Decibel: Under Construction

When I moved into my office at KLRU, I was greeted by the constant hum of construction noises in the courtyard outside.  Crews were pouring sidewalks, planting trees and giving the place a much-needed facelift. At first, I was annoyed. It was a distraction to write and edit with a bulldozer below my window.

Construction workers on the corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe.

I quickly considered my position here and smiled. I’m heading up a whole new journalism and public affairs initiative. We are “under construction”; building new ways to cover our community and engage our viewers. Reporting and investigating issues that truly matter is rarely quiet and calm. News is noisy, necessary work.

We are calling KLRU’s news and public affairs commitment, Decibel. Decibel will amplify stories and issues important to Austin by listening to the community and encouraging dynamic discussions.

Right now, the integrity and authenticity of journalism is under fire. As someone who has been part of this profession for 35 years, I’m incredibly troubled by the term “ fake news” and the attempts to de-legitimize the vital role a free press plays in a democracy. It’s not a perfect profession, but solid journalists search out the truth. That’s our job. That’s what we will continue to do, every single day.

At Decibel, we will not take your trust for granted. We have the honor of being part of PBS, an already trusted news institution. We hope you will follow our Facebook page, where we’ll share our stories, our interviews and our diverse community conversations. It’s where much of that interaction and engagement will take place.

As always, we welcome and invite your comments and thoughts. We want our work to reflect the issues in this community that you care about.

Thank you for starting this journey with us and stay tuned…

Judy Maggio   

Editorial Director, News & Public Affairs, KLRU-TV


$50k in 1 day to Amplify #YourKLRU!

Are you ready to #AmplifyATX and #YourKLRU? Amplify Austin is just 10 days away, and KLRU is joining more than 600 Austin area non-profits to help raise $9 million for Central Texas in just 24 hours.

KLRU has a goal to raise $50,000 during Amplify Austin, March 2nd through 3rd, and we can’t do it without YOU! Your gift during Amplify will help build a more informed, connected and educated community. Better yet, amplify your community-supported public television station before everyone else by scheduling your donation TODAY OR helping us #AmplifyATX and #YourKLRU in one of the following ways:

Give! Donate online starting at 6pm on Thursday, March 2nd through 6pm on Friday, March 3rd. Or schedule your gift ahead of time so you don’t forget!

Engage! Join KLRU’s Facebook Amplify event to keep up to date on our campaign progress. Get the word out and spread the #YourKLRU love through email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or wherever you internet. You can even tell people in person!

Inspire! Get involved and fundraise with your OWN KLRU Amplify Campaign Page! You set the goal then share your KLRU passion and inspire others to support your campaign. Learn more here.

Attend! KLRU and Domain NORTHSIDE are teaming up to celebrate philanthropy in Central Texas. Join us on the patio of Paul Martin’s Austin Grill on Thursday, March 2nd at 6pm as KLRU kicks off Amplify Austin and 24 hours of giving. Come to support your local PBS station, stay for the complimentary bites and drinks.

Will you help #YourKLRU #AmplifyATX by scheduling your gift today?

Highlights Feb. 19-25

KLRU Highlights

Lisette re-creates on paper the face of a disfigured, amnesiac soldier, leading to a family reunion. When Anne’s plans to be made head nurse fail, she rejoins Hale to undermine McBurney’s authority. Watch Mercy Street at 7:00 pm on Sunday and 9:00 pm on Thursday.

With a child on the way, Victoria must choose a regent in case she dies during childbirth. The Tory party disputes her choice, but she and Albert turn the tables with the aid of the latest in 19th-century technology. Watch Victoria at 8:00 pm Sunday and the following Saturday.

Lucy Worsley gets into bed with our past monarchs to reveal that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. In fact, the rise and fall of their magnificent beds reflects the changing fortunes of the monarchy itself, all on Tales From The Royal Bedchamber, airing at 9:00 pm Sunday and the following Saturday.

Airing at 10:00 pm Sunday night, Father Brown witnesses the apparent suicide of a troubled student at Upcott Seminary. Convinced a murderer is at work, he persuades Sid to go undercover to flush out the killer.

In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between men of color and law enforcement, learn how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police, on Talk – Race In America, airing Monday night at 8:00 pm.

Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman and human rights champion John Lewis. At the Selma March, Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence. Now 76, he is considered the conscience of Congress. Watch John Lewis – Get In The Way at 10:00 pm Monday.

