Watch out for KUT’s signal expansion this fall
Posted by kitefest on September 17, 2012
Along with many other Austinites of my generation, I have been raised listening to KUT every day for the entirety my life. Even folks who don’t like NPR would probably at least recognize the voices: Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne in the morning, John Aielli with music in the afternoon, and Robert Siegel and Terri Gross in the evening. These people have become constants in my life, I could track my day around who’s on the radio. But now, things are going to change. A split proposed earlier this year has been accepted and coming into action this fall, KUT will span over two stations: the original 90.5 FM will continue as a news only channel, and their recently acquired 98.9 FM will serve as a music only channel. I won’t even get into how upset I am that they purchased KXBT “Austin’s Greatest Hits” channel, which is the only place that still streams “The True Oldies Channel” (even if it is in the middle of the night.) So now, my fellow Ausinites and I will have to make a choice: the news or the music? I don’t yet know if the music channel will be having “news on the hour” like the current music programming has, but that’s an element that could sway me. I can understand why the station wants to expand their horizons and offer more options all the time, but along with Click and Clack going off the air this fall and all of the schedule changes on Sunday mornings, this is just too much of a shift for me to take in all at once and it’s going to take a lot of adjustment before I can come to terms with this new reality. The station’s reasoning for this $6 million expansion is that:
“The two services will create a broader platform to share the intellectual and cultural assets of the university and Central Texas with a national and international audience.”
I think I’d rather not have options. One station has always been enough for me and to be honest, there are some radios in my house where I don’t even know how to change the channel because I’ve never needed to. I speak for myself though, I’m sure lots of people sill see this as an innovative idea and will be excited about the variety of programming they’ll now get to hear. So I ask you, what are your thoughts? Yea or nay on this expansion? And since it’s inevitable regardless of your opinion, which station will you be tuning in to?