Terrible news today from Texas Tech Student Media:
Texas Tech University’s Student Media department is undergoing several changes. The most significant of those changes occurred today when KTXT-FM, the university’s student-run radio station, ceased its broadcasts on 88.1 FM and ktxt.net.
Control of the radio station’s FCC license, which is maintained by the university, is being shifted from the Student Media department to Texas Tech’s other educational radio station, KOHM-FM.
No firm plans regarding the future of the 88.1 FM frequency or the related Web site have been announced.
“We agonized over this decision and looked for ways to enhance KTXT-FM’s role within the Texas Tech community, but ultimately we had to face the fact that changes needed to be made,” said Susan Peterson, director for Student Media. “We recognize this is a huge loss to those who are loyal to KTXT-FM - its listeners and its staff - but the department must grow and change in order to best serve the entire student body.”
Changes in Student Media were planned following an extensive study of departmental operations. Student input, fiscal reviews and administrative and in-house assessments factored into the decision that Student Media’s continued support of KTXT-FM was no longer feasible.
I don’t know if the budget at Student Media is going to be cut severely (I would not be surprised at this given who our Chancellor is), or if a turf war is being fought within the University over who controls KTXT (also would not surprise me), or if some other, unknown factor is at work here.
Lubbock is at risk of losing one of it’s most valuable community resources if KTXT goes away. This radio station can be heard all over Lubbock County and well into the surrounding counties. It’s how I know I’m getting close to home when I come back from a road trip. It’s how I know what day of the week it is sometimes (based on their evening specialty shows). It’s how I find new music (especially local music) and learn about shows here in town. It was going to be an integral part of my business advertising for Awesome Books in 2009.
This situation stinks. Something is going on that is bigger than a broadcast frequency being reassigned to another department of the University. Someone or some group is making a cultural play.
And don’t buy the line about KTXT losing money for Student Media. College radio stations are not for making money. They are for students to learn how to be on the radio, and they are news and culture resources for the community.
Let’s get to the bottom of this and do something about it.
KTXT-FM on Wikipedia