Sunday, September 13, 2009
New KERA station puts focus on North Texas music scene
KXT-91.7 FM will launch this fall.
It's been a few months since North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc. (KERA) officially acquired 91.7, and they're still a few weeks away from launching the new music station over the airwaves. The programming on KXT-91.7 FM will be within the public radio “Triple A” (Adult Album Alternative) music format with diverse, adult-oriented playlists covering a broad spectrum of music such as folk, acoustic, world music, alternative, and indie rock and country.
Among the programs under consideration for the new station are World Café (distributed by NPR), Echoes (from Public Radio International), Undercurrents (from Native Voice One), American Routes (from American Public Media), plus music specials. NPR news headlines will be broadcast at the top of the hour. KERA’s own local programs will include interviews, studio performances, and arts-related news and commentary.
The music programs currently featured on 90.1 will scoot over to 91.7, including Celtic music program, The Thistle and Shamrock, and 90.1 at Night -- which will be appropriately renamed "The Paul Slavens Show" and keep its five-year standing airtime of Sunday nights between 8 and 10 p.m.
"If you like Denton music, you're going to love this new station," KERA board member, Tim Crouch told the audience at a recent member event; and KERA President and CEO, Mary Anne Alhadeff promised "lots of local music" on KXT. The audience was then treated to a five-minute sample of what KXT will sound like. It was an eclectic, mostly acoustic set, generally featuring singer/songwriters.
The Triple-A format, while rife with potential, could go either way in quality: Believe it or not, there is some music in North Texas that's not great. KERA/KXT is eager to feed into the local music community, a commendable and worthy endeavor, but they will need to curate carefully through the deep well of local talent. It would behoove the station to pay attention to the multiple genres available in North Texas -- it can't just be singer/songwriters, and it can't just be Denton -- it has to be the best of everything we have to offer.
The good news is that everyone on board seems quite aware of this opportune position and likewise open to listener feedback (this means you, dear music lover). KXT is a very timely addition to local media, what with the whole world listening in on the sounds of North Texas and all. It's time for everyone -- musicians, fans, and media alike -- to step up and do what we can to continue this culture unique to our community.