KUT and KUTX Associate Director of Broadcast and Content Hawk Mendenhall will retire on December 31. He joined KUT 90.5 in 2001 when the station was a music and national news format with a monthly listenership of 85,000 and no local news programming. During his tenure, he led the station through several transformational schedule changes that brought in new audiences and increased overall listening. Today, the station serves a monthly audience of about 600,000 through two broadcast signals, multiple digital platforms, and a statewide weekday news show.
“Hawk was instrumental in helping to create the station’s newsroom, launch KUTX 98.9 as an all-music station, launch ‘Texas Standard,’ and kick-start digital operations – not to mention the car spots,” said Debbie Hiott, Director and GM of KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station. “Most important of all, he has led the way in creating the sound and tone that lets anyone who tunes into our stations know that they are listening to Austin, Texas – with all of the fun, storytelling, creativity, and weirdness that entails. And the fact that we are consistently at the top of the market in ratings is due in no small part to Hawk’s programming savvy.”