Journey through the prolific life of the I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings author and activist who inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought. Features new interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons, and others. Watch Maya Angelou: American Masters airing at 7:00 pm on Tuesday.

On this Frontline special airing Tuesday night at 9:00 pm., watch the dramatic story of a Gitmo detainee released from the controversial U.S. prison after 14 years. With NPR, a report on the struggle over freeing prisoners once deemed international terrorists.

Beau Willimon (creator House of Cards) and Eli Attie (writer The West Wing) debate politically-driven narratives, power struggles, and dramatizing the truths and fictions that comprise ideologically-charged stories on this episode of On Story, airing Tuesday at 10:00 pm.

This episode of Living Springs features segments including Barton 4 Springs, Barbara Mahler, Science Detective, Salamander Captive Breedings and Waterworks, airing at 10:30 pm Tuesday.

Watch the Bad Behavior installment of Spy In The Wild as spy creatures infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime and retribution. Spy Monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Watch more Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.

Trains are essential for moving freight and people throughout the world, but they are far from accident-free. Follow investigators as they probe the wreckage of infamous accidents and watch safety experts test the latest crash prevention designs on this episode of NOVA, airing at 8:00 pm on Wednesday.

What goes up must come down-and getting passengers safely back to earth depends on complex global networks and some astonishing technology. Around the world, 100,000 flights a day make touchdown-almost every one safely. Learn what’s involved on City In The Sky, airing at 9:00 pm on Wednesday and 10:00 pm on Saturday.

Enjoy “Life of Sin” and other tunes from Sturgill Simpson’s acclaimed LP Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, as well as Western swing classics from Asleep at the Wheel’s album Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, all on this episode of Austin City Limits, airing at 10:00 pm Wednesday and Friday.

T.C. Boyle has published fifteen novels and ten volumes of short stories, including the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning World’s End; The Tortilla Curtain, which was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Médici étranger; and most recently, the New York Times bestseller The Harder They Come. Watch T.C. Boyle on Overheard With Evan Smith, this Thursday at 7:00 pm.

This episode of Living Springs includes segments like Salamander Survey, A Reflecting Pool, Plants and Polar Bear Plunge, airing Thursday at 7:30 pm.

From learning the real history of The Alamo, to floating The Riverwalk, to eating authentic Tex-Mex at the historic Market Square, The Daytripper shows folks why sometimes the path most traveled is the path best traveled, airing at 8:00 pm on Thursday.

Chet heads to the Dinosaur Capital of Texas to see the world’s best dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy River bed. He explores a wildlife preserve to feed giraffes and see rhinos. And also visits a museum challenging the status quo of modern science. Follow Chet in Glen Rose, Tx. on this episode of The Daytripper, airing at 8:30 pm Thursday.

In the mysterious world of the Nethersphere, plans have been drawn. Missy is about to come face to face with the Doctor, and an impossible choice is looming… “Death is not an end” promises the sinister organization known only as 3W – but, as the Doctor and Clara discover, you might wish it was. This episode of Doctor Who airs Thursday at 10:00 pm.

Through the magic of modern technology, Elvis Presley is reunited with his original TCB band and back-up singers 25 years after his death, for a unique concert special, featuring Elvis from selected concerts including the Aloha From Hawaii satellite special. This one-of-a-kind concert event has stirred audiences around the world and ignited a passion for the King in a whole new generation of music lovers. Watch Elvis Lives: The 25th Anniversary Concert this Friday at 8:00 pm.

Road to Austin is a legendary concert assembled by musical director, Stephen Bruton. The concert features Bob Schneider, Carolyn Wonderland and Bonnie Raitt and more, all on Road To Austin, airing at 9:00 pm on Friday.

Experience an hour of contemporary hip-hop of Grammy-nominated superstar Kendrick Lamar. The Compton rapper plays songs from his acclaimed LP To Pimp a Butterfly alongside his hits all on Austin City Limits, airing at 7:00 pm on Saturday.

Science Night Feb. 22

Planes, Trains and Automobiles? More like planes, trains, and monkeys! Science Night takes you through the trees and into the sky. Follow the next installment of Spy In The Wild for monkey fights, while NOVA guides you through a journey of the dangerous realities of train wrecks. Finish out the night learning more about how important it is when it comes to safely landing passengers from their flights.

