News Releases

AUSTIN, Texas —Sept. 9, 2019 – Public radio stations across Texas are teaming with NPR to increase coverage of statewide issues and boost reporting from underserved regions, including the border with Mexico. Reporters and editors from the state’s four largest public radio stations — KUT in Austin, KERA in Dallas, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, and Houston Public Media — will plan statewide coverage together, share resources, and dig deeper into the most important stories in Texas.

KUTX Live at The Four Seasons: HAAM Day Concert and Live Broadcast featuring Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Sept. 24

“StarDate’s” Sandy Wood to Retire

Aug 6, 2019
courtey of "StarDate"

Billy Henry to Replace Her as Voice of “StarDate”

Austin Texas – Aug. 6, 2019 – Sandy Wood, the popular and charismatic announcer of “StarDate,” is retiring after 28 years on the air. Her final episode aired July 16. Voice talent Billy Henry is the new voice of the long-running science program.

AUSTIN, Texas – July 22, 2019 – KUT and KUTX Associate Director of Broadcast and Content Hawk Mendenhall will retire on Dec. 31.

He joined KUT 90.5 in 2001 when the station was a music and national news format with a monthly listenership of 85,000 and no local news programming. During his tenure, he led the station through several transformational schedule changes that brought in new audiences and increased overall listening. Today, the station serves a monthly audience of about 600,000 through two broadcast signals, multiple digital platforms and a statewide weekday news show.

Event: Test your knowledge of news and current events in KUT 90.5’s inaugural Spectacle of Knowledge Trivia Night, hosted by KUT News reporter Jimmy Maas.

You don’t need to be a news nerd to compete; if you listen to KUT 90.5 on the regular, we declare you fit to compete. Teams can range from two to a maximum of six.

Topics fall into four categories: News, Business/Money, Life and Sports.

Sign up at

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

AUSTIN, Texas – April 30, 2019 – KUT reporter Ashley Lopez and multimedia journalist Julia Reihs won Charles E. Green Awards for Best Reporter and Best Online/Special Content, respectively.

Sponsored by the Headliners Foundation of Texas, the Charles E. Green Awards honor Texas journalists who produce the “very best” news reporting and commentary.

AUSTIN, Texas – April 29, 2019 – KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, and “Texas Standard,” the national daily news show of Texas, have earned a combined total of 15 awards – including seven first-place designations – from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters (TAPB) in recognition of excellence and achievement in journalism.

The awards, announced April 27 at an awards event in Austin, were earned in the Division A, large market radio news category. The following work, produced in 2018, was recognized:

KUT Recognition

AUSTIN, Texas – April 23, 2019 – KUT News and “Texas Standard” have won six regional Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in recognition of outstanding achievement in broadcast and digital journalism, technical expertise and adherence to RTDNA’s code of ethics.

This year’s winners were judged in 14 regions and represent 309 local radio and TV newsrooms. KUT News and “Texas Standard” each won three awards in the Region 6 (Oklahoma and Texas) large market radio category for the following projects produced in 2018:

AUSTIN, Texas – April 19, 2019 – Central Texans stepped up to voluntarily support fact-based journalism and the Austin music experience at KUT 90.5 and KUTX 98.9 during their joint spring membership drive.

The on-air portion of the seven-day membership drive, which ended April 12, raised $675,000 and added more than 1,275 new members, with some sustaining members choosing to increase their monthly donation.

AUSTIN – April 19, 2019 – “Texas Standard” programs about a post-election blue wave reaching Texas, a legacy of “pirate” radio over Texas airwaves, and a series where people confess some of their darkest secrets won National Headliner awards today.

The Nov. 7 show examining what the election results say about the future of the Lone Star State, produced and reported by “Texas Standard” staff, won first place in the newscast category.


AUSTIN, Texas – March 28, 2019 – KUT 90.5’s story about a program that would improve the way blind people use the bus system won a Barbara Jordan Media Award in recognition of work that accurately and positively reports on individuals with disabilities, using People First language and respectful depictions. 

This is the third win for KUT and its daily news magazine Texas Standard.

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 28, 2019 – Once again, Central Texans have voted KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, “Best Radio Station” in the Austin Chronicle’s annual Austin Music poll.

This is the fifth time KUTX 98.9 has been named “Best Radio Station” in the annual readers’ poll since the station launched six years ago.

Concerts featuring Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Wyclef Jean, Andrew Bird and More Support HAAM

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 26, 2019 – No badge? No problem. KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, is bringing together some of the most anticipated 2019 SXSX Music Conference artists – and those poised to break out – for four mornings of music appreciation and discovery at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. Proceeds benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

KUTX And WMOT Present 'T For Texas, T For Tennessee'

Feb 22, 2019

Americana Showcase at the Cactus Cafe, March 12

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 22, 2019 – KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, and WMOT Roots Radio 89.5, present “T for Texas, T for Tennessee,” showcasing local and national Americana artists in the intimate setting of the Cactus Cafe listening room, Tuesday, March 12.

