Last week the KPLU Advisory Board chair met with President Krise of Pacific Lutheran University to request that the secretly negotiated sale of KPLU radio to the University of Washington be deferred so a community ownership alternative could be developed.
Unfortunately, Krise declined to change course – but acknowledged that UW could choose to delay the transaction.
I ask that UW delay it so KPLU listeners can respond to PLU first. Our membership is growing and we recently exceeded our fall fund drive goal. The current offer of $7 million in cash and $1 million in underwriting might be exceeded if more time is provided (that offer was at the low end of a recent appraisal).
KPLU currently provides programming to Olympia and our region that might be lost, and would certainly be altered, if the pending agreement comes to fruition. In addition, the sale would result in the elimination of KPLU staff including their award-winning newsroom.
Regardless of your decision, please read the advisory council’s letter to PLU and other comments at SaveKPLU.org since there was not an opportunity for the advisory board or listeners to comment when the deal was made.
A delay might result in a better offer for PLU and prevent a public university from taking on unneeded debt. Delaying the sale of a loved radio station would certainly help both universities buy goodwill in time for the holidays.