Joseph Haydn - Divertimento in B-flat, Hob.II:46 "Choral St. Antonio"
Traditional Hey for Christmas!
Richard Strauss Serenade for piano quartet
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Marriage of Figaro (hosted by Aidan Lang: part 2)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No.30 in D, K.202
Samuel Barber Nocturne, Op. 33 "Homage to John Field"

Enhancing a Community Treasure

Frequently Asked Questions

Transition to Listener-Supported: Programming: Financial:
The Arts Community:
  Local Stations: Governance and leadership:

Transition to Listener-Supported:

Is the transition complete?
Yes, the structure of the business was transferred to noncommercial on May 2, 2011. Classical KING FM 98.1 is now a listener-supported, non-profit, community radio station. We are registered with non-profit status as Classical 98.1 and our Tax ID (EIN) # is 27-3067797.

Why did KING FM decide to become listener-supported?
KING FM wants to be pro-active and ensure that the station is financially healthy and stable now and in the future. Most commercial radio stations are experiencing reduced revenues that are more structural in cause than related to the recession. We found listener-support has been very successful for classical stations in other markets, especially those, like Seattle, that have other strong public stations.

We won't have commercials or long commercial breaks. We will have simple, direct sponsor/underwriter messages, recorded by our announcers that match the tone of our station. They will only be 20 second messages as opposed to 60 second commercials and there will only be a few of these short messages per hour as opposed to long commercial breaks. This is why we will get to play more great classical music every hour (a minimum of 6-7 minutes and often even more).

How was your transition funded?

We have completed fundraising for our $2,000,000 Enhancing a Community Treasure Campaign. The funding included a generous $250,000 capping gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of our transition. KING FM was required to raise $1.75 million to satisfy the Gates challenge. Thanks to the generosity of our listeners and supporters, we raised over $1.8 million to date.


Will KING's move to the listener-supported system result in changes to programming?

Becoming a listener-supported station will give KING more air time for programming. We calculated that we will be able to provide you with approximately 42 additional days of music . For us, that means broadcasting more of the music you love.

Can you give some examples of your expanded programming?
  • Opera. Opera fans should know that not only are we continuing our decades long association with the MET in NY, we are also expanding our Saturday Night Opera so that it now runs 52 weeks a year. Seattle Opera General Director Speight Jenkins will host a broadcast each month, all year long, including the 5 LIVE Seattle Opera Broadcasts.
  • Live and Local Broadcasts. We’ve always been committed to presenting broadcasts of top NW performers and ensembles, but in this transition we are increasing our local broadcast concerts from more than 40 a year to well over 60. This includes Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Seattle Youth Symphony, Pacific NW Ballet, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and more.
  • Another new feature is our International Concert Hall, heard Saturday’s at 2pm. You’ll hear concerts from Chicago, Mostly Mozart, and so many more.
  • Saturday and Sunday at 4pm we share movie music with THE SCORE, hosted by Edmund Stone. Not only are movies are a common musical experience and a gateway to classical music, everyone who enjoys classical music will hear some of their favorites works by the great composers.
  • Sunday Baroque with Suzanne Bona, is a perfect Sunday afternoon soundtrack. It runs Sunday from Noon to 4pm, featuring the music of Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, and all their contemporaries

Will changing KING's mission to education affect the current on-air experience?

We will be designing our new support of classical music education over the next year. We expect to be able to broadcast more live performances and build more awareness and appreciation of Seattle's live classical music scene. In time, we also expect to be able to directly sponsor the education programs of some of Seattle's classical music organizations.


How was your transition funded?

We have completed fundraising for our $2,000,000 Enhancing a Community Treasure Campaign. The funding included a generous $250,000 capping gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of our transition. KING FM was required to raise $1.75 million to satisfy the Gates challenge. Thanks to the generosity of our listeners and supporters, we raised over $1.8 million to date.

What are your plans for the money raised?

Our $2 million goal is to help build our financial reserves for the transition and for general operating as a non-profit, replacing our commercial revenue streams. Under the new listener-supported model, the money we raise will fund the station plus help us expand our programming and give more support to the local arts community and arts education.

How much do I have to donate to become a founding member?

All donors who give in 2011 are "founding members." There is no minimum gift - all donations are needed and appreciated.

What's your official name and tax ID number?

Our tax ID is 27-3067797 for Classical 98.1.

The Arts Community:

What will happen to KING's dividend to its owners: the Symphony, Opera, and Arts Fund?

KING will shift from cash dividends to sponsoring education programs of these organizations. This shift will occur as KING creates success in the new listener-supported model.

What do your owners think?

Our three arts organization owners - the Symphony, Opera, and Arts Fund - all support this move very strongly. Their highest priority is to move the station to a secure financial model, and listener-support is their choice. Beyond that, they see a benefit in that KING will have more programming time to support the arts community and in time, KING will be able to directly sponsor education programs they create.

What is Beethoven, is Beethoven gone?

Beethoven, A Non-Profit Corporation, was the organization Priscilla Bullitt Collins and Harriet Bullitt donated the station to in 1994 to benefit ArtsFund, Seattle Symphony, and the Seattle Opera. We were a commercial station and Beethoven was our parent company/fiscal agent. We have now become a non-profit station in our own right and Beethoven will continue on as our parent company.
Local Stations:

What do the other major public radio stations in Seattle think about this?

Part of our evaluation included discussions with KUOW and KPLU. They are supportive of KING FM's move to the public radio model. We also evaluated how classical stations using the public radio model work in other cities. In fact, a study by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting concluded that cities with three public stations, one centered on journalism, one on jazz, and one on classical music actually do the best of all. Finally, the Seattle market strongly supports public radio in general, so we are confident this will work to everyone's benefit.

  Governance and leadership:

Will the three arts groups still be owners?

Yes, the ownership of the station will not change.

Who will control the mission?

Beethoven, the nonprofit corporation that owns the stock, created a new nonprofit, called Classical 98.1. This group has the mission of furthering the education and involvement of the general public in classical music. It is overseen by a larger board that includes the directors of Beethove. New directors will be added to represent more of the community and better manage the new fundraising and membership responsibilities.

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