The Friends of KPLU have submitted a Letter of Intent to Pacific Lutheran University to purchase the radio station. Back on November 12, 2015, Pacific Lutheran University announced plans to sell KPLU in Seattle to the University of Washington and its own public radio licensee, KUOW, for $7 million dollars and $1 million of in-kind underwriting. The new owners would use KPLU to further the reach of KUOW. KPLU’s news service, reporters, and community outreach programs would be disbanded, and programming replaced by jazz music.
The Friends of KPLU have been raising money to purchase the station and have accumulated 13,000 donations and $4.4 million so far. They have a deadline of June 30 to raise the total amount needed. Under the terms of the offer made by Friends of 88.5 FM, KPLU would retain its 16-person local newsroom, 12-person jazz and blues music staff, and Jazz24, a 24-hour high-definition streaming service. The station would also continue its commitment to local music education. In addition, the Letter Of Intent to purchase KPLU’s license calls for 88.5 to continue to operate out of the Martin J. Neeb Center, a broadcast facility on the Pacific Lutheran University campus built specifically for KPLU and funded by KPLU listeners and supporters.
“We are deeply grateful to the thousands of listeners who continue to give generously to support a civic and cultural treasure they believe in,” said Stephen Tan, former chair of KPLU’s Advisory Council who has stepped forward to chair the governing board of Friends of 88.5 FM. “With a robust schedule of community events, listener challenges, and support from regional businesses and major donors, we are confident that we will reach our fundraising goal by June 30. We look forward to meeting with Pacific Lutheran University soon to negotiate the Asset Purchase Agreement.”