The University of Texas’ KUT-FM Radio has been an Austin favorite for decades, known for its news and eclectic music and on 1/2 it officially launched the best of those formats as its own station. KUTX 98.9 FM will be purely music all the time while its sister, KUT 90.5, will be news-talk.
“These opportunities don’t really come around any more and you add to the fact that it’s public radio and the not a long box of commercials,” Matt Reilly, PD for the new KUTX, told KXAN-TV. “As a radio geek, this is an amazing thing to be able to do in Austin Texas.”
Honestly we’re one of the last state capitals to not have a full time public radio news station and so we have that on 90.5 but we didn’t get rid of the music we’re expanding the music and KUTX 98.9 will have the music experience,” added Stewart Vanderwilt, GM of both stations.
Over the summer, the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the purchase of 98.9 FM. The university and KUT were able to get a deal through Public Radio Capital, an independent non profit which helps public stations, to buy 98.9 from Border Media Business Trust for $6 million.
“KUTX, the Austin Music Experience,” will feature an array of music from local artists as well as unique music. A lot of the programming that used to be on the old format of KUT will transfer over to the new station. Live performances, interviews, programs like “Texas Music Matters” along with new shows will constantly run on 98.9 FM.
Along with the new frequency, they needed a new facility to house the two stations. The station is now in the new state of the art KUT Public Media Studios. It includes performance “Studio 1A” which gives bands the opportunity to play on-air live in front of an audience.
The studio is equipped with drums, amps and the acoustics for bands to perform without having to worry about the hassle of transportation. Currently there are 300 bands booked for the next year. Reilly told KXAN-TV there could be up to three live performances a day.