Watch the Bad Behavior installment of Spy In The Wild as spy creatures infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime and retribution. Spy Monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Watch more Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.

Trains are essential for moving freight and people throughout the world, but they are far from accident-free. Follow investigators as they probe the wreckage of infamous accidents and watch safety experts test the latest crash prevention designs on this episode of NOVA, airing at 8:00 pm.

What goes up must come down-and getting passengers safely back to earth depends on complex global networks and some astonishing technology. Around the world, 100,000 flights a day make touchdown-almost every one safely. Learn what’s involved on City In The Sky, airing at 9:00 pm.

Q Night At The Movies Feb. 18 features Lady From Shanghai & The Stranger

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

Q Night At The Movies brings everyone a little something that is sure to capture. Go behind the scenes and discuss the hit television show, Mr. Robot. Take a closer look at the Austin Film Festival, then finish the night with a double feature from Orson Welles, Lady From Shanghai and The Stranger.

Science Goes to the Movies airs at 7:00 pm, and hacks into the realities behind the TV show Mr. Robot and feature documentary, Zero Days. Watch as our guest, Rosario Gennaro, breaks down why Mr. Robot isn’t so fictional.

Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Out of Sight) reflects on his diverse career writing thrillers and pulp films, and his approach to developing complex characters in search of their identity, in  this On Story, airing at 7:30 pm.

A rich lawyer (Everett Sloane) and his seductive wife (Rita Hayworth) frame an Irish sailor (Orson Welles) for murder in the All-star Film Collection feature, Lady From Shanghai airing at 8:00 pm.

In 1946, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) of the United Nations War Crimes Commission is hunting for a Nazi fugitive Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), a war criminal. See what happens in the Corinth Films Collection feature, The Stranger, airing at 9:30 pm.


The Talk: Community Forum hosted by the Austin American-Statesman & KLRU 2/28

Join the Austin American-Statesman and KLRU on Feb. 28 for a discussion about “The Talk” and its role in the Austin community, moderated by KLRU’s Judy Maggio and the Statesman’s Alberta Phillips.

Generations of black parents have had The Talk with their children about how to survive interactions with police: Don’t argue. Don’t get shot. Don’t give them a reason. Come home. But shouldn’t that conversation about race and police relations be happening throughout our community? With each new report of fatal encounters between African-Americans and police, tough discussion about the role race plays in policing have occurred across the country. Following a Statesman Special Report highlighting local voices and Austin’s version of “The Talk” and the PBS program The Talk – Race in America (airing 2/20 at 8 pm) we invite interested members of the community to participate in a discussion of where we go from here.

The forum will be hosted at KLRU’s Studio 6A and livestreamed on Facebook, and the for those unable to attend in person.

Austin Talks about “The Talk” – A Community Forum
Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m.
KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
Doors at 6:30 p.m. Please arrive promptly.
Entrance is based upon capacity. RSVP does not guarantee entry. 

KLRU hosts National PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Advisors Meeting

On February 2 and 3, 2017, KLRU hosted the Ready to Learn National Advisors Meeting.  The annual meeting is typically held in Washington D.C.; this was their first-ever relocation to a community implementing Ready to Learn-funded activities.  Over 50 advisors from higher education, media production, and public-serving agencies gathered to provide direction to the project, in order to discuss the content and curriculum being produced, its dissemination to communities in need, and to give input on how to best evaluate the project’s efficacy.

Ready to Learn Advisors in a panel discussion on the original Austin City Limits stage

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Kids are leading the Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media project, funded by the Department of Education.  The five year grant ( 2015 – 2020) calls upon up to 40 PBS stations from all over the nation and their local community organizations to disseminate scientific inquiry and literacy content to low-income children ages 2 – 8 years old.

KLRU was one of the 11 pilot stations invited to test new resources in the field.  We partner with Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin area.

From Left to Right: Ben Kramer, VP of Education at KLRU; Erica Gallardo-Taft, Vice President of Program Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area; Eric Metcalf, Chief of Program Strategy at Communities In Schools of Central Texas; Robin Gose, Director of Education at Thinkery

Among other initiatives, we have held Odd Squad Summer Math Camps and Family Creative Learning (FCL) workshops at partner sites. At the FCL workshops, we guided parents to actively engage in their child’s learning using the free PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app, which allows them to animate their favorite PBS characters.

