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Sustaining Donors Shine in KUT and KUTX Fall 2013 Membership Drive

AUSTIN, Texas — Oct. 28, 2013 — KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 concluded their fall membership drive by raising more than $800,000 to support the local and national news and information programming on KUT, and the Austin Music Experience on KUTX.

Nearly 5,000 individuals and businesses participated in the semi-annual membership drive, which began Oct. 16 and concluded Friday morning, Oct. 25, with half of those donors choosing 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.

"Despite a slow start — thanks to rain, technical issues and the economic brinksmanship in Washington, D.C. — we completed the fall membership drive with an impressive result," said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT and KUTX.

Facts about the fall 2013 membership drive:

  • More than 2,500 individuals became sustaining members — growing our sustainer pool by 25 percent.
  • More than 40 percent of fall contributors are new members.
  • More than half of all contributions were made online, reducing the hours required of volunteers.

Community leaders, musicians and longtime supporters joined KUT and KUTX staff on the air including: Ben Bentzin, McCombs School of Business; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim; Shawna Butler, TEDxAustin; Elizabeth Christian, Elizabeth Christian and Associates; Amy Cook, musician; Jim Cousar, Thompson and Knight, LLP; Rodney Gibbs, The Texas Tribune; John Kunz, Waterloo Records; Ian McLagan, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician; Kevin Russell, lead singer of Shinyribs and The Gourds; Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune; Bruce Todd, Travis County Commissioner Precinct Two; and Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs, among others.
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 "In Black America," the new KUTX show "The Austin Music Experience," the KUTX Song of the Day and the Austin Music Minute, and paying for programming such as "Morning Edition," "This American Life," "Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me"  "Marketplace," "Fresh Air," "The Takeaway" and "Here & Now."

About KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience
KUT News uses the highest editorial standards to shed light on Austin's civic challenges and opportunities and connects citizens to information they need to experience Austin, Texas. 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.

Launched on Jan. 2, 2013, KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, is the non-commercial, member-supported music service of KUT Public Radio. KUTX 98.9 features fresh, cutting-edge music, alongside iconic songs and established artists who continue to inspire. Programming includes live, one-of-a-kind performances in Studio 1A; the Austin Music Minute, the KUTX Song of the Day, and the Austin Music Map featuring some of the unlikely places where music is being made in Austin.


Contact: Erin Geisler (512) 475-8071