Cutting costs means cutting airshifts for KUT DJs

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Longtime music hosts Paul Ray and Larry Monroe lost airtime when Austin’s KUT revamped its evening schedule, and their fans are mighty upset about it. Cleve Hattersley of the Greezy Wheels, a quintessentially Austin band from the 1970s whose influence lives on, organized a public forum last week for listeners to discuss ways to reverse KUT’s programming changes. “At least 100 people attended Hattersley’s town hall meeting, where suggestions for action included cutting off donations to KUT, a position not endorsed by everyone,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. Meanwhile, the Facebook group Support Larry Monroe and Paul Ray at KUT, “two of the best DJs ever to spin a record,” has 940 members. Ray lost two weeknight airshifts that had been devoted to jazz music; Monroe’s “Phil Music Program” on Thursdays was cancelled. Matt Reilly, assistant music director, now hosts those evening airshifts. Ray and Monroe each continue to host specialty programs: Twine Time, Ray’s popular Saturday night show, and Blue Monday, Monroe’s bluesy evening kick-off to the work-week. KUT changed its schedule as it cut $120,000 from its budget, KUT manager Stewart Vanderwilt writes in a letter to listeners. “These decisions are truly painful for all of us; it feels like losing a good friend. It is that personal connection that makes KUT and public radio so special. We’re very sorry for any dismay these changes may cause,” he writes.