A Message from Our President
When I worked at National Public Radio, an oft-cited statistic was that public radio is freely available to 94% of the American public. I was concerned when I learned that a goodly part of the 6% to whom it is not available are our fellow Texans. Much as we love the grand scale of the Lone Star State, its geographic size does present broadcast challenges. One of the things that attracted me to TPR is that it is specifically part of our mission to bring public radio to those unserved and underserved markets.
When I talk with TPR listeners and supporters, I frequently hear things like, “I couldn’t do without TPR,” and “TPR is such an important resource.” You believe, as we do, that what TPR offers is of great cultural and societal value. And that is why we feel it is important to continue expanding our reach to communities that are not otherwise served by public radio. I’m happy to report that, this week, we will flip the switch for new station KTPD 89.3 FM and begin public radio service to Del Rio, Brackettville, Laughlin Air Force Base, Lake Amistad, and even Ciudad Acuña. If you have family or friends in those areas, make sure you let them know that they have a new favorite station!
Programming for KTPD will be much like what we provide in the Highland Lakes on KVHL 91.7 FM, including NPR programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Science Friday. Entertainment programs will include public radio favorites like Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me and This American Life. Also airing on KTPD will be the TPR-produced shows, such as Texas Matters and Fronteras, and Texas Standard, which we co-produce with other Texas stations. In addition to news and information, KTPD will offer free on-air public service announcements for area nonprofits and community organizations, allowing local groups to engage public radio listeners with events and initiatives.
This expands TPR to six stations, each with commonality and each with unique local programming that we hope will grow over the years. Perhaps our most unique station is KPAC 88.3 FM, which stands out as one of the few remaining 24-hour classical stations in the United States. We call it the “Classical Oasis,” because it is a place to escape, relax and rejuvenate. More than 85,000 listeners do just that every week. KPAC also offers local, unique programming by rebroadcasting performances of the San Antonio Symphony, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, the Sounds Like KPAC competition, Tuesday Musical Club and other local artists.
And because we have such a large community that loves classical music, TPR has partnered with the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to bring the Emerson String Quartet to San Antonio on July 7. This group, which has been performing and recording for four decades, promises one of the finest live performances you will ever experience. The evening will include Beethoven’s Quartet in F Major, op. 18#1(1798-1800); Shostakovich’s 10th Quartet in A-flat Major, op. 118 (1964); and Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Quartet in E-flat Minor, op. 30 (1876). Tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50, so for a nominal cost you can find your oasis for an evening.
These are two examples of how we serve underserved audiences. Want other examples of TPR delivering unique programming to a community? Stay tuned. We have more surprises in the works.