We’re not just voices on the radio.
We are a group of people who are as curious as our listeners. We tell the stories that put people at the center of jazz, blues, and local news. We entertain people on their way home from work, bring a local perspective to national issues, and convene all our listeners in concert and conversation.
From Vancouver B.C., to Vancouver, WA and everywhere in between—we're deeply engaged in the communities we serve.
And in 2016, when thousands of you protested our sale with your voices and saved us with your pledges, we heard you loud and clear. KNKX is the radio station that listens back.
KNKX is the radio station that listens back
A reliable voice for communities to tell their stories.
A platform for the best jazz and blues artists to share their craft.
Quality educational opportunities for students throughout our region.
What we heard is that Western Washington couldn't lose a trusted friend on the radio.
But you didn't just save our station—you gave us the chance to do something great. And with our newfound independence, we are free to connect more creatively and more directly with our listeners than we ever have.
Even our new call letters, KNKX ‘Connects’, remind us that we're not just here to make good radio, we're here to make meaningful connections:
Between small towns and big cities.
Between distant news and lived experience.
Between people and the music they love.
These connections make us more than a radio station with listeners—they make us a community.
And now, as we complete the work we began with the Save Campaign and move off of PLU's campus, it's time to invest in that community once again—this time, for our future.
Through the KNKX Next campaign, we will set the foundation for KNKX's future—one that is more innovative and more accessible than ever before. With a $6 million investment from the community, we will make new connections throughout our region.
The community has already built a new home for KNKX in the heart of Tacoma. Now we are working to expand our presence in downtown Seattle.
You saved this station and already helped us find a new home in Tacoma. Now we’ll write the next chapter in the KNKX story of independence together!
To learn more about the KNKX Next campaign please contact our Director of Development Mary Dunaway.
Press & Endorsements
Press releases and endorsements:
See articles and stories about our campaign:
The campaign to save the station was an incredible community wide campaign; it bought our license and enabled us to continue our service in the community. Thank you for making history with us! The KNKX Next campaign is the next chapter in that story. The terms of the sale of the station to the community stated that we had to find a new South Sound home by the summer of 2019. Thanks to the support of the Next campaign, KNKX has already secured that home in downtown Tacoma.
The remainder of the campaign will help us address the real challenges we have with our current Seattle location. In order to make the Save KPLU campaign count, we have to fund both spaces, and the complex technical systems, that will allow us to serve the community that worked so hard to save us now and into the future.
As we've grown, our Seattle studios are becoming more and crowded. Now that we’ve seen how we can use the public-facing space in our Tacoma studios, and with the lease up in the near future, it’s a perfect time to be planning for the future in Seattle.
When we first began mapping out our future home needs, we asked ourselves this very same question. After much analysis, we settled on maintaining two homes. We have maintained two locations, in Tacoma and Seattle, for over 30 years. Beyond the practical reasons, like our staff being split between two counties, our region-wide approach to covering local music and news is a big part of our identity and service. We started as a small college station serving the Parkland community over 50 years ago. Since that time, our network of 12 translators and transmitters has grown to reach nearly all of Western, WA. Having two, centrally-located homes means we can better serve the entire region.
We take your investment and donation seriously and are acting with great intention. We’ve gone through a visioning process and have mapped out our plans for growth. Our future homes will be designed with those plans in mind. In addition, we have a 30 year lease in Tacoma.
Since becoming independent KNKX has experienced record breaking listening and giving to the station. Our total audience has grown to over 600,000 listeners a month on-air and online. We have over 17 million YouTube views of our live studio sessions. In KNKX’s second year of independence, individual giving from listeners reached over $5 million for operational support, the most operational support raised in the station’s history. Due to the ongoing enthusiasm and generosity of our listeners, we have also rebuilt our reserves that were lost in the sale of the station. Our financials are stronger than ever before allowing us to project further into the future.
In Tacoma, the new expenses we incurred include the ongoing lease, utilities and insurance. We will now have the expense of adding one new full time position, the Education and Community Manager. Combined they will represent about a 3% increase to our total operational budget.
We are still exploring options for our Seattle home and will share those plans and costs, as they are determined.