Public media funding in jeopardy

There are several bills pending in Congress that would eliminate all federal funding for public broadcasting. Debate and a vote in the House of Representatives are likely to occur next week.

KLRU and stations all across the country rely on this funding to ensure that public media will continue to enhance the quality of life of our local communities through its offerings of children’s programming, news and public affairs, local cultural programming, non-commercial educational programs.

We hope you will call your Members of Congress – their contact info is listed below – and tell them what you think of public broadcasting and the proposed cuts. It is important that your elected representatives hear directly from you about whether or not funding for public broadcasting should be continued.

You can also show your support by visiting 170millionamericans.org and sign up to receive updates. KLRU has joined the efforts of this grass-roots campaign, a collaboration of public radio and television stations, listeners and viewer’s throughout the country.

Our viewing area covers many districts, find your representative here.

District 10- Michael T. McCaul
Phone: (202) 225-2401
Fax: (202) 225-5955

District 11- Michael Conaway
Phone: (202) 225-3605
Fax: (202) 225-1783

District 20- Charles A. Gonzalez
Phone (202) 225-3236
Fax (202) 225-1915

District 21- Lamar Smith
Phone (202) 225-4236
Fax: (202) 225-8628

District 25- Lloyd Doggett
Phone: (202) 225-4865
Fax: (202) 225-3073

District 28- Henry Cuellar
Phone (202) 225-1640
Fax (202) 225-1641

District 31- John Carter
Phone: (202) 225-3864
Fax: (202) 225-5886

If you would like to write your representative, click here.

In Memoriam- Robert F. Schenkkan

In Memoriam
Robert F. Schenkkan
1917-2011

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robert F. Schenkkan. Schenkkan was the founder of both KLRU and KUT, and a true pioneer in public broadcasting. He was also a good friend and advisor.

Here’s a touching tribute to him, his career and his family from 2007.

The Austin American Statesman had this tribute this morning and KUT filed this report.

New Year's Eve on KLRU Q

Ring in the New Year from one of the most famous musical streets in the world, Beale Street in Memphis, TN, the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock & roll.

KLRU-Q will present LIVE! Beale Street on New Year’s Eve, from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. This special live event will provide a unique look at the rich history of Beale Street through video segments, live interviews and, of course, the live view from Beale Street itself.

The broadcast includes a traditional countdown to midnight with fireworks and the dropping of the Giant Guitar. Revelers will also be invited to “come bury your blues” by dropping mementos and notes into a symbolic coffin. (Viewers at home will be able to bury their blues by emailing buryyourblues@bealestreet.com). The celebration continues after midnight.

Saturday & Sunday live in the studio

Fun in the studio continued all weekend long as Central Texans showed their support for Austin City Limits and Masterpiece Mystery.

Saturday night KLRU aired the Pearl Jam episode in the regular time slot with special guests ACL producer Terry Lickona and photographer Scott Newton. We heard great behind-the-scenes stories of their many years with the show. Phone volunteers for the evening were veteran ACL volunteers. No one needed to tell them where the restrooms were located, they know their way around the studio as well as we do!

Show your support for Austin City Limits and receive an autographed copy of “Austin City Limits: 35 Years in Photographs.”

Sunday in the studio revolved around “A Study in Pink,” the Masterpiece Mystery episode voted for by KLRU viewers. Members of the Sherlock Holmes Society of Austin (aka Waterloo Station) and the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter graciously answered phones and helped us with Sherlock trivia. Artist and Sherlock Society member Trish McCracken brought a beautiful print reproduction of Sherlock Holmes’ residence at 221B Baker Street, London which was included in the 2009 book “The Sherlock Holmes Companion: An Elementary Guide.” One lucky viewer who knew their Sherlock trivia was able to take home the print after answer a trivia question correctly. Thank you Trish! Austin mystery writer Janice Hamrick shared information with viewers on her upcoming book and why supporting KLRU is important to the Austin community.

