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Meet some of the people who make the news and music happen every month

Jordan Tarter, Adam Stanley and Phyllis Kruciak are among the 22,000 sustaining members who support the news and music on KUT and KUTX each month.
Jordan Tarter, Adam Stanley and Phyllis Kruciak are among the 22,000 sustaining members who support the news and music on KUT and KUTX each month.

Every month about 22,000 people support the news and music on KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 that enriches their lives by making a recurring monthly donation – either via credit card or an automatic bank account withdraw. This simple act saves us time and money, and allows us to put more of your dollars toward the news and music that Central Texans rely on. It also helps us better plan for the future.

Our fall membership drive starts Thursday, Oct. 20, and we want to highlight some of the sustaining members who are there for us – and the community – every month.

For the past 10 years, whenever Phyllis Kruciak is in her car, she’s listening to KUT. She appreciates that KUT News offers various perspectives that reflect the diversity seen across Central Texas. “I find I’m learning about things right down the street from a different perspective,” she says.

“The reporting is honest and a source that I trust,” she explains. She especially appreciates KUT News as an independent source of information. “In order to maintain that independence, we need to support KUT. It’s an important community service,” she says. “And I feel personal responsibility for helping maintain that.”

Once she became a sustaining member, Phyllis felt even closer to the station. “I feel like I’m a small part of the station and in service to my community.”

When asked about her favorite thank-you gift, she says the T-shirt is her go-to. “When I see other Austinites wearing their KUT T-shirt, I feel connected to them – I have that T-shirt too!”

A self-proclaimed “NPR junkie,” Jordan Tarter started listening to her local public radio station WPLN in Nashville while in pharmacy school. She quickly connected with KUT when she moved to Austin eight and one-half years ago.

“The interviews drew me in. I love interviews with fascinating people from all over the world,” she says. “It’s interesting to hear different perspectives from the other side of the state – or the world – and realize how much we have in common.”

“As soon as I could afford it, supporting KUT every month was a no-brainer. I want to support the things that bring me so much joy and information,” she explains.

She recalls listening to a membership drive a few years ago where a host talked about carrying the load for others in your community who are not in a position to give. “That day I doubled my contribution. I want KUT and NPR to carry on and continue their important work.

“As a sustaining member, I feel I’m part of making this important work happen and that I’m part of the change I want to see in the world,” she says. “I feel proud of being part of the antidote against some of the less trustworthy media sources.”

Jordan typically listens to the station in her car, but uses the KUT app on her phone to “continue those driveway moments into the house.”

While she often opts out of the thank-you gifts – “I’d rather let the station keep the money” – she is obsessed with her Public Radio Nerd T-shirt, saying she’s flattered when strangers ask if she works for NPR when they see her donning the iconic black T-shirt.

Longtime WBEZ Chicago listener Adam Stanley moved to Austin two and one-half years ago and immediately started streaming KUT throughout his house using the TuneIn app on his Control4 (smart home system).

“I’ve always liked NPR for its in-depth, fact-focused coverage,” he says. “While I still listen to ‘Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me,’ (based in Chicago) I really appreciate the Texas-specific programming, such as ‘Texas Standard,’ which dives into topics like Texas policy and education, and the podcast ‘Black Austin Matters,’ which has introduced me to some of Austin’s local Black leaders. These are good connections for someone fairly new to Texas and to Austin.”

More recently, he discovered KUTX 98.9 with its focus on new and local music.

“If something adds value to me, I want to reciprocate that value. I vote with my money. So I demonstrate my appreciation for the station by supporting it,” he explains.

After becoming a sustaining member, Adam says he feels differently about some of his subscriptions. “It’s weird, I pay $70 a month for a YouTube subscription, but I’m only interested in about 5 percent of what it offers. Whereas, I donate $100 a month to KUT and am interested in just about everything it offers.”

Interested in taking the next step? It’s never too late to become a Sustaining Member. Donate now.