May 21, 2010

NPR Mobile is a big hit with users, but Sutton foresees fallout for newsmags

Two different takes on NPR's mobile strategy began circulating on the Web yesterday: MobileActive reports on how NPR's work in the mobile space is attracting an audience with different usage habits than visitors to; and pubradio fundraising consultant John Sutton writes that NPR's aggressive push into mobile distribution could eventually undercut the dues-based business model that sustains its newsmagazines.

KUT to manage Cactus Cafe music venue

Austin's KUT will begin booking acts for the Cactus Cafe, a music venue and bar in the University of Texas's student union, in August. The partnership, announced after months of discussions about how to keep the Cafe open, puts KUT in charge of scheduling performances 200 nights per year and devising a business plan that will make the money-losing venue self-sustaining. That will include some mix of live broadcasts from the club, sponsorship sales, improved box office operations and sales of downloadable podcasts; managers of the Texas Union will oversee bar operations separately. "We believe the Cactus Cafe plays an essential role in the Austin music experience and are committed to preserving and sharing that experience with the UT campus and beyond," said Stewart Vanderwilt, KUT director. The Horn, UT's student newspaper, questioned whether this new arrangement has the broad support among student leaders that campus officials claim for it. One unanswered query from those who have campaigned to save the cafe (here and here) is whether KUT will hire longtime Cactus manager Griff Luneberg to run the cafe.

Visitors get behind-the-scenes peek at Austin City Limits construction

Pubcasters including WNET President Neil Shapiro and Malcolm Brett, PBS Board member and director of broadcasting and media innovations for Wisconsin Public Television, donned hardhats and jaunty reflector vests for a May 19 tour of the spiffy new Austin City Limits theater construction in Austin (background, Current, July 20, 2009). Leading the group through the maze of building material was Bill Stotesbery, g.m. of KLRU. It's part of a $300 million downtown redevelopment just across from city hall. The 2,500-seat venue is on schedule for a December opening, and funding work is going well. Above, that's the stage to the right and seating to the left.