It’s not too late for you to donate to KLRU for Masterpiece Mystery, thanks for your support.

A big thank you goes to local writer and actor Owen Egerton who had us laughing all night long. To see more of Owen, catch his Master Pancake Christmas show happening the next couple of weekends at different Alamo Drafthouses.

KLRU Community Screening & Discussion "Fixing the Future"

Thanks to everyone who attended the KLRU Community Screening with David Brancaccio and Ellen Spiro on their documentary Fixing The Future.

In Fixing the Future: NOW on PBS, David Brancaccio visits communities across America,  including Austin, using innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity. After the economic meltdown of 2008, the nation stands in urgent need of economic growth that’s not based on risky financial bets placed by Wall Street. Brancaccio talks to working Americans who are re-engineering the future, built on American values of commonwealth, shared prosperity, fairness, wellness, sustainability and creativity. Here are ways to get involved.

Special thanks to our sponsors Austin Community College, Live Oak Brewing and Texas Coffee Traders.

Wednesday live in the studio

Wednesday night, Austin viewers were lucky to be serenaded by the beautiful voices of the Conspirare Children’s Choir. The Children’s Choir was created as an extension of Austin-based Conspirare, a professional ensemble of adult choral singers featured in the evening’s broadcast of “A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert,” which is a production of KLRU and has been shared with a nationwide audience. Please take time to support this program and local productions at KLRU. Conspirare will be performing their Christmas concert this Monday at the Long Center. They put on an amazing show and their Christmas concert is an annual tradition for many Austinites.

Everyone in the studio was very impressed by the discipline and talent of the singers who gave a very moving performance. Posted below are some pictures from the evening and clips from the Children’s Choir singing two holiday songs.

“Nativity Carol”

“Wassail Song”

Tuesday live in the studio

Last night KLRU broadcast live from studio 6B during the PBS documentary Botany of Desire. We choose this program because Tuesdays are our traditional science night and also because Michael Pollan will be in Austin next week. As an extra special thank you gift we are offering tickets to his lecture at Bass Concert Hall as well as his book and a DVD or Blu-Ray of the program. We only have a limited number so secure your spot soon! One lucky person will have their tickets upgraded to a VIP reception with Michael Pollan himself.

Another thing that made last night special was the support of the garden community. Central Texas Gardener has many fabulous fans and some of them came to help us answer phones. Many of them have their own blogs or community programs so check their sites listed below if you’re looking for inspiration.

Tonight we will be live in the studio during “A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert.” Our special guests will be the Conspirare Youth Choir who will be performing throughout the evening. The fun begins at 7p!

thanks to these folks who helped us answer phones:
Denise Delaney
Grow Green Coordinator, City of Austin

Elaine Dill
Master Gardener

Ellie Hanlon
Mostly Weeds

Caroline Homer
Shovel Ready Garden

Glee Ingram
Growing Designs Landscape designer

Eleanor Pratt
Garden of E

Roxane Smith
Master Gardener

Monday live in the studio

KLRU’s December fundraising drive is off to a great start! We appreciate everyone who has supported KLRU so far, especially during last night’s Antiques Roadshow. As a thank you we offered tickets to the January Appraisal Fair and it was wonderful to hear the phones ringing off the hooks as folks from all around Austin snapped up tickets. It’s not to late to secure your spot, donate to support Antiques Roadshow before the end of our fundraising period because this is an event you won’t want to miss.

During our live breaks KLRU staff and professors from St. Edwards helped answer the calls. They looked extra snazzy in new phone headsets the make it easier to interact with callers. We discovered one downside of the headsets though, it’s hard for the director to tell who is one the phone!

Tonight on KLRU we are pledging live in the studio for Newshour at 6pm, followed by Michael Pollan’s Botony of Desire at 7pm. We’ll have some special thank you gifts, including tickets to see Michael Pollan in person. We’ll also be joined by some fabulous Central Texas Gardener fans and garden bloggers. Don’t forget, everyone who donates now until December 12th is eligible to win an iPad.