KVUT: Tuning in on the Progress

Emily Bush • Arts & Lifestyle Editor

image of KVUT radio booth
Image courtesy of BroadcastWorks.com

Around this time last year, The University of Texas at Tyler announced the development of their new radio station, call letters KVUT. It’s about time for an update on how all of that is working out for the school and for new additions to the UT Tyler team because of this new project.

The station is still an NPR-affiliate, meaning that it will showcase satellite material from National Public Radio, or NPR. KVUT is also affiliated with American Public Media, or APM. It will be broadcasted through the Tyler-Longview area on frequency 99.7. Its slogan is “Fine Arts Radio from UT-Tyler,” and the meaning behind its call sign (KVUT) is the Voice of the University of Texas-Tyler.

While looking into this, I discovered the old call signs of the same frequency were KSOC in 2017 and 2018 and KOEE in 2018 and 2019. KSOC was under the association of Urban One Adult Contemporary station, standing for the Soul Of the City, while KOEE received an initial License to Cover from the Federal Communications Commission, which basically allows the station to exist in the first place.

It appears that there is still going to be jazz and classical music playing on this channel, and though the station name holds UT Tyler as its main voice, the station is meant for more people than just the students. Anyone can find the value in NPR’s news and the program put on by UT Tyler-affiliates.

UT Tyler hired Mike (Malcolm) Landess as the news director for KVUT, as he is a seasoned broadcast anchor, reporter, producer, writer and editor who has been honored with nearly two dozen National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmys. Five of those Emmys were for “Best Anchor,” so he is an insanely qualified man for the job of expanding the voice of UT Tyler.

I asked him about the future of the radio station and when it will be launched for everyone to listen, and while he and General Manager Lorri Allen (a journalism professor at UT Tyler) feel that the answers they have at the moment are incomplete, they have made great progress in this year of development.

“Starting a radio station from scratch is a daunting proposition. There are a lot of dynamics at play concerning programming, automation, and even our studio layout,” Landess writes. “But even with all that, I can tell you we’re making significant progress toward a formal launch this Spring.”

Look forward to hearing the voices of UT Tyler later on this spring, and keep an ear out for fresh content from UT Tyler.

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