KLRU, virtual channel 18 (UHF digital channel 22), is a PBS member television station located in Austin, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council. KLRU's studios are located on Guadalupe and Dean Keeton streets at the University of Texas at Austin, and its transmitter is located on the West Austin Antenna Farm in unincorporated Travis County. In addition to airing program content from PBS, it produces original programming including the national music series Austin City Limits.


The station first signed on the air on May 3, 1979 as a satellite of KLRN in San Antonio. Before KLRU's sign-on, KLRN had served both cities from the Jesse H. Jones Communications Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Channel 18 had been allocated to Austin as a noncommercial frequency in the early 1950s, but it was thought that a UHF station would not be nearly adequate enough to provide educational television for a market that stretched from Mason in the west to La Grange in the east. This left Austin as one of the largest cities without its own PBS station.

From the day KLRU signed on, however, KLRN's owner, the Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council, set about making it a separate station focused on Austin. Only a year after KLRU hit the airwaves, it received its own Austin-based governing board, though it continued under the ownership of the Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council. In 1984, after KLRN moved to a new tower in San Antonio, KLRU separated from KLRN and adopted its own programming schedule. In 1987, the two stations officially went their separate ways, with KLRU coming under the ownership of the Capital of Texas Public Broadcasting Council, which continues to own the station today.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[2]
18.11080i16:9KLRU-HDMain KLRU programming / PBS
18.3KLRU-QLocally programmed channel with PBS/KLRU encores and additional programs not aired on primary channel. Q Night at the Movies on Saturday nights focuses on film[3]

Analog-to-digital conversion

KLRU shut down its analog signal on April 16, 2009. Before shutting down the signal forever, it played its nightly sign-off from the 70's one last time.[5] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 22, using PSIP to display KLRU's virtual channel as 18 on digital television receivers.

Programs produced by KLRU

  • Arts In Context – Documentary series focusing on creativity and the arts.
  • Austin City Limits – A long-running PBS music program that helped establish Austin as the "Live Music Capital of the World."
  • Austin Now – A weekly series that examines people, ideas, and issues that define Austin. (no longer in production)
  • Austin Revealed – Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin's past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city's future.
  • BBQ with Franklin – Cooking tips from Aaron Franklin.
  • Blackademics TV –Top Black Studies scholars engage with projects and research focused on education, performance and youth empowerment.
  • Central Texas Gardener – A natural gardening program hosted by Tom Spencer.
  • Civic Summit – KLRU's program for discourse on public affairs.
  • Docubloggers – A high-tech look at the life of Austin. (no longer in production)
  • In Context – A series on design, architecture, and art. (no longer in production, became Arts In Context)
  • The Intergalactic Nemesis – The Intergalactic Nemesis is a 17-part live-action graphic novel- a mash-up of a radio play and comic book.
  • Juneteenth Jamboree – Celebrate the history and rich culture of African Americans in Central Texas.
  • Overheard – A weekly interview series, previously known as Texas Monthly Talks; it is hosted by Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith.
  • Painted Churches of Texas – Documentary on the painted churches located in Central Texas.
  • Special Session – Seen while the Texas State Legislature is in session, it is a magazine show that looks at issues that are important to Texans; it is hosted by Paul Stekler. (no longer in production)
  • SXSW Presents – A feature and short film series presented by the South by Southwest Film Festival in association with the Austin Chronicle weekly newspaper.
  • 'What's That, Buzz? – "What's that, Buzz" is a 12-part web series that explores the world of sound effects and Foley. Learn how sounds effects are made and how professionals in the field do their job.

Programs produced in Austin and presented by KLRU

  • The Biscuit Brothers – A television series about music for children.
  • The Daytripper – KLRU is the presenting station of the program, which is produced by Hogaboom Road, Inc., highlighting travel destinations across Texas; it is hosted by Chet Garner.
  • Downtown – A weekly series spotlighting the people, places, and things associated with downtown Austin and how it differs from other cities' downtown areas. (no longer in production)
  • Hardly Sound – Hardly Sound is a documentary TV series focusing on Texas underground music and artists - showcasing their stories, the creative process, and sharing a dialogue within the creative community.
  • The Forgotten Americans – A 2000 documentary produced by Galán Productions for PBS
  • One Square Mile: Texas - Produced by filmmakers Carl and Elisabeth Crum. One Square Mile: Texas is a documentary television series that portrays Texas culture from the perspective of distinct square miles across the Lone Star state. The series is a microcosm of Texas life and a collective portrait of the state. The series represents the many faces and facets of Texas from the perspective of the individual while spanning the emotional, demographic & physical landscapes.