired, including Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Marketplace, and The World. From 7pm-3am, additional locally-produced music shows are aired.

BBC World Service can be heard 24/7 on 90.5 HD-2 (an HD Radio is required).

Local productions

The locally-produced music shows include four programs with Larry Monroe (Blue Monday, Phil Music plus two others), Eklektikos with John Aielli, Music with Jay Trachtenberg, Folkways, and Left of the Dial with Jeff McCord, while David Brown's Texas Music Matters covers developments within the Texas music industry. Some locally-produced news programs are Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa and In Black America with John Hanson.

Funding

Like other public radio stations in the United States, KUT broadcasts on-air pledge drives in order to raise monetary contributions from listeners. Listener contributions and corporate sponsorship, termed "community support," account for roughly 80% of the station's budget. Sponsors are noted on-air in the form of abbreviated announcements, termed "underwriting."

History

KUT's beginnings

The actual beginning date of radio broadcasting on the UT-Austin campus has never been fully substantiated. There is an unofficial reference to an on-campus radio operation as early as 1912. But the most reliable information indicates that the first license — bearing the call letters 5XY — was issued to the University on March 22, 1921.

A year later, a new license was issued, bearing new call letters WCM, which the station used to identify itself until 1925.

In these first years, the station was used for a number of purposes, beginning as a demonstration project in the Physics Department, whose Professor Simpson L. Brown had persuaded the administration to let him build the station in the first place.

Beginning in 1923, though, funding concerns prompted a transfer of operational control to the University's Extension Division for extension teaching. One of the stipulations of the transfer agreement was that funds would be provided for operations and maintenance to put the station in a "first-class" condition. The funds, however, did not materialize and broadcasting suffered until a state agriculture official needed a means to broadcast daily crop and weather reports.

A deal between the official and UT's Extension Division allowed agriculture broadcasts for one hour per day in exchange for equipment maintenance. At other times of the day, the University would broadcast items of interest from the campus, including a number of faculty lecture series.

But by the end of 1924, the Physics Department decided it wanted the station back, and with the approval of the Board of Regents, the Physics Department regained control in the summer of 1925. They had a new license granted on October 30th and it bore, for the first time, the call letters KUT.

KUT history 1925-1927

Professor Simpson L. Brown — in addition to his teaching and research work in the Physics Department — served simultaneously as general manager, technical director, and producer. Programs were aired 3 nights a week from 8 to 10 with no sponsors or commercials.

There were concerts by the University Symphony and other Austin musical organizations as well as discussions, lectures, and speeches by faculty, state officials, and agriculture experts. Weekly services were broadcast from St. David's Episcopal Church and, during football season, fans could listen to play-by-play descriptions of the Longhorn games.

KUT's early years were ambitious but, by 1927, ambition had outrun the funding. The expense of operating and maintaining the station had simply become too great for the Physics Department to sustain. University President Harry Benedict appointed a committee to study the matter, and the committee recommended that the project be discontinued. The station was dismantled and the equipment returned to the Physics labs for experimentation.

KUT would not re-emerge for 30 years.

KUT chronology 1958 to present

1958 - KUT signed on the air licensed to The University of Texas, using a General Electric transmitter built in 1939 and broadcasting at 90.7 MHz from the School of Journalism (now Geography) building at Whitis Avenue & 24th Street: power (4,100 watts), antenna height (268 feet), total signal radius (15 miles).

1961 - KUT moved to newly-refurbished quarters in the Radio/Television building on Speedway, a site now occupied by Robert A. Welch Hall.

1965 - KUT reformatted to an arts and information program schedule following the demise of Austin's commercial classical music station (KHFI), and began the first live Saturday afternoon airings in Austin of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts.

1970 - KUT was qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to receive financial assistance provided to noncommercial radio stations for the first time ever by the federal government. Of the some 600 noncommercial radio stations that were licensed by the FCC at the time, only KUT and 69 others met the CPB qualification criteria.

1971 - KUT became a charter member of National Public Radio (NPR); contributed the first of, what would become in time, 14 of the station's employees to the NPR staff; and carried the first-ever NPR broadcast (All Things Considered) in May.

1974 - KUT moved to completely new, specially-designed quarters in the College of Communication complex at Guadalupe & 26th Street.

1975 - KUT hosted Bob Edwards, then co-anchoring All Things Considered, and the NPR news production team during dedication week for the new Communication complex. The national All Things Considered broadcasts were transmitted each evening that week from the new KUT studio facilities.

1979 - KUT carried the November inaugural broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, with Bob Edwards as host; in doing so, KUT joined 106 others of NPR's 157 member-stations in launching what has become one of the best and most honored of public radio's national programs.

1980 - KUT installed its new public radio network satellite earth terminal and became NPR's southwestern regional uplink, one of only 17 network stations with the capability to transmit as well as receive satellite-delivered radio programs.

1982 - KUT began broadcasting in stereo at 90.5 MHz with 100,000 watts of power, antenna height at 1,595 feet, and a total signal radius of 97 miles—bringing to fruition the federal funding and extraordinarily lengthy regulatory application process that had been started in 1972.

1984 - KUT won the Texas Governor's Barbara Jordan Award for "excellence in the communication of the reality of disabled people" through the production of SoundSight, a weekly news-and-features program for blind and print-impaired listeners.

1986 - KUT, jointly with the UT McDonald Observatory, won The Ohio State University Award for production of the astronomy radio series Star Date. The series was cited for "excellence in educational, informational, and public affairs broadcasting."

1988 - KUT celebrated its 30th anniversary with a series of special events, capped by An Evening with Bob Edwards, NPR's Morning Edition host.

1990 - KUT was recognized, for the 10th consecutive year, as the "Best Radio Station" in Austin by The Austin Chronicle's readers' poll.

1991 - KUT held a special one-day fundraiser to assist NPR in meeting emergency budget needs for news coverage of the Persian Gulf War. The $25,000 raised by KUT was the second highest amount raised among all of NPR's participating member-stations.

1992 - KUT presented the first of its continuing annual celebrations of the short story—Selected Shorts on Tour—a collaboration with New York City's Symphony Space, producer of NPR's weekly series Selected Shorts (now distributed by Public Radio International).

1993 - KUT celebrated its 35th anniversary and—in partnership with UT Austin's Center for Mexican American Studies and with major initial grants from The Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—launched the national radio series Latino USA at a "Cinco de Mayo" reception in Washington, D.C., with President Clinton in attendance along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and cabinet secretaries Federico Peña and Henry Cisneros.

1994 - KUT completed the construction of a new on-air control room and library suite, using 50 percent federal matching funds to replace and upgrade the equipment in this control room and in the production control room; total project cost was in excess of $100,000.

1995 - KUT achieved a listenership benchmark according to Arbitron research: more than 100,000 persons were listening to the station each week.

1996 - KUT completed the installation of its second station (KUTX 90.1 FM) using 75 percent federal matching funds and, delivering its signal via satellite, initiated a first public radio service for the 100,000 residents of San Angelo in the West Texas heartland; total project cost was in excess of $150,000.

See also

External links








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