Public Radio Station KUOW Announces Plans to Purchase KPLU


SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based public radio station KUOW announced plans on Thursday to buy KPLU in an $8 million deal.

The University of Washington station, known for National Public Radio content, will buy the KPLU broadcasting licenses from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.

Pacific Lutheran University spokeswoman Donna Gibbs said Thursday the deal came from more than a decade of talks about how to better serve public radio listeners in the Puget Sound region.

"We're not changing the format radically, just creating a fulltime destination for jazz listeners and a fulltime destination for news listeners," Gibbs said.

Both stations currently broadcast the same NPR material in the mornings, she said, adding that the two stations as well as others in the region have been sharing and collaborating through the Northwest News Network for about six years.

Eventually, the KPLU station will change from news and jazz to all jazz music. No decision reportedly has been made about KPLU news staff and their jobs going forward.

The purchase involves $7 million in cash and $1 million of underwriting announcements over 10 years. The proceeds will go to Pacific Lutheran University's endowment.

University of Washington regents will have to approve the purchase, as will the Federal Communications Commission. Officials said they hope the deal is finalized by the end of December.

Gibbs said KUOW could begin operating KPLU by spring 2016 if federal regulators give approval by then.


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