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For the marine corps installation in San Diego, California assigned the ICAO code KNKX, see Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
City Tacoma, Washington
Broadcast area Seattle metropolitan area
Branding 88.5 KNKX
Slogan Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Frequency 88.5 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 88.5-2 FM Jazz "Jazz24"
Translator(s) (see article)
First air date 1966 (as KPLU-FM)
Format Jazz/NPR
ERP 68,000 watts
HAAT 707 meters (2,320 ft)
Class C
Facility ID 51199
Callsign meaning "Connects"
Former callsigns KPLU-FM (1966–2016)
Affiliations NPR
Owner Friends of 88.5 FM
Webcast KNKX Web Player AAC+ PLS
Jazz24 Webstream (HD2)

KNKX (88.5 MHz) is a news and jazz format National Public Radio member community-owned station in Tacoma, Washington, United States. The station is owned by Friends of 88.5 FM, a community based non-profit group, and was established in 1966 by Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). It is one of three full NPR members in the Seattle area, the others being KUOW-FM and KVTI, an outlet of Northwest Public Radio (though KVTI can't be heard in most of Snohomish County, Washington because of interference from KSER).

KNKX broadcasts in HD.[1]

Logo prior to August 31, 2016

Founded on November 16, 1966 as KPLU-FM,[2] KNKX broadcasts from West Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah Alps with a power of 68,000 watts. Studios are located in both Tacoma and Seattle. KNKX plays a variety of NPR programs, including All Things Considered, Car Talk, and Morning Edition. The locally produced BirdNote airs every morning. KNKX is known for its jazz programing and regional news coverage. Those who listen online can choose either a regular station feed, or listen to Jazz24, a 24/7 free online jazz station.

On November 12, 2015, PLU announced its intention to sell the station to the University of Washington, which also operates KUOW.[3] The Seattle Times noted that PLU spokeswoman Donna Gibbs denied reports that the sale was motivated by financial problems at PLU, although in September 2015 Standard & Poor's had reduced PLU's bond-rating status from BBB to BBB- with a forecast of "negative."[4] On November 23, the KPLU advisory board voted unanimously to oppose the sale.[4] KPLU was announced to be officially bought by KUOW, but by December, "public outcry" encouraged license owners to negotiate with community based non-profit group Friends of 88.5 to raise $7,000,000.[5] As of May 26, 2016, some 17,000 supporters met the goal; Friends of 88.5 began negotiating with PLU to purchase the station.[5]

On August 12, 2016, it was announced that the station would adopt the new call letters KNKX (pronounced as "connects"). The new call letters went into effect when the station officially changed hands from Pacific Lutheran University to Friends of 88.5 on August 30, 2016[6][7]


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

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Falk, Tyler (May 9, 2016). "Future of KPLU's popular jazz stream hinges on fundraising campaign". Current. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Radio KPLU To Begin Broadcasting". Morning Mast. XLIV (7). Pacific Lutheran University. November 11, 1966. p. 1. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ KUOW Staff. "PLU Says It Intends To Sell KPLU 88.5 FM To KUOW Public Radio". KUOW. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Kiley, Brendan (November 23, 2015). "'A kick in the teeth': KPLU advisory board opposes sale to KUOW". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Supporters of Tacoma-based KPLU reach $7 million mark in bid to buy station". The Olympian. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°30′14″N 121°58′34″W / 47.504°N 121.976°W / 47.504; -121.976