From roots-rock, to swamp-funk, to country, this KUTX-WMOT-produced concert will showcase a distinct array of sound and performances that will delight and inspire.

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 29, 2019 – Research shows practicing gratitude makes you more alert, increases your joy factor and creates more optimism and happiness. KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience; the Austin Music Foundation; and the City of Austin Music and Entertainment Division are turning the gratitude dial to 11 by once again declaring February “Love Austin Music Month.”

The Cactus Cafe Celebrates 40 Years

Jan 24, 2019

Yearlong celebration includes concerts with I’m With Her, David Ramirez and more

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 24, 2019 – On Valentine’s Day in 1979, a small music venue opened on the University of Texas at Austin campus, becoming an iconic listening room where artists such as Robert Earl Keen, David Ramirez, Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, Wood & Wire, and many others honed their craft before achieving success. Forty years later, the Cactus Cafe continues to be one of Austin’s great Americana music traditions.

Austin American-Statesman

Debbie Hiott, who most recently served as editor of the Austin American-Statesman for seven years, has been selected to lead KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, and KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, as their next general manager and the executive director of media operations for the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.

WHAT:  KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, and the Downtown Austin Alliance invite the community to start the holidays downtown at the annual Holiday Sing-Along and Stroll! All events are free and open to the public.

KUT Statement on the Removal of Two Stories

Nov 13, 2018

Two stories about newsroom personnel issues written by a freelance reporter were removed from last week. 

The following statement addresses why this was done:

KUT is committed to robust, accurate and independent journalism - even when the station itself, is the subject of said reporting.

Since the recent stories involved personnel matters and allegations of inappropriate behavior, KUT newsroom leadership committed to have them reviewed by outside legal counsel before publication. That process did not happen.

AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 2, 2018 – Citizens who understand the importance of fact-based news and information, and music that reflects our community chose to invest in KUT and KUTX Public Radio during the fall 2018 membership drive – the shortest membership drive to date.

Event: The Cactus Cafe presents I’m With Her, the band of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan – with opening guest Delle Sorelle – as part of its yearlong 40th anniversary celebration, which kicks off in February.

When: 8 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.) Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. Tickets are on sale now at

Where: Hogg Memorial Auditorium (2300 Whitis Ave.).

Filipa A. Rodrigues Teixeira

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 24, 2018 – Sylvia Ponce-Carson has been named interim general manager of Austin’s KUT and KUTX Public Radio as of Oct. 8. She replaces interim executive director Patti C. Smith who announced her resignation today.


AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 21, 2018 –KUT News coverage of the Austin serial bombings received an Online Journalism Award at the annual Online News Association conference in Austin Sept. 15.

KUT News won in the breaking news, small newsroom category honoring digital coverage within 36 hours of an unplanned breaking or developing news event. The award recognizes exceptional journalism, quality of writing, use of other media and creative use of digital and mobile platforms under deadline pressure.

Mobley, Kalu and The Electric Joint, Alesia Lani and Night Glitter Salute MTV’s Golden Era

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 12, 2018 – KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, and Four Seasons Hotel Austin will present “I Want My ALL ATX,” a concert benefitting the music education-based non-profit ALL ATX, Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin lawn.

Photo: Julia Reihs; illustration: Jacquie Fuller

AUSTIN, Texas — Aug. 27, 2018 — KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, and Mueller Austin present: “Rock the Park,” a family friendly concert series at the Mueller Lake Park Amphitheater.

This free, monthly music series takes place one Friday each month September through November. Each concert is curated by KUTX Live Music Producer Deidre Gott and Bill Childs, host of KUTX’s Sunday-evening kids’ show, “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.”

The fall 2018 lineup includes:

Event: KUT News is taking ATXplained – its award-winning crowdsourced reporting project – to the stage in an evening of live storytelling based on questions from Austinites about the city’s people, places and culture.

The audience will watch eight never-before-heard stories told live on stage with accompanying visuals by KUT News reporters — as well as some classic ATXplained stories reimagined for a live audience.

AUSTIN, Texas — June 20, 2018 — KUT 90.5’s website has won a National Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in recognition of excellence in electronic journalism. won in the large market radio website category with the following stories cited for excellence:

AUSTIN, Texas – June 20, 2018 – “Texas Standard,” the national daily news show of Texas, has been recognized as among the world’s best radio programs by the New York Festivals® Radio Program and Promotion Awards ™.

The hour-long weekday show earned a silver award in the Best News Magazine category.

AUSTIN, Texas – June 18, 2018 – “Texas Standard,” the national daily news show of Texas, won four 2018 Lone Star Awards – including two first-place designations – from the Houston Press Club in recognition of outstanding achievements in journalism in Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas – May 8, 2018 – Longtime Austin media executive Patti C. Smith has been named interim executive director of KUT and KUTX Public Radio in Austin.

KUT and KUTX director and general manager Stewart Vanderwilt announced last month that he would depart in June to serve as president and CEO of Colorado Public Radio. Smith will serve as interim executive director during a national search for a permanent director for KUT and KUTX. She starts May 14.