KNKX Public Radio

A new studio in the heart of Seattle

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KNKX Public Radio | Next Campaign for Tacoma and Seattle

We’re not just voices on the radio.

True to its call letters, KNKX connects you to the story that is life itself. Whether told by a bird, a human, a saxophone, a forest, or the clatter of our everyday life, these stories bring us closer to ourselves, each other, and our vibrant Northwest home.

To serve you better, KNKX has launched the next phase of KNKX Next, a $5.5 million fundraising campaign, to expand its service as a provider of news, culture, and civic engagement for Seattle and the entirety of Western Washington; to be more accessible to listeners; and to bring its aging technology platform into the 21st century.

This evolution of KNKX’s service to the community begins with the move into its new Seattle home in the Madore Building (1507 Western Avenue) by late 2022 or early 2023.

Why Move?

The new space, situated between the Pike Place Market district and the redeveloping Seattle waterfront, will open a higher level of engagement with nearby activities and organizations, such as the new Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion, the expanded pedestrian walkway along the waterfront, and musical events in the Market and on the waterfront piers. The potential for partnerships with neighborhood organizations and institutions is endless.

Bellamy Pailthorp reporting on the Duwamish River.
Ed Ronco of KNKX Public Radio in Seattle/Tacoma.

A leap forward in technology

The campaign will fund a significant upgrade of KNKX’s technological infrastructure, some of which dates back nearly forty years, including a greater ability to incorporate video into everything created in our studios. KNKX’s new studio will become a memorable backdrop for jazz and blues that is shared with the world online through knkx.org, the KNKX YouTube page and through Jazz24.org.

You Belong Initiative

In addition to the new studios and technology upgrades, KNKX Next will establish an innovative initiative, titled You Belong, which will directly support activities to identify, serve and collaborate with communities that have been historically underrepresented and underserved by public media.

“We want to create an organization and service where everyone feels they belong to the KNKX listener family,” says General Manager Joey Cohn.

You Belong is a $300,000 initiative contained within the broader KNKX Next campaign goal of $5.5 million. It is directly tied to the expanded space and platform enabled by KNKX’s move to its new Seattle home. It is a critical next step in furthering KNKX’s mission as a public station owned by the community it serves.

KNKX Staff during a Q&A session in Tacoma, Wash.
Kenny Barron live at Vancouver JazzFest 2017.

Learn More

You saved this station and already helped us find a new home in Tacoma. Now help us remain more relevant, evolving, and responsive to the community than ever before.

To learn more about the KNKX Next campaign please contact our Director of Development Mary Dunaway.

mail_outlineEmail Mary phone253-993-5611

Press & Endorsements

Press

The Stranger →

Radio Ink →

Press Release →

See articles and stories about our Tacoma campaign:

Learn more about what we did in Tacoma →

Tacoma City Council Letter of Endorsement →

27th District Legislators Letter of Endorsement →

Tacoma News Tribune Editorial →

Tacoma Weekly Cover Story →

Tacoma News Tribune Article →

Tacoma Weekly Article →

Inside Radio Article →

Drummer in the KNKX Public Radio Stuios Seattle.
Jacqueline Tabor live in the KNKX Public Radio Studios Seattle.

FAQs

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! As part of our transition away from Pacific Lutheran University, we had to find a new home for our Tacoma studios. In 2019, thanks to the community’s support, KNKX moved its studio from PLU to downtown Tacoma.

The KNKX Next campaign is the next chapter in that story.

We have real challenges 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.

When we became an independent station in 2016, we immediately began planning for our future. At that time we mapped out two critical needs—a new home in Tacoma, off the campus of PLU, and a new home in Seattle with updated technology and more visibility and community access. In 2019, we achieved the first goal with the opening of our Tacoma studios on Broadway. The pandemic put the Seattle plans on hold, but the need remains.

Now that we’ve seen how we can use the public-facing space in our Tacoma studios, and with more clarity about the impacts of COVID on our work, it’s a perfect time to be planning for the future in Seattle.

KNKX’s regional approach is one of our strongest assets. You may not know that KNKX has the largest signal area in the state! We are heard over most of Western Washington, from Vancouver BC to Vancouver WA. Having studios in Seattle and Tacoma makes us better able to cover the stories and culture of our listening area and serve the entire region with jazz, blues, NPR and Northwest news.

Now that we’ve seen how we can use the public-facing space in our Tacoma studios, and with more clarity about the impacts of COVID on our work, it’s a perfect time to be planning for the future in Seattle.

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 new Seattle home has been designed with those plans in mind. In addition, we have a 20-year lease in Seattle.

Due to changes in the Seattle real estate market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, KNKX has been able to negotiate a long-term lease that is not much different than our current expenses. Even with the modest increase in rent, we believe that a new space in a lively and invigorated part of Seattle will help our bottom line by helping us reach more listeners and new audiences.

Thank you! Your excitement is just what we need. You can make a gift now through our KNKX Next donation page. If you’d like more information about giving to the KNKX Next campaign, please contact Executive Director of Development, Mary Dunaway, at mdunaway@knkx.org.