KUT has named recording industry veteran Matthew Muñoz manager of the Cactus Cafe. He will start on Sept. 13.
Muñoz, 39, brings more than a decade of national music industry experience to the Cactus Cafe, including experience in marketing, promotion and artist events. Previously, he worked as director of sales and marketing at Justice Records in Austin, label manager at Universal Music Group's Fontana Distribution in Los Angeles, and in marketing and promotion roles at Warner Bros. and Reprise Records in Los Angeles, and Arista Records in Austin.
"Throughout the interview process, Matt distinguished himself as someone who could carry on and enhance the artistic tradition of the Cactus with an eye toward financial sustainability," said Hawk Mendenhall, KUT associate general manager and program director. "His experience collaborating with booking agents, artist managers and their artists, and record label executives, combined with his experience managing budgets and negotiating music clearance and performance contracts, makes him the ideal fit."
Muñoz, who earned a bachelor of music degree in music business from West Texas AandM University, will oversee Cactus Cafe operations, and work with KUT to develop year-round programming and a sustainable business model. He will work with students to identify opportunities to attract the university community to the venue. A production and promotion student internship program will be developed as well.
"I can't say enough about how gracious Griff Luneburg [previous Cactus Cafe manager] has been since KUT was named a partner with the Cactus," said Mendenhall. "He's been a real team player and we look forward to working with him during this transitional period."
Earlier this year, the university restructured Cactus Cafe operations to make it financially sustainable. Citing KUT's experience in the music industry, the prospects for financial stability and support from student leaders for the plan, the university created a partnership with KUT, a division of the College of Communication, to continue and enhance the operation of the Cactus Cafe. KUT assumed venue management responsibilities Aug. 16. Daytime operations and the bar remain under the direction of Texas Union management.