In summer 2017, KLRU will pilot Odd Squad Summer Science Camp in which kids will solve problems to become Odd Squad agents.  Another project coming down the pipeline is a new collection of Ruff Ruffman science materials.

Thank you to Thinkery for hosting one day of the workshop and to the city of Austin for wowing the Ready to Learn Advisory group. We hope that they will return in 2018.

Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media is funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



For immigrant children or children of immigrants / Para los niños inmigrantes o los hijos de inmigrantes

en español

Now is a difficult time to be a young child with immigrant parents in Central Texas. They may be hearing from adults, from the news, and in their schools about actions such as raids, deportations, and negative statements about immigrants. Even if they are not hearing such things directly, they may be feeling the stress of others in their homes.

KLRU Educational Services has the following advice and resources for families and educators:

1. Do NOT keep the TV or radio news on all the time when young people are present. Try to find ways to receive your news (via text message, social media, etc.) that can be silent and that will not keep your children nervous as they wait to hear what comes next. PBS KIDS offers safe, happy programs 24 hours a day through the PBS KIDS Video Viewer app and online at

2. Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges Community Guide (ages 3-5) This is a resource that can help you talk to children about the challenges you face and the people in your lives that can help.


Arthur Resilient Site (Ages 5-10)

3. Arthur Resilience Site (ages 5-10) This website from Arthur has a variety of activities that can take you step by step through conversations and activities with your child. It includes discussion guides, activities, and videos to help your child manage thoughts and feelings.

4. Apps – The FREE Sesame Street Breathe, Think, Do (Android / Apple ) helps children to calm themselves when they are stressed or agitated. And the new, FREE Daniel Tiger for Parents app can help you find songs and activities for a variety of difficult situations. It is also bilingual (Spanish & English) (Android / Apple)

Ahora es un periodo especialmente difícil para los jóvenes que tienen padres que son inmigrantes. Pueden escuchar cosas de adultos, de las noticias, y en sus escuelas sobre acciones como detenciones, deportaciones, y declaraciones negativas sobre los inmigrantes. Aunque no estén escuchando directamente tales cosas negativas, pueden sentir el estrés de los otros alrededor de ellos.

Los Servicios Educativos de KLRU tienen los siguientes consejos y recursos para familias y educadores:

1. NO PRENDAN la tele ni la radio todo el tiempo cuando niños están presentes. Traten de buscar otros medios (silenciosos) de recibir sus noticias (textos, medios sociales, etc.) PBS KIDS ya ofrece gratis programas disponsibles las 24 horas en su app PBS KIDS Video Viewer y en

Guía de Niños Chiquitos, Desafios Grandes

2. De Plaza Sesamo, la Guía de Niños Chiquitos, Desafios Grandes (edades 3-5) Este recurso les puede ayudar a hablar con sus niños sobre sus sentimientos y preocupaciones.

3. Daniel Tiger for Parents – este app gratis les puede ayudar a buscar canciones y activades para momentos difíciles. Es bilingüe. (Android / Apple)

Daniel Tigers Neighborhood



Love The Keno Brothers? See them in Austin!

Are you a fan of The Keno Brothers? If so, we want you to be the first to know about a special opportunity to see The Keno Brothers live at The Paramount Theatre.

Donate $120 to KLRU today and we’ll thank you with a pair of tickets to see Leigh and Leslie Keno on Sunday, March 5th at 4pm at The Paramount Theatre. Immersed in the world of antiques and classic cars from a young age, the Keno brothers’ more than 30 years experience in beautiful and rare Americana supplies them with a wealth of knowledge and fascinating stories to entertain and inspire you to start the hunt for your next treasure!

Tickets are extremely limited, so don’t miss your chance to see Leigh and Leslie Keno bring their art and antique expertise to the historic Paramount stage for an enlightening and engaging evening filled with amusing discovery anecdotes and tips on finding hidden gems.

Indie Lens Pop-Up screening: The Bad Kids 3/7

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for the Indie Lens Pop-Up screening of the documentary The Bad Kids. This free event takes place Tuesday, March 7th, at 7 pm at the Austin Public Library Windsor Park Branch 5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723.

Vintage TV

Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is an alternative for at-risk students with little hope of graduating from a traditional high school. It’s their last chance. This coming of age story shows extraordinary educators and talented students combatting the crippling effects of poverty.

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS’s Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation.