Whether it’s the latest news about the coronavirus on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” thoughtful stories and interviews on “Fresh Air” or the hilarity that ensues between the Magliozzi brothers on “Car Talk,” South Texas Public Broadcasting serves the Crossroads as a premium source of radio news and entertainment.

“We’re not under so much financial pressure as commercial media,” said Don Dunlap, president and general manager of South Texas Public Broadcasting. “If they don’t make a dollar, they are not going to put it on the air, and we are targeted more to be a service to the community.”

Especially important during this time, when the world is dealing with a pandemic, the public radio station, KVRT 90.7 FM, provides another credible source of news with “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” two of the most popular news radio programs in the country.

“NPR has more foreign news bureaus than any other American news company. Since 9/11, they have continued to pour more and more resources into their news programming,” Dunlap said. “So many commercial radio stations no longer have local news staff. We are the only one in Corpus Christi with news staff, and that is fairly common with commercial mergers and conglomerates owning commercial radio stations. They save money by eliminating local news coverage and replace local shows with nationally syndicated ‘opinion talk’ shows.”

The station also collaborates with other public radio stations located in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, among other towns in Texas, to produce the state-centric news program, “Texas Standard.” Six Texas newscasts are mixed with the other programming throughout each weekday. NPR selected Texas to be the first state for the pilot project aimed at better accessing regional news.

“There are very few sources of strictly Texas news,” Dunlap said.

Additionally, the station is one of only three in the country that broadcasts the entire local symphony season. And artists are brought into the local studio for performances mixed with interviews.

“We bring in choirs, string and flute ensembles, and mariachi and jazz groups to promote upcoming concerts,” he said. “We serve as the media arm for the arts organizations around South Texas.”

The programming, which also includes the popular radio quiz show, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” and the unrivaled journalistic storytelling of “This American Life,” provides an entertaining outlet, especially as people are stuck in their houses during the pandemic.

Furthermore, the station provides the last vestige of classical music, as the commercial classical music stations died out years ago, Dunlap said.

Programming first aired on KVRT 90.7 FM on April 7, 1995, with the addition of a second transmitter in Victoria. Until that time, Victoria had been the largest market in the U.S. without public radio service. The call letters for the same programming in the Corpus Christi area are KEDT 90.3 FM.

Steve Hipes, 73, of Victoria, chairman of South Texas area for Prosperity Bank, has been a member of the South Texas Public Broadcasting board of directors since 2005. For the past decade, he also has served as the chair of the board. As the sole member of the board not from Corpus Christi, he provides representation for Victoria and the Golden Crescent. For this, the Victoria Advocate commends him. His longtime service and outstanding contributions to the valuable broadcasting service in our area are greatly appreciated.

For radio at its best, the Victoria Advocate urges Crossroads residents to listen to and support KVRT 90.7 FM.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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(1) comment

Allen T Coffey

Thank you for highlighting another valuable source of straight news.

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