KLRU-TV

The media industry is in the midst of fundamental change, challenging KLRU to evolve — to better fulfill our mission of community engagement and impact, to deliver essential media that matters, and to expand our reach and relevance.

In 2020, we’re addressing that challenge more boldly than ever before.

And we’re asking for your partnership in doing so.

We’re not only relocating — we’re reimagining. A new building. A new approach. An ambitious new partnership.

Our future home — to be built with your help and community support — is the 45,000 square foot Austin Media Center at Austin Community College Highland Campus.

Beyond retooling for the changing landscape of what “broadcasting” and “media” means, KLRU will be more visible, more accessible, more flexible. KLRU is an essential resource for Central Texas, evolving along with our changing community and media industry. With this move, KLRU begins a new and deep collaboration with ACC, offering previously unimagined opportunities for both organizations:

  • Giving the next generation of digital storytellers a robust, innovative platform, focused intensely on community and positive solutions
  • Kickstarting creativity, pairing learners with instructors and professionals
  • Creating a new home for community events and gatherings, helping ACC and KLRU dramatically enhance their role and leadership in the public space
  • Working together to tell Austin’s story to the world, and vastly expanding the information delivered to Central Texans

Will you come with us as we move? Forward.

an overhead view of the new KLRU studios and offices at the ACC Highland campus

Where will the funds go?

The Goal

Our goal is $20 million to fund the new facilities and initiatives. How will this money be used? Here’s our plan.

Our goal of $20 million is significant — an ambitious target that will lay the groundwork for KLRU’s next fifty years. This is our once-in-a-lifetime shot to lay a great foundation; this is our time.

This isn’t just a new building; it’s a fundamental reimagining of our vision.

Collaboratively, KLRU and Austin Community College are entering into a multi-decade commitment to enrich lives and transform communities through the power of media. It’s an ambitious goal: to build a sustainable and evolving service to Central Texas and its residents.

Will you come with us as we move? Forward.

$20 Million by August 2020

  • $12 Million for the furnishings, fixtures and equipment to outfit the 45,000 square foot future home of KLRU which will be more visible, accessible and flexible to better serve the community
  • $2 Million for upgrades and improvements to the Austin City Limits production studio at The Moody Theater
  • $3 Million for new initiatives including The Austin Media Innovation Center, The Workforce Opportunity Amplifier, The Educational Resource Center and the next generation of technical infrastructure
  • $3 Million for a Sustainability Fund

Our efforts combine both new facilities and new initiatives.

a sketch of the entry staircase and front desk area of the new KLRU offices

Facilities

Destined to become one of Austin’s most unique and energizing spaces, The Austin Media Center is a collaboration between ACC and KLRU, a new home and platform for a range of creative activities by and for Central Texans from across the region.

Purposely built with community in mind, it’s welcoming from the moment you enter the doorway, opening into an expansive three-story atrium. Buzzing with visitors and activity, the airy space will be the first of a wide and flexible array of areas designed for people to gather, share, create, and exchange ideas.

Key features include a conversation and small event-focused Community Conference Center and the learning and child-focused Educational Resource Center.

The 400-seat Community Sound Stage will be the central hub for live broadcasts; it will host community conversations and panel discussions inspired by PBS content. Film and lecture series, public forums, and screenings will be presented to audiences.

The Austin Media Center will be a forward-thinking expression of our next half century: open and flexible, it will be a remarkable space to showcase public broadcasting in our community.

Quite simply, this will be our home and our base; a bold new statement of our commitment to our region and its creative vitality.

New Facility Features

  • Community Soundstage: 6,500 square feet, capacity of 400+, state-of-the-art
  • Digital Incubator Studio: 1,500 square feet, designed to support new production formats
  • Community Room/Conference Center: capacity of 100+, available to non-profits and KLRU partners
  • Atrium, Gallery and Events Space: combined 4,800 square feet, capacity of 300+, event and community space
  • State-of-the-art technical infrastructure for KLRU and ACC-TV, collaboratively designed and operated, and supporting the next generation of public media
  • Upgrades and improvements to the Austin City Limits production studio at The Moody Theater
the waiting areas and prefunction space of the new KLRU offices

Initiatives

Our vision as a station is simple — we want to change lives and transform communities through the power of media.

New Initiatives

  • The Austin Media Innovation Center: a new learning collaborative between ACC, KLRU, and other partners, training students to leverage the power of new media for community good
  • The Workforce Opportunity Amplifier: using the power of media to build a stronger workforce and a stronger system for training 21st Century workers
  • The Educational Resource Center: blending an array of experiences, content, and technologies that build on the foundation of educational play that PBS has pioneered since its inception. Space for workshops, professional development, family creative play, and more
  • Expanding broadcast capabilities to include more channels and community-focused content, enabled by the next generation of broadcast technology
  • Expanding collaboration across the ACC and KLRU network of services and facilities
  • Establishing a Sustainability Fund to ensure the continuing viability of KLRU operations and enhancing the financial foundations of the KLRU/ACC collaboration
an interior view of one of the TV studios at the new location of KLRU

About

Moving Forward Committee

  • Laura Beckworth
  • Denise Davis
  • Sherrie Frachtman
  • Brian Greig
  • Michael Klein
  • Chris Mattsson
  • Milam Newby
  • Nona Niland
  • Catherine Robb co-chair
  • Sergio Rodriguez
  • Evan Smith
  • Claire and Carl Stuart
  • Trisa Thompson
  • Tyson Tuttle co-chair
  • Craig Watkins
  • Tomi Winstead
  • Amy Wong Mok
  • Mary Garwood Yancy
  • Howard Yancy

Partnership: KLRU and ACC ... 1 + 1 > 2

This effort is a force multiplier: we can do more together than separately. Our combined resources allow for a unique moment neither organization could develop on its own. Both invest, and both benefit.

KLRU WinsACC WinsThe CenTex Community Wins
A modern, state-of-the-art broadcast facility designed for the digital ageInternships, fellowships, work study programs, and opportunities for hands-on production classesA new generation of journalists and storytellers trained in how to use the power of media for positive community change
Significant leverage through shared purchasing, shared space and equipment, and shared operating expensesExpanded vision for ACC-TV, and opportunities for new production and content acquisitionMore quality content that addresses community issues and presents solutions to community challenges
The ability to maintain KLRU’s independence as a community-owned media organizationWider distribution of student and faculty productionStrong, independent public media dedicated to educating, inspiring, and entertaining Central Texas
Enhanced opportunities for collaborative grant fundingConnection with a national network of organizations and funders supporting public mediaA national center of excellence for innovative digital media initiatives
Collaboration with a wide range of ACC Centers, e.g., Center for Digital Media, Gaming and App Development, and moreIncreased community awareness of ACC programs and services through on-air promotion on KLRUA new focal point for a broad coalition of community-focused media and educators
Greatly improved community visibility and access (including parking)Opportunities to attend KLRU tapings and eventsMore events and community gatherings, creating opportunities for engagement, education, inspiration, and discussion

Press Release

Austin Community College and KLRU, Austin PBS, Announce Plans to Create a Community Media Center at ACC's Highland Campus

KLRU’s History in Central Texas

As we turn to an entirely new chapter in KLRU’s fifty year history, it’s worth noting how KLRU became such a vibrant part of the Central Texas community and landscape.

KLRU has been a part of the fabric of Central Texas for so long, it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t here. Here’s a short history of how we came to be over the last 50+ years:

1958 – 1962
An early closed circuit educational TV system at the University of Texas was interested in expanding beyond campus. A board of local leaders established studios in San Antonio and Austin, built broadcast towers, and started KLRN (Channel 9) to serve the public.
1962 – 1974
Programming expanded with content from UT, Austin Independent School District, and the National Educational Television Association, a forerunner of PBS. Programs included educational and bilingual content, and other diverse offerings.
1974 – 1987
New broadcasting facilities were established in a then state-of-the-art studio on The University of Texas campus in Austin. By 1980, separate governing boards were set up for KLRU and KLRN under the Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council. In 1987, each community had raised enough money locally to sustain its own separate television station, so the joint operation was discontinued. The Austin station, under the ownership of the Capital of Texas Public Broadcasting Council, took the call letters KLRU for its newly independent organization, while San Antonio retained KLRN.
1974 – present
In 1974, KLRU began production of Austin City Limits, which has become the longest running music performance series in television history.

In the last decade, KLRU has helped launch The Austin City Limits Music Festival, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, and ACL Radio. Austin City Limits has been awarded a Presidential Medal of the Arts, the Texas Medal of the Arts, and a Peabody Award. KLRU now broadcasts more than 36,000 hours of content annually, including more than 10,000 hours of curriculum-based children’s educational programming. KLRU is one of the most highly viewed, and highly regarded stations in the PBS system. The station has become a major national producer, and has won more than 30 regional Emmy awards.

Contact

For more information on KLRU's Moving Forward campaign, please contact Lori Bolding at lbolding@klru.org.