KNKX
88.5 KNKX-FM (Tacoma - Seattle).png
CityTacoma, Washington
Broadcast area[Seattle, Tacoma and Western Washington]
Frequency88.5 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding88.5 KNKX
Programming
FormatJazz/NPR News
SubchannelsHD2: "Jazz24"
AffiliationsNPR
Ownership
OwnerPacific Public Media
History
First air date
2016/08/31
Former call signs
KPLU-FM (1966–2016)
Call sign meaning
It stands for "Connects" because of the connection with the community.
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID51199
ClassC
ERP68,000 watts
HAAT707 meters (2,320 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
47°30′14″N 121°58′34″W / 47.504°N 121.976°W / 47.504; -121.976Coordinates: 47°30′14″N 121°58′34″W / 47.504°N 121.976°W / 47.504; -121.976
Translator(s)See § Translators
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
Webcast[1] AAC+
Jazz24 Webstream (HD2)
Websiteknkx.org

KNKX (88.5 MHz) is an independent, public radio station serving Seattle, Tacoma and Western Washington. A member of National Public Radio (NPR) it airs a jazz, blues, Northwest and NPR news for the region. The station is owned by Pacific Public Media, a community-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

KNKX has the biggest radio footprint in Western Washington with a network of 12-signals from Vancouver, BC to Vancouver, WA. KNKX broadcasts from West Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah Alps with a power of 68,000 watts. It operates from studios in downtown Seattle and downtown Tacoma.

KNKX runs jazz programs middays, evenings and overnight, and carries a variety of NPR programs in other dayparts, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and Fresh Air. The locally produced BirdNote airs every morning. Those who listen online or using an HD radio can choose either the regular station feed, or listen to "Jazz24," a 24/7 free online jazz station. https://www.jazz24.org/

History

KNKX was established in 1966 as KPLU-FM by Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), located in nearby Parkland. It was primarily run by university students and played jazz, blues and other music not usually heard on commercial radio stations. Originally, it broadcast from a tower on campus that was only 140 feet tall, effectively limiting its coverage area to Tacoma and adjacent suburbs.[1] Over time, the station added news programs from NPR to its schedule. It improved its coverage area, both by increasing its power and relocating to a tower that is 2320 feet (707 meters) Height Above Average Terrain, allowing it to challenge established NPR member KUOW. For listeners outside the Tacoma-Seattle area, it set up eleven translators and simulcast stations.

Logo prior to August 31, 2016
Logo prior to August 31, 2016

On November 12, 2015, Pacific Lutheran University announced its intention to sell the station to the University of Washington, owner of KUOW.[2] The planned sale to UW triggered public outcry from KPLU's listener base, who feared KPLU's unique programming would be sacrificed if it became a sister station to KUOW. On November 23, the KPLU advisory board voted unanimously to oppose the sale.[3] The board sought to negotiate with a community-based non-profit group, Friends of 88.5, to raise $7,000,000 to buy the radio station and its network of translators and rebroadcasters from the university, keeping it independent.[4] By May 26, 2016, some 17,000 supporters met the goal. Friends of 88.5 began negotiating with PLU to purchase the station.[4]

On August 12, 2016, it was announced that the station would adopt the new call letters KNKX, pronounced like "Connects", which was chosen among several other choices by the station's listening audience. The new call sign went into effect when the station officially changed hands from PLU to Friends of 88.5 on August 30, 2016; the change was made as the station could not keep the KPLU callsign (as it was university property) during the sale negotiations.[5][6][7] In October 2018, it was announced that KNKX would move their Tacoma studio to downtown Tacoma, at 930 Broadway.[8] On August 29, 2019, the first live broadcast from their new home was aired by Dick Stein. The station hosted a grand opening celebration on September 7, 2019.[9]

Translators

KNKX is also carried on the following satellite and broadcast translator stations to improve reception of the station:

Call sign Frequency City of license Facility ID Class ERP
(W)
Height
(m (ft))
Transmitter coordinates
KPLI 90.1 FM Olympia, Washington 91212 A 100 −17 m (−56 ft) 47°2′23.3″N 122°54′7.5″W / 47.039806°N 122.902083°W / 47.039806; -122.902083 (KPLI)
KVIX 89.3 AM Port Angeles, Washington 91468 A 600 149 m (489 ft) 48°9′2.3″N 123°40′13.7″W / 48.150639°N 123.670472°W / 48.150639; -123.670472 (KVIX)
KPLK 88.9 FM Sedro-Woolley, Washington 173038 A 730 47 m (154 ft) 48°32′29.4″N 122°17′47.6″W / 48.541500°N 122.296556°W / 48.541500; -122.296556 (KPLK)
Broadcast translators of KNKX
Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license Facility
ID
FCC info
K265DP 100.9 Aberdeen, Washington 51200 FCC LMS
K204BI 88.7 Bellingham, Washington 51195 FCC LMS
K211AP 90.1 Centralia, Washington 51201 FCC LMS
K284BM 104.7 Longview, Washington 38908 FCC LMS
K288GG 105.5 Mount Vernon, Washington 51198 FCC LMS
K214FI 90.7 Raymond, Washington 51196 FCC LMS
K221FR 92.1 West Seattle, Washington 51202 FCC LMS
K244EV 96.7 Woodland, Washington 142359 FCC LMS

The West Seattle translator serves portions of Seattle that are shielded by hilly terrain from the main KNKX signal.

See also

References

  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-227
  2. ^ KUOW Staff. "PLU Says It Intends To Sell KPLU 88.5 FM To KUOW Public Radio". KUOW. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Kiley, Brendan (November 23, 2015). "'A kick in the teeth': KPLU advisory board opposes sale to KUOW". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Supporters of Tacoma-based KPLU reach $7 million mark in bid to buy station". The Olympian. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Kiley, Brendan (August 12, 2016). "KPLU renamed KNKX (pronounced 'connects')". seattletimes.com. Seattle Times. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Connelly, Joel (August 12, 2016). "Listener-rescued KPLU public radio dons new call letters—KNKX". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  7. ^ Kiley, Brendan (August 31, 2016). "KPLU officially begins broadcasting as KNKX". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  8. ^ Sailor, Craig (October 6, 2018). "Public radio station KNKX announces move to downtown Tacoma". The News Tribune. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  9. ^ Lida, Kate (September 3, 2019). "Public radio station KNKX goes from the brink of doom to new downtown Tacoma digs". The News Tribune. Retrieved September 12, 2019.