KACU receives a federal grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. The CPB requests that certain information be available to the public, specifically local content and services information.
1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.
KACU exists to enrich the Abilene area with insightful news and entertainment. Through the continued development and increase of our local news, our thoughtful lineup with a range of news magazines and insightful educational and music programs, our increased local news presence with our daily news update email and COVID-related local news, addressing hunger in our community by donating to our local food bank, developing plans for a podcasting studio for student and professional use, and our expanded distribution through the KACU mobile app, KACU is committed to addressing local issues, needs, and interests in as many ways as possible with excellence.
2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.
KACU has partnerships with various news organizations as part of our increased news presence. KACU has partnerships with the Abilene Reporter-News, Texas Standard, the Texas NPR News Hub, and the Texas Tribune. We rely on these partnerships to bring high-quality news to our listeners as well as serve as contributors. As a university licensee, KACU has a close relationship with Abilene Christian University. KACU also maintains good connections with Abilene government officials and agencies. In leu of premiums for our Fall Pledge Drive KACU donated to the Food Bank of West Central Texas. Finally, KACU supports many local non-profits through our online and on-air community calendar, giving preference to non-profit and city events.
3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.
In 2020 KACU continued to develop more local news coverage and content, increasing the amount over coverage over 2019. With over 400 local stories, 34 long-format interviews, 7 statewide stories on the Texas Standard, and over 2,000 local newscasts, KACU has seen its local news initiative grow over last year. KACU also developed a daily local news email update during the beginning of COVID-19 and continues to this day. The daily news update has received very positive feedback from the community. This is a good indication that KACU’s local news initiative is flourishing. KACU’s programming remained consistent with little change while also expanding local coverage which allows KACU to keep the trust of the community.
4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2019, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2020. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
KACU airs several shows that are either hosted by a minority host or the content is aimed at diverse audiences. 6 of the shows we air meet these criteria resulting in 11 hours of programming per week.
5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it?
KACU’s CPB funding is critical to the station’s existence and its ability to serve Abilene, and the surrounding area well. Without funding from the CPB, almost none of our services would be remotely possible, leaving a news and education void in our city. Through CPB funding we continued to develop and grow our local news, expand our lineup with insightful educational music programs, we increased local news presence with our daily news update email and our on-air coverage. KACU looks forward to serving Abilene in more ways this next year with the support from the CPB.