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KUT/KUTX asking for voluntary furloughs, early retirement to stave off $1M shortfall next year

Both KUT/90.5FM—Austin's NPR affiliate—and sister station KUTX/98.9FM are asking staff to consider early retirement and voluntary furloughs to make up for a projected $1 million shortfall in its budget next fiscal year, KUT Projects Editor Matt Largey tweeted early Thursday.


No official announcement has been made by leadership at KUT/KUTX, which is housed on the University of Texas at Austin campus and recently completed a membership and donation drive. The request came through email, staffers said, and includes a 25% pay incentive for eligible staffers who take early retirement before Sept. 30.

"The recession has come to @KUT," veteran station reporter Mose Buchele tweeted. "This is hard."

The request is an apparent attempt to avoid the more extreme cuts that have plagued media organizations in Austin, most deeply at the Austin American-Statesman, which temporarily furloughed its entire staff on a rotating basis in the early weeks of the pandemic, and more recently laid off seven longtime staffers.

Reactions on social media were swift and supportive, with listeners suggesting that KUT hold an emergency fundraising drive and praising the work the staff has done.

"I feel this community would rally behind an emergency pledge drive in record numbers. Just sayin. We all appreciate the work you guys do day in day out," tweeted one listener.

Twitter

KUT and KUTX get 87% of their annual operating budget of $13.21 million from local members and businesses, about 5% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the rest from fees and grants, according to the KUT website.

Here's how you can support KUT and KUTX.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway