Austin’s KUT to sign on with new all-music station Jan. 2

KUT in Austin, Texas, will launch its all-music station, KUTX 98.9 FM, Jan. 2 and adopt an all-news format on 90.7 FM, its flagship signal. The broadcaster’s purchase of the second frequency was approved in August by the University of Texas System Board of Regents. The new station will pick up music programming now airing on KUT and add new shows, including Jazz with Jay Trachtenberg, featuring jazz classics and new releases; What’s Next with Jeff McCord spinning mixes of new music from both emerging and established artists; and a three-hour freeform music mix on Sunday mornings hosted by Jody Denberg. It will also feature performances from KUT’s new studios.

Get a taste of Austin with your holiday music

What do the holidays sound like in Austin, Texas? Austin’s KUT-FM is answering that question with an “Austin-centric” stream of holiday music, now airing on its new station, KUTX 98.9 FM, and on its website at The holiday tunes are airing while KUT prepares the launch of its new all-music format on KUTX Jan. 2, when it will also move KUT to an all-news format. Music shows now on KUT will migrate to the station, which will pick up some additional music programs and air performances from a new studio at KUT as well.

University regents call time-out on KUT signal expansion

One of public radio’s biggest split-format stations, Austin’s KUT, is pursuing a signal expansion that follows a familiar playbook for strengthening audience service: buying a new channel to air music while dedicating its flagship signal to news programming. But for this station serving a city that makes weirdness a point of civic pride, there’s a distinct difference to its ambitions to become a dual-station operator. It will put rock and alternative music, not classical, on its new signal; 90.7 MHz, the FM channel that has served KUT’s news and music audiences for decades, will go all-news. That’s if and when the University of Texas Board of Regents, the governing board of KUT’s licensee, approves the proposed $6 million purchase of 98.9 MHz, a commercial frequency that’s now broadcasting classic rock hits under the call letters KXBT. The regents took only five minutes to discuss the purchase during their July 11 meeting, then postponed a vote that would have cleared the way for KUT to seal the deal.

WUFT, VPR led pubcasters in regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Among the 54 public stations receiving regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for electronic journalism, WUFT-FM of Gainesville, Fla., won eight, and Vermont Public Radio captured seven. Five additional pubradio stations — KUNC, Greeley, Colo.; South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB); KCCU, Lawton, Okla.; WBUR, Boston; and WITF, Harrisburg, Pa. — each won six Murrows in regional RTDNA competitions among broadcast and online news outlets. Awards for overall excellence among large market stations went to KUT in Austin, Texas, and WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C., while WUFT and Alabama Public Radio were recognized among small-market stations in their regions. The Radio Television Digital News Association honored broadcasters across 13 multistate U.S. regions for outstanding news reporting.