WUTC FM 88.1, the public radio station licensed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, began its fall listener pledge drive on October 5.
“WUTC receives such generous support from our listeners,” said Bob Lyon, vice chancellor for University Advancement at UTC. “Even with financial support from the University, we continue to depend on our listeners to keep us on the air, and they have always come through with their commitment and dedication to the station. We are extremely grateful.”
The spring 2009 listener drive yielded a record response from WUTC listeners, with pledges totaling more than $152,000. WUTC’s underwriting efforts for the year are also at record levels.
WUTC’s strength in listener support could be directly related to strong increased in listenership as the station’s ratings have been steadily rising. The spring 2009 ratings showed a 41 percent increase over our 2008 spring numbers. The average quarter-hour audience also increased 47 percent compared to the same time last year.
“It appears that our listeners like what they are hearing, and more and more listeners are choosing WUTC,” said Lyon. “We are most appreciative of the support this station receives from our community, and we promise to continue to use that support to offer the very best programming possible on WUTC.”
WUTC is the region’s source for informational and entertainment programs from National Public Radio along with locally produced programming. WUTC offers syndicated favorites like “Car Talk,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Fresh Air.”
In programming news, Lyon said WUTC recently negotiated a new two-year contract to carry “The Prairie Home Companion.” He reiterated the station’s commitment to music programming both during the week and on weekends, and said the station has no plans to drop any national programming.
Despite tough fiscal challenges, the UTC campus has not cut support to the station.
“We are proud to own the right to bring such high quality programming to Chattanooga, and we are committed to continuing our 25 year tradition of news and music through ownership of the WUTC license,” said Lyon.
As part of the station’s commitment to local programming, WUTC officials said the station will explore joint programming opportunities with Chattanooga’s PBS affiliate, WTCI.