Pacific Lutheran University and the Friends of 88.5 have announced that they have reached an agreement for the community group to buy the license to 88.5 FM, currently known as KPLU, from the university. The deal substantially matches the offer made for the station late last year by KUOW and the University of Washington, and terminates the UW’s purchase commitment.
From early in 2015, when KUOW and the UW were approached by PLU about 88.5 FM, their interest was in preserving a vital public radio asset for the listening public. The agreement between PLU and the Friends of 88.5 accomplishes that goal.
“Congratulations to the Friends of 88.5 on their agreement with Pacific Lutheran University to purchase KPLU, and on the unprecedented fundraising effort that made it possible,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are delighted they were able to make it happen.”
The Friends of 88.5 were able to raise more than $7 million in less than six months by drawing on KPLU’s loyal listeners and support from the community.
“The generosity of KPLU’s listeners is a testament both to the excellence of the station’s programming and to the deep affection that Puget Sound listeners hold for public radio,” said KUOW General Manager Caryn Mathes. “Through the Northwest News Network, KUOW has long partnered with KPLU to provide listeners of both stations with coverage of state government and other regional news. We look forward to continuing that partnership as the Friends of 88.5 assume the operation of the station.”