The University of Texas System Board of Regents has tabled the discussion of KUT-FM plans to purchase cross-town Classic Hits KXBT-FM from Border Media Partners. The board first announced KUT’s plans to acquire KXBT earlier this month in an agenda for the meeting. If approved, KUT plans to split its music and news programming between the two different stations.
The board has not announced when it expects to address the proposition. UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa requested the board table the matter at its July meeting because there were still lingering questions about the $6 million buy. The board did not specify what questions it needed answered, although an anonymous source close to the proceedings said the main question regarded the future of radio, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“We feel strongly that this purchase is both financially sound and of enormous benefit to the University, to its students and to the greater Austin community,” College of Communication Dean Roderick Hart said.
KUT plans to purchase KXBT with a loan from UT’s Unexpended Plant Funds that it will pay over time. The College of Communication has offered to cover any remaining costs if KUT cannot fully pay back the loan.
Under the Texas Constitution, the regents must authorize decisions such as financial purchases, campus expansions, tuition changes and presidential appointments. Before the meeting, the board had made no indication of denying KUT’s request for acquisition, reported The Daily Texan.
Katy Aus, GM at Texas Student Media’s (also owned by UT) KVRX, told the paper she doesn’t think KUT’s expansion will hurt KVRX’s audience base.
“Our mission of providing ‘None of the hits, all of the time’ remains intact,” Aus said. “As a college radio station, we provide an irreplaceable product: exposure to new music, commitment to local artists and a wide spectrum of genres and specialty shows which are emblematic of that very specific college radio dynamic.”
RBR-TVBR observation: As much as we’ve heard recently about colleges and universities selling their stations off to religious or other non-comm entities (like Vanderbilt University’s WRVU-FM) due to lack of interest or available curriculum at the schools, we hope this will be a good example to the contrary.