Press Release – January 16th, 2008
For KPLU contact: Paul Stankavich, General Manager, KPLU, (253) 535–8732
For KUOW contact: Wayne Roth, General Manager, KUOW, (206) 543–2710
KPLU and KUOW Reach Agreement on Service in Bellingham, Washington
January 16, 2008 (Seattle/Tacoma, Wash.) – KPLU has withdrawn its application to operate a primary public radio station in Bellingham, WA in favor of KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio (KUOW), to resolve an issue that could have created disruptions in service to Bellingham listeners of both public radio broadcasters.
KPLU and KUOW serve listeners in Bellingham with public radio programming. KPLU airs a mix of jazz, blues and news. KUOW provides local, national and international news and information programming. Both stations currently operate translators which rebroadcast each station's primary signals in Bellingham: KPLU at 88.7 FM and KUOW at 90.3 FM. Unlike primary stations, transmissions from translators are not protected from interference from other stations in the region.
In late 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened an application process for station licenses nationwide. Both KPLU and KUOW submitted applications for the single broadcast license available in Bellingham at the 90.3 frequency. When it was discovered that the applications were in competition, station managers Paul Stankavich, of KPLU and Wayne Roth, of KUOW met to discuss a resolution.
It was determined that the risk of interference from other stations for KPLU at its translator frequency was less significant than the reduction of public radio service to Bellingham with a possible loss of KUOWs translator at 90.3FM. As a result, KPLU agreed to withdraw its application and subsequently KUOW has been awarded the channel by the FCC, pending a 30–day public comment period which ends March 8, 2008.
Roth was pleased that the issue was resolved quickly, stating, "It often takes months, even years to resolve licensing issues. Not only did Paul and I quickly reach agreement, but the FCC, much to our pleasant surprise, was also able to act within days to accept the KUOW application for filing." If the application is granted, KUOW will continue to serve listeners and supporters in the Bellingham area at 90.3 FM as a licensed station.
Stankavich feels the solution is in the best