They Did It. KPLU Is Saved.


    It only took The Friends of KPLU five months but they did it. They raised $7 Million enabling the 501(c)(3) to purchase the license of the Seattle station from Pacific Lutheran University and prevent the station from being sold to the University of Washington. The last $1 million was raised through a $500K community challenge from listeners and business supporters. The money was raised five months ahead of the June 30 deadline.

    Following the announcement, Cohn did a Q&A with local media. He said this campaign has been an inspiring and humbling experience for all of us. “We felt good about our work but we had no idea that our community felt so passionate about what we do. Support of this magnitude has never happened before in such a short time in public radio.   We are dedicated to making our community-owned station one that we can all be proud of. When you tune in or read our stories online, we hope you’ll take a moment to smile and say to yourself, ‘I helped make that happen—for me and for thousands of others who share a love of music and life-long learning.’   Thank you for making history with us.”

    KPLU Thank you

    The next step is for Friends of 88-5 FM to negotiate with PLU to buy the station, which broadcasts to Seattle/Tacoma, Olympia, Port Angeles/Victoria and the Skagit Valley and six other Western Washington communities, giving KPLU the largest footprint of any station in Washington State. After that, Friends of 88-5 FM will file with the FCC to transfer the license, which could take up to 90 days.


    1. It’s a small point but the correct name of the community group that is attempting to purchase the station is “Friends of 88.5”, not “Friends of KPLU” Apparently the current license holder – Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) – wants the new community group to take on a new call sign so that people won’t think the “new” community-owned station is still associated with PLU.

      Apparently many other cash-strapped universities that operate NPR stations are looking at a similar sale. This is definitely an emerging issue in the world of NPR affiliates, about half of which are owned by colleges and universities.

    2. Maybe you meant five WEEKS? Hire an editor. “The money was raised five months ahead of the June 30 deadline.” What other parts of this article are inaccurate?


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