KUT License Challenge

We received an interesting email the other day from one Mark Bryant, who’s spent the last 35 years doing telecom policy work (including much at the FCC) — on the common carrier side of the agency, rather than the broadcast side:

In the last couple of months, I’ve become increasingly dismayed at how the programming on the station has become increasingly homogenized. I did an sort of informal analysis comparing the playlists of KUT and KGSR a few days ago, and found a truly astounding congruence. I fail to see how public broadcasting’s mandate of serving unserved and underserved communities is advanced by having a public radio station that simply duplicates the programming of a (very good) local commercial station.

I looked up KUT’s license info on the FCC’s web site, and found that the license comes up for renewal in August, 2013. I’m seriously thinking about filing a formal petition for denial of the renewal application, based on the increasing commercialization of the station and the station’s failure to serve the public interest by providing diversity in its programming.

What do you think? Is this something worth trying to organize the community around?

Mark says he plans on doing a more comprehensive analysis of the station’s playlist as we get closer to license renewal time, as well as collecting transcripts of their underwriting messages, which he believes are clearly getting into prohibited promotion. You can get into touch with Mark through this site.

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4 Responses

  1. Why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?

  2. “Wow.” If NPR is propaganda, what are Fox and EIB?

  3. Wow. I’m not familiar with either of the stations discussed. However… why pick on them? There are many, many stations not serving the public. How about challenging all stations who carry NPR news, sometimes referred to as National Propaganda Radio?

  4. Well alright ! I have always felt that since station management and UT systems refuse to even communicate with any listener who objects to current policy, the only way to bring about any change would be thru threatening their license. And I agree totally with Mr Bryant that KUT has become a commercial station masquerading as a public one. The playlists show a big part of that, as well as their dependence on commercial donors and their practice of sponsoring what are obviously commercial events around town. I hope that Mark will be following thru on this and that readers here will lend their support .

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