About Classical KING FM 98.1

Founded in 1948 by Dorothy Stimson Bullitt, Classical KING FM 98.1 is among the longest-running classical radio stations in the United States.

Since becoming a classical public radio station in 2011, Classical KING FM has a stronger operating model, richer programming, and an increased focus on the Northwest. Thanks to the non-commercial format, the station plays an additional three hours of music every day. Longer pieces can be played without interruption, and over 100 live and local broadcasts can be aired annually.

KING FM’s focus on the Northwest community extends beyond live and local broadcasts to its “Northwest Focus” programming.  These elements of KING’s programming allow the station to connect listeners with what is happening in the classical music world of the Northwest and beyond, with weekly concert preview programming, broadcasts of locally-recorded concerts, and live broadcasts from the KING FM studio and from locations around the region that feature the best in local classical music.

Classical KING FM is also focused on community engagement and musical education, especially for young people.  Through the popular Instrument Petting Zoos and the annual Young Artist Awards competition, KING FM provides support for arts education and additional educational programming through on-air programs such as NW Focus LIVE, Musical Chairs, The Seattle Symphony Spotlight, From the Top, and Explore Music.

KING FM continues to be at the forefront of technology, reaching a global audience with four online channels garnering more than 135,000 streaming sessions each week and a podcasting unit with growing on-demand offerings on a variety of subjects. KING FM also offers a free app for mobile phones and tablets.

Classical KING FM invites the community to join them by becoming supporting members, ensuring a future for classical radio in the Northwest, and bringing the richness of classical music to diverse audiences in the rapidly growing Puget Sound region.


Facts about Classical KING FM

  • Founded in 1948
  • Founder: Dorothy Stimson Bullitt
  • Classical KING FM is listener-Supported
  • Members: 16,000 as of April 2018
  • 79% of KING FM’s budget comes from listener donations
  • Operations structure: three non-profit entities: Beethoven, Classic Radio and Classical 98.1
  • A Board of Directors oversees Classical 98.1 and also holds board positions on the other two governing entities
  • Coverage: Greater Puget Sound region, as far south as Olympia and north to Vancouver and Victoria B.C., Canada
  • Listeners: An average of 288,000 terrestrial radio listeners per week
  • Underwriting support provides additional revenue

CEO: Brenda Barnes
Program Director: Seth Tompkins
Human Resources: Sabina Koziel


What’s your preference? Family friendly classical music? Relaxing music? Intellectually stimulating music? Modern classical? Classical music in the Northwest? Click one of these links for content curated for you.