This is a story we’ve been bringing to you from the day it started (see stories below). The Friends of 88.5 FM, a nonprofit community organization formed to preserve local National Public Radio affiliate KPLU, have received approval from the FCC to take over operation of the station. The closing is expected on August 30 or August 31. The station will soon go by the call letters: KNKX.
The “Save KPLU” fundraising campaign resulted in more than 24,000 donations from over 18,000 donors contributing to the $7 million goal, which was reached on May 26, 2016. Additional contributions since that date have helped build a reserve fund to cover operations after the sale closes. The purchase price for the station and its assets is $8 million: $7 million in cash plus $1 million of in kind-underwriting announcements to be provided to PLU over 10 years. As part of the agreement, Friends of 88.5 FM will use broadcast and office space in the Martin J. Neeb Center on the PLU campus and KPLU’s broadcast equipment in Seattle and Tacoma, at no cost, through June, 2019. It will also take ownership of all KPLU translators and transmitters. The community group will retain all KPLU employees, including the 14-member independent local news team.