Austin stations receive $1.5 million gift for news and music

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Gabriel C. Pérez

KUT's headquarters in Austin.

KUT and KUTX in Austin received their largest outright gift ever of $1.5 million to support their news and music services.

The funds were donated by former journalists Lynne Dobson and Greg Wooldridge. The gift will support beat reporting on the Texas Capitol and the statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard over three years. 

The gift will be “transformative in helping KUT meet local demand for service and regional growth,” Debbie Hiott, KUT and KUTX GM, said in a press release. “Austin is getting bigger and its issues are more complex. That’s why we must build and sustain a newsroom that can expand. This generous gift is going to help us do that, and hopefully it will encourage others who believe in local news and what we do, to step up as well.” 

The gift is also in honor of former music host John Aielli, who died last year. The donation will allow KUT to name its community room after Aielli. 

“Music, nature, parks and green spaces are the lifeblood of Austin, and truth in journalism and social justice are the lifeblood of society,” Wooldridge said. “KUT provides a voice for all of this.”

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