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Sustaining donors continue to shine in KUT and KUTX spring 2014 membership drive

AUSTIN, Texas — April 8, 2014 — Central Texans raised nearly $800,000 to support the news, information and cultural programming on KUT 90.5, Austin's NPR station, and the music programming on KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience.

Close to 4,500 individuals and businesses participated in the spring membership drive, which began March 26 and concluded at 9 a.m., April 4. Forty-one percent of participants were first-time donors with more than 30 percent of donors becoming sustaining members.

"Since launching our sustaining membership program in March 2011 it has grown to 13,000 individuals who care deeply about the work we do," said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT and KUTX. "Sustaining membership, in which members make continuous monthly gifts via credit or debit card — like a subscription — has become a vital source of ongoing support for the station."

Community leaders, musicians and longtime supporters joined KUT and KUTX staff on the air during the drive including: Ben Bentzin, McCombs School of Business; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim; Shawna Butler, TEDxAustin; Jim Cousar, Thompson and Knight, LLP; Rodney Gibbs, The Texas Tribune; Grammy award-winning musician Patty Griffin; John Kunz, Waterloo Records; Kim McCarson of KOOP Radio; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Ian McLagan; musician Nakia, Kevin Russell, lead singer of Shinyribs and The Gourds; Jake Silverstein, Texas Monthly editor; Bruce Todd, Travis County Commissioner Precinct Two; Steven Tomlinson, Acton MBA; and Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs, among others.

KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 depend on local individuals and businesses for 92 percent of their annual operating budget. Almost 100% of individual 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 90.5, Austin's NPR station, uses the highest editorial standards to shed light on the city's civic challenges and opportunities. A founding member of NPR, KUT established a news department in 2002. Since then, KUT News has won more than 100 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence.

Launched in 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