Local Content and Services Report
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 is growing in its service to the broader Abilene region. The radio station broadcasts news, information, music programming, and entertaining shows that enrich the listening area. Over the past few years KACU has grown its news production, adding a daily newsletter that many say is their key source for printed news; increasing social media posts of local and national news stories; and sharing our locally produced newscast and feature reporting with The Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. We produce a local podcast that gives even more insight into our community. We are working to build connections with community groups that will keep us connected to grassroots efforts and issues.
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 increased its participation with The Texas Newsroom, producing more newscast and feature reporting that we share with the statewide network, and the statewide news magazine The Texas Standard than ever before. KACU continues to maintain relationships with the Abilene Reporter-News, the Texas Tribune, and local television broadcasters. As a university licensee, KACU has a close relationship with Abilene Christian University, investing in educating the next generation of broadcasters and journalists. Our studios are also available to university and community members who need recording space for podcasts or other recordings. KACU also maintains good connections with Abilene government officials and agencies. Our reporters maintain regular contact with local political leaders to ensure our ability to cover events and decision-making that affects our audience.
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.
KACU continues to solidify its reputation as a trustworthy news source through our daily newscasts, daily email newsletter, and coverage of special events and elections. We have regular feedback from community members who say our newsletter is their key source of information. We have invested effort this year in deepening our connection to community groups that serve the region’s minority populations. KACU is working to give Hispanic and Black community members and groups a voice in ongoing news stories.
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 held meetings with the Hispanic Leadership Council to build an understanding of issues that are not being addressed. We have also begun attending their monthly meetings to listen to their regular business. KACU reporters also worked on a project with The Texas Newsroom, interviewing Hispanic voters to elevate their voices during the November 2022 election season. KACU has also established contact with groups that were formed in response to the death of George Floyd, who continue to work to establish themselves in this unique region. Going forward, KACU plans to continue building on these relationships and to listen to the needs voiced in the communities that are on the margins.
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 could not serve the Abilene region without the support of CPB. Without funding from the CPB, almost none of our services would be possible, leaving a news and education void in our city. Through CPB funding we continued to develop our local news, keep our lineup with insightful educational music programs, held steady with our local news presence in our daily newsletter email and our on-air coverage, and have one local on-air show, a second in development, and a local podcast. KACU looks forward to growing its service to Abilene this next year with support from the CPB.