Greetings from KING FM!
I don’t think I have ever written a more important e-mail than this one. As you are a past donor to the online efforts of KING FM at KING.org, I want to share some exciting news about KING FM, news that is important to the arts, important for the future of classical music on the radio and online, and, we think, very important for you.
First, a bit of background. For 62 years now, KING FM has been broadcasting classical music on the radio. Northwest broadcasting pioneer Dorothy Bullitt created KING-FM for the sole purpose of bringing classical music to Pacific Northwest radio. When I first came to KING FM in 1979 she was still actively involved and a daily fixture, even serving a wicked eggnog to the entire broadcast “family” in the studios each Christmas. She was a true visionary and community leader in every sense of the word.
When she died in 1989 the ownership of King Broadcasting Company passed to her daughters, Priscilla Collins and Harriet Bullitt. True to their family heritage, they decided to sell most of the holdings of King Broadcasting and devote themselves to philanthropy. But, sharing their mother's passion for classical music, they bought KING FM themselves so they could ensure that Seattle would always have a classical radio station. Then in 1995, in an extraordinary act of generosity, they created a new non-profit owner called "Beethoven" and gave the stock to the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and the group now called Arts Fund.
While KING FM remains a national leader in classical music on the radio, and now online as well, it has become clear that the commercial advertising model could pose challenges for our future. For almost two years the board of ”Beethoven” and the management of KING FM have proactively explored options to assure that KING FM not only continues it’s vital role within the community, but to also assure that it expands and enhances it. That’s why I am excited to tell you that effective July of 2011 KING FM will become a listener supported public radio station. Instead of airing commercials for our support, KING FM will now get its support from underwriters and our listeners.
What does this mean for you? First off, listener support secures KING FM’s place within the community for years to come, assuring that you can always turn to KING FM for this great music, online or on the radio. As we’ve seen recently across the country, great music on the radio is far from a sure thing in many cities. Not only will we continue, we will bring you even more of this great music, as we will be able to devote some of that commercial time to music instead. While KING FM already brings you live and local classical concerts from Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Seattle Youth Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, this shift to listener support will allow us to expand those broadcasts so that we can bring you broadcasts from dozens of additional great NW ensembles.
I couldn’t be more excited, a feeling shared by all of us at KING FM. Through my years as a listener, and then as an announcer and Program Director, I’ve come to think of KING FM as a community treasure, a sentiment we’ve heard echoed from countless listeners as well. With our move to listener supported radio, our relationship with our listeners, with you, will become even stronger. I am certain that Dorothy Bullitt would be proud, of KING FM, and of this great community of listeners.
Thank you again for your previous donation. Over the coming days and weeks we will share much more information with you, and seek your feedback as well. Learn more at our website at www.KING.org Stay tuned!
98.1 Classical KING FM