Texas Tech students have a variety of media outlets available to them, but KTTZ, the Tech public radio station, is one that prides itself on providing students and the Lubbock community with a high standard of news and expression of the arts.
KTTZ is 90-mile reach radio station that is broadcasted on 89.1 FM and has been doing so since 1987.
The station’s main focus is primarily classical music and public radio news programs.
“Public radio news is ideally suited to a university community,” Clint Barrick, the station manager and director of programming for KTTZ, said. “Because it’s long-form news, it’s not interested in sensationalism or ratings, it’s interested in intellectual content.”
KTTZ is an educational nonprofit station at Tech and so much like all public radio, it stays afloat with the help of sponsors.
Barrick said he believes universities sponsor a great amount of public radio stations because public radio is aimed at a higher education audience.
Something that makes KTTZ unique is that it features various perspectives of different topics rather than being biased or sticking to one side of things.
KTTZ brings cultural awareness of the arts to the public of not only Tech but the Lubbock community as well, Barrick said.
“We work with all of the art and cultural community, not just classical music, but paintings, literature, art, dance, all that stuff,” he said. “They’re commercial free, so ideas and musical pieces can be played without interruption.”
Because the station is nonprofit, they do not have advertisements so they are able to promote Tech and nonprofit events that are going on, Barrick said.
Sherril Skibell, the development director for KTTZ, said she believes that although the station’s niche audience is between the ages of 35 and 65, the station appeals to anyone who is interested in learning.
“What’s great about this audience is that we’re lifelong learners,” she said. “We are never too young to learn something new, and it’s our mission to inform and educate people. It’s a unique place in the cultural landscape of Lubbock.”
The station is one of about 500 public entities in the United States and has two fund drives a year to accept donations in order to raise money to keep the station going, Skibell said. The station encourages businesses to donate, and because there are no commercials on public radio, it is able to say these businesses sponsor the station.
The Tech campus and the Lubbock community does a good job of interacting with the station in order to get their events on the air and also get people to come on the show, Skibell said.
“We have the ear of not only the professors at Texas Tech University and the students and staff, but we have the ear of the community,” she said. “We are really the voice of the arts here in Lubbock.”
Both Skibell and Barrick said they believe KTTZ is one of the many voices of Tech and of the Lubbock community, and its voice speaks for the higher knowledge of the public and a better understanding of the public arts.
“We have 25,000 listeners a week for public radio, so we are a voice of Texas Tech,” Skibell said.