Sylvia Ponce-Carson to retire from KUT and KUTX Public Media
AUSTIN, Texas – Dec. 12, 2023 – Sylvia Ponce-Carson, deputy general manager for KUT and KUTX Public Media, will retire Dec. 31, after 22 years of service to the station and three decades in public media.
When she arrived in January 2002 KUT was a hybrid news and music station, carrying a mix of NPR, BBC and other programs, as well as locally hosted music. She strengthened the station’s revenue model – both underwriting and membership, helping the station grow at a rate beyond similar-sized operations.
Within her first year, KUT launched a local newsroom. Ten years later, Sylvia spearheaded a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign to build the KUT Public Media Studios and launch KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience. In 2015, she led the fund-raising campaign to launch “Texas Standard,” the national daily news show of Texas, broadcast on 30 public radio stations across the state.
“It has been an honor to be a part of the growth and success of KUT for the past 23 years. With almost 35 years in the industry, I can honestly say this has been my most cherished role. The growth and changes here have been monumental – from one station with no newsroom, to having one of the largest newsrooms in Texas, two thriving stations and a beautiful new building to call home,” Ponce-Carson said.
“The staff of KUT and KUTX are some of the most talented leaders in the industry. I know great things are on the horizon,” she continued.
Ponce-Carson’s departure leaves some important roles to fill. While they won’t be filled directly, there will be changes to existing roles. Wade Lee, director of development, will take on additional responsibilities around strategy and audience development. Gerald Johnson, executive director for program/center innovation and partnerships at the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, will oversee underwriting revenue.
“When I took this job almost five years ago, Sylvia said she planned to retire in three years. Instead, she gave us five, and for that I am extremely grateful, said Debbie Hiott, executive director and general manager. “Her passion for the mission, knowledge of the organization and generosity in sharing that knowledge have made me a better leader here – and made KUT & KUTX better stations.”