Friends of 88-5 FM, a local nonprofit formed to preserve the independence of public radio station KPLU, announced Tuesday that it “has submitted a Letter of Intent to Pacific Lutheran University setting forth principal terms for its purchase of KPLU.”
“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 chairman of KPLU’s Advisory Council who leads the governing board of Friends of 88.5 FM.
“(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,” Tan stated in a release.
According to the group’s website Tuesday afternoon, donors have pledged $4,375,842 toward a goal of $7 million.
Pacific Lutheran University late last year announced plans to sell KPLU to the University of Washington and its public radio licensee KUOW for $7 million dollars and $1 million of in-kind underwriting.
Under KUOW’s ownership, 88.5’s broadcast towers would be used to further the reach of KUOW. KPLU’s news service, reporters and community outreach programs would be disbanded, and current programming would be replaced by a 24-hour streaming jazz service, the release stated.
Pacific Lutheran University announced Dec. 17 that it would sell KPLU’s license to a community group, provided the group makes a substantially similar offer and the parties reach agreement on the principal terms of an Asset Purchase Agreement by June 30.
The nonprofit Friends of 88.5 FM was formed to coordinate the process and fundraising necessary to secure a community license and continue station operations.
Under the terms of the offer made by Friends of 88.5 FM, KPLU would retain its 16-person local newsroom, a 12-person jazz and blues music staff, and Jazz24, a 24-hour high-definition streaming service that reaches 100,000 weekly listeners worldwide.
The station would also continue a longstanding commitment to local music education and would also continue to operate from the Martin J. Neeb Center, a broadcast facility on the PLU campus.
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535