AUSTIN, Texas — April 11, 2013 — KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 have finished the spring membership drive — the first with two stations — by raising more than $1 million to support the local and national news and information programming on KUT, and the Austin Music Experience on KUTX.
“The success of our first membership drive tells us that the new KUT and KUTX are resonating deeply with our community said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT and KUTX. “The number of first-time donors to both services — nearly half — is truly astounding.”
More than 6,400 individuals and businesses contributed during the semi-annual membership drive, which began April 2 and concluded at 6:30 p.m. yesterday. More than half of those donors — 54 percent — chose to become sustaining members. Sustaining membership, in which members make continuous monthly gifts via credit or debit card — like a subscription — has become the most popular way of supporting the station.
“With both stations being only three months old, we didn’t know what to expect during our first membership drive,” Vanderwilt said. “We’ve been overwhelmed by how the community has embraced KUTX 98.9 and the all-news KUT 90.5.”
Community leaders, musicians and longtime KUT supporters joined KUT and KUTX staff on the air including: Ben Bentzin, McCombs School of Business; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim; John Burnett, NPR; Shawna Butler, TEDxAustin; Elizabeth Christian and Bruce Todd, Elizabeth Christian and Associates and Bruce Todd Public Affairs; Amy Cook, musician; Jim Cousar, Thompson and Knight, LLP; Jim Eno, musician (Spoon); John Kunz, Waterloo Records; Ian McLagan, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician; Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune; and Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs, among others.
The spring membership drive marked the launch of the KUTX Concert Club, which gives listeners the opportunity to see emerging and well-established artists in one of the most intimate performance spaces in town — KUTX Studio 1A. The Concert Club gives music fans advance notice for the 100-plus Studio 1A performance with an in-studio audience and a chance to claim a pair of seats before they are opened to the public.
A KUTX Live Vol. 1 CD was the $120-level thank-you gift. The 19-track CD features some of the best KUTX Studio 1A performances from Calexico, My Jerusalem, Citizen Cope, Alt-j, Allen Toussaint, Iron & Wine, The Heavy, The Tallest Man on Earth, Amy Cook, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., and the Helio Sequence, among others.
Volunteers and the community played a significant role in the success of the spring membership drive. More than 250 volunteers answered phones in the Community Room in the KUT Public Media Studios. Nearly 30 local restaurants donated food and beverages for those volunteers.
KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 depend on individuals and businesses for 92 percent of their annual operating budget. One hundred percent of those contributions are used for direct programming and broadcasting expenses, such as maintaining a news bureau at the state Capitol, reporting on Central Texas news, producing the KUTX Song of the Day and the Austin Music Minute, and paying for programming such as “Morning Edition,” “Eklektikos,” “This American Life,” “Texas Music Matters,” “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “Twine Time.”
About KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, and all-news KUT 90.5
In January, in a move to expand its public service, audience and community engagement, KUT 90.5 split its news and music service among two signals with KUT 90.5 becoming a full-time news and information station and KUTX 98.9 becoming The Austin Music Experience.
A founding member of NPR, KUT 90.5 established a news department in 2002. Since then, KUT News has won more than 100 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. KUTX 98.9 features fresh, cutting-edge music, alongside iconic songs and established artists who continue to inspire. Both stations are non-commercial, member-supported services of The University of Texas at Austin.