“The success of our first membership drive tells us that the new KUT and KUTX are resonating deeply with our community,” said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT and KUTX. “The number of first-time donors to both services — nearly half — is truly astounding.”
More than 6,400 individuals and businesses contributed during the semi-annual membership drive, which began April 2 and concluded at 6:30 p.m. April 10. More than half of those donors chose to become sustaining members, making continuous monthly gifts via credit or debit card.
“With both stations being only three months old, we didn’t know what to expect during our first membership drive,” Vanderwilt said. “We’ve been overwhelmed by how the community has embraced KUTX 98.9 and the all-news KUT 90.5.”
According to a release, community leaders, musicians and KUT supporters went on the air, including Ben Bentzin, University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim; Shawna Butler, TEDxAustin; Amy Cook, musician; Jim Cousar, Thompson and Knight, LLP; Jim Eno, musician (Spoon); Ian McLagan, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician; Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune; and Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs.
The spring membership drive marked the launch of the KUTX Concert Club, which gives listeners the opportunity to see artists in KUTX Studio 1A with advance notice and a chance to claim a pair of seats before public sales.
More than 250 volunteers answered phones and approximately 30 local restaurants donated food and beverages for those volunteers.
KUT and KUTX rely on donations for 92% of their annual operating budget. It says that 100% of those contributions are used for direct programming and broadcasting expenses, such as maintaining a news bureau at the state capital, reporting on Central Texas news, producing the KUTX Song of the Day and the Austin Music Minute, and paying for programming such as “Morning Edition,” “Eklektikos,” “This American Life,” “Texas Music Matters” and “Twine Time.”