That was one heckuva fund drive.
Friends of 88.5 FM raised $7 million in less than six months in an effort to keep public radio station KPLU-FM independent.
The Fearey Group was an early advocate for the station, and we applaud those who worked so hard to make the goal. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and a true testament to the power of community.
Back story: In November, Pacific Lutheran University announced that it wanted to sell KPLU-FM to KUOW-FM, a service of the University of Washington. KPLU would change call letters, and become an all-jazz station. KUOW would be responsible for all Northwest news, which didn’t give boosters of local coverage much reason to celebrate. In recent years, KUOW has reduced local news programming.
While Friends of 88.5 FM led the effort, it was listeners and supporters who rallied behind the cause and made it happen.
I hope there’s a larger meaning behind KPLU’s success. I hope it signals that people want local programming, and that the unforgiving dynamics of the news business doesn’t reflect a community disregard for local news. Just the opposite. With resources dwindling, we appreciate our current news sources even more.
I look forward to keeping 88.5 on my radio dial. And I can’t wait to learn even more about my hometown and those who share it with me.