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Anxiety Swirling at College Radio Station KVRX as Sale Rumors Surface

KVRX

KVRX

According to an article in Wednesday’s Daily Texan, a proposal recently surfaced that made a recommendation to sell University of Texas student radio station KVRX. The preliminary proposal to sell KVRX (as well as student television station TSTV) was presented in November 2011 by the former director of Texas Student Media (which oversees all student media properties), yet was not made public until a few weeks ago. The article states that a $175,000 budget deficit at the student media organization led to the proposal.

“Former Texas Student Media (TSM) director Gary Borders wrote the unofficial proposal in November. Borders abruptly resigned Feb. 8. Borders said his resignation was forced upon him by Vice President of Student Affairs Juan Gonzalez — possibly as a result of Gonzalez’s strong opposition to the proposal. TSTV and KVRX station managers said they were not notified about the proposal at the time.”

A Texas Student Media board meeting is planned for Monday morning and this proposal is expected to be discussed, although University of Texas Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty told the Daily Texan that “there are no plans for another proposal suggesting sale of any TSM entities…” Although Texas Student Media oversees KVRX, the University of Texas holds the station’s FCC license.

Ironically, this news came out just as KVRX was completing one of its most successful on-air fundraisers, according to a DJ at the station.

In advance on Monday’s board meeting, students opposed to selling off KVRX and TSTV have set up an online petition that reads,

“KVRX and TSTV are at risk of being sold. Show your support for KVRX and TSTV and your rejection of any proposal to sell the broadcast licenses to accommodate Texas Student Media (TSM) budget deficits. The sale of broadcast licenses was proposed to UT administration by the former Director of TSM without informing the TSM Board of Operating Trustees. A board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 27, includes the following item on the agenda: ‘Discussion and possible action regarding the existence and communication of any proposals to sell the broadcast licenses of Texas Student Media.’

Send a strong message to the TSM Board that you want KVRX and TSTV to be around for years to come.”

Student-run KVRX began broadcasting over cable using the call letters KTSB in 1988 and expanded to FM in 1994. KVRX shares its 91.7 FM signal in Austin with community radio station KOOP. KOOP broadcasts from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekdays and  from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekends; KVRX is on the air when KOOP is not. In addition to terrestrial broadcasting, KVRX airs a full schedule of programming online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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3 Responses to Anxiety Swirling at College Radio Station KVRX as Sale Rumors Surface

  1. Radio Active Gavin February 24, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Thanks so much for watchdogging, Jennifer. I got my start at KVRX all the way back in 2000. The station’s mission is to play “none of the hits all of the time.” I have to say that guy who got fired deserved it! That’s crazy.

  2. John Anderson February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Have you seen the plea from Illini Media Company (Univ. of IL Urbana-Champaign)? The student newspaper, the Daily Illini, did a front-page story recently about possibly having to suspend publication due to dire finances.

    Illini Media’s a separate, for-profit student media company…and the student-run radio station (WPGU) is a 10,000-watt solid signal, which has never been run with aplomb. Them’s pickings seem unfortunately ripe, too.

  3. Philip Goetz February 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    So I posted to the petition to keep KVRX and TSTV. Here it is:

    I like that it is called “Keep” instead of “Save”. This is light years ahead and exactly where we need to be. “Keeping” is a conscious decision and allows action. “Save” is negative, shows a fight and seems desperate. Bravo on the semantics. The independent voices of student media are vital. The community around the stations and the experience cannot be re-created online or in the classroom. One may think that radio is not a promising career. Finding your voice is priceless. It’s a way of traveling and not necessarily a career path. A class may end after a semester but student media work spans your four years. Silent Spring was THE book of the 1960s and some think Rich Media Poor Democracy could be a similar indictment of the media ecology of the 1990s. The book encourages a diverse media diet and “media reform” is entering the general lexicon. Smoking causes cancer? What we extinct today has unknown implications. Extinct isn’t a verb. More about me at http://www.lp-fm.org/

    I did a radio show at KVRX and two TV shows at TSTV. My original facebook profile pic was a venn diagram with radio on the left and tv on the right. The overlap was grey. It said “figure 1, radio AND television. We live in a converged media world where the audience is looking at the closest available screen. Convergence is NOT consolidation. If an organization has writers, audio folks and media folks they don’t need to fire the different departments and just keep one person to do everything, they need to keep everyone and make everyone do everything. Yes I am employed. No I don’t live in my parents basement.

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