KRTU 91.7 FM held its annual Spring Membership Drive.  Last week during this fundraiser, staff and volunteers called members from the previous year and delivered calls to action for listeners to donate to the professional non-profit radio station.

““We set out to hit $85,000.  And the goal is to hit that by May 31.  We are actually ahead of target,” said JJ Lopez, general manager of KRTU.

The drive, divided into multiple parts, is now entering its final stage following the calling and on air segments, according to Lopez.

“The membership drive is actually broken up into four parts,” Lopez said. “The on-air part of the drive is the third part.  Now that that’s concluded so we are actually in the last leg of it and [that’s] called post-drive.”

KRTU is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; the station was founded on Jan. 23, 1976. To celebrate the occasion the station held a large party on campus.

“To give light and sort of celebrate that the 40th anniversary is this year we created a Fiesta medal,” Lopez said. “It’s the 40th anniversary Fiesta medal of KRTU so when you become a member at a particular level, you would get this as a thank you gift or a premium.”

Another big event for KRTU this year is the approval for a new, larger transmitter that will allow the radio station to broadcast further from San Antonio by the end of 2016. This change, according to Lopez, will aid the station and the San Antonio community in a number of significant ways.   

“Not only will that increase our listenership, but it increases our potential for more members, and it increases our potential for more small businesses to bring their business to KRTU and advertise.  For existing partners, it is great incentive that now their message, by way of KRTU, is hitting greater San Antonio,” Lopez said.

The current broadcast reaches out near U.S. Highway Loop 1604.

The new tower’s broadcast potential will reach towns including Boerne, New Braunfels, Bandera, Devine, Elmendorf, Fair Oaks Ranch and Spring Branch.

“We always continue to grow as a radio station with new members and renewing members,” said Kory Cook, music director of KRTU.

KRTU will be holding various events throughout the spring, a significant time for many famous jazz musicians.

“April 30th [is] International Jazz Day,” Cook said. “If you look at the jazz calendar of birthdays, there’s more significant jazz musicians born in April than any other month, including Herby Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Joe Henderson.  We have been doing a lot of birthday sets and mentioning them”

In addition to their on-air sets for Jazz Appreciation Month, Cook also explained another program the station would be hosting.

“For the month of April, every Tuesday at the Liberty Bar, [we] have a special program featuring legends from the San Antonio community, older fellas who’ve been playing this music for a long time, who actually have stories to tell and can talk about their place in the music,” Cook said. “We have a regular schedule of events every month, but this month may have more due to Jazz Appreciation Month.”