In a move to expand its public service, audience and community engagement, KUT 90.5 FM has entered into an agreement to purchase radio station KXBT 98.9 FM.
The new station, KUTX 98.9 FM, will operate as a noncommercial public radio station broadcasting full-time music programming for audiences seeking the Austin music experience. KUT 90.5 FM will become a full-time news and information station.
This purchase was approved by the University of Texas System Board of Regents today.
New programming will begin on KUTX 98.9 FM and KUT 90.5 FM sometime this fall, following Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval.
“Differentiating KUT’s news and music services across two stations is consistent with our strategic plan to double impact by 2020 and contribute to the long-term public service and sustainability of KUT,” said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT Public Radio. “The new KUT Public Media Studios with their increased production capacity, public spaces and direct audience interaction are the foundation of this strategic direction.”
KUTX 98.9 will feature a public-radio-style music format with diverse playlists covering the broad spectrum of music that makes Austin a global music destination. Programming will include many of KUT’s existing music programs along with interviews, in-studio performances, the music journalism program “Texas Music Matters” and local arts-related news and commentary. Additionally, the all-music station will provide a high-profile platform for promoting and sharing content from the new KUT Public Media Studios’ Performance Studio 1A and the KUT-operated Cactus Cafe.
KUT 90.5 FM, NPR and Austin News from the Capital of Texas will continue to broadcast national news and information programming, including NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air,” “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and “This American Life,” among other national and local programs. The new dedicated format will enable KUT to add additional national news programs and enable KUT’s award-winning news team to provide a deeper level of context and a broader forum for the voices shaping Central Texas.
“Austin is one of only two state capitals in a major market without a full-time news and information public radio station,” continued Vanderwilt. “Austin has all the demographic and social attributes high levels of education, political engagement, civic participation and a strong sense of place needed for a full-time public radio news station to thrive.”
KUT and The University of Texas at Austin are purchasing the station from the Border Media Business Trust in a deal brokered by Public Radio Capital, an independent nonprofit organized to support the growth of public stations throughout the country, for $6 million. No tuition or taxpayer money will be used for the purchase.
KUTX 98.9 FM will provide roughly the same five-county metro-area coverage as KUT 90.5 FM.
Please read the FAQ on KUT.org for additional information.