Rescuing KPLU — Step 1 done! What’s next?

Rescue KPLU!

Rescue KPLU!

NOTE: This is an archive post — the content is outdated. Please go to the home-page for current content.

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This website belongs to Friends of KPLU.  We believe this station is something special, an essential piece of the cultural fabric of life in western Washington and a vital voice of independent journalism.  We are supporting the station’s efforts to raise funds (possibly through a new community organization) to purchase KPLU.

The community achieved something remarkable by raising our collective voices and earning a six-month window of opportunity.

  • We actively worked against the proposed sale of the station (from the current owner, Pacific Lutheran University, to KUOW, owned by the University of Washington).
  • We took inspiration from communities across the U.S. that rescued other public radio stations that were threatened.

After the money’s raised and the dust settles, we expect that KPLU will become a community-licensed public radio station, and KUOW will continue to be the same KUOW it is today.

How can you donate? How can you support the effort?  It will take a little time to work out the legal and strategic details needed to describe a clear path forward and collect funds.  Discussions are underway about the best way to organize a huge fund-drive, getting donations large and small. It needs to be a secure process. If possible, the current KPLU staff will manage the fund-drive and lead the formation othe new non-profit.  We expect answers to these questions in the first two weeks of January!

As soon as a campaign is ready to take donations, we’ll link to it here.

To understand why the public opposed the sale, see below.

If you simply want to say, “Thank You for listening to the public,” consider sending an appreciative note to the parties involved, at UW, PLU, KUOW and KPLU.  They may not be aware of all the voices that support a community funded effort. Although they started out on the wrong foot, they have been responsive and deserve support for that.

Background: Why did we oppose the sale, as it originally was presented?

The original terms of the sale, as described on Nov. 12 by PLU and KUOW, would have destroyed nearly everything we value about KPLU. The proponents were claiming that they were preserving public radio, but their evidence was unconvincing. And, they were not allowing the public any chance to offer input. As a principle, anyone selling/buying a station funded by public donations, using public airways, and with assets subsidized by the community should make room for a public voice.

More details about what was wrong in that original proposal are listed in “9 Reasons to take action today to keep KPLU.”

As UW Associate Vice President Norm Arkans told KPLU on Dec. 16:

“We’ve heard from the community that they were not given an opportunity to try to step forward and purchase the station for a community-based group. And so now what we want to do is try to give them the opportunity to do that.”

(This webpage is managed by volunteers and eventually will link to a more official entity, once that’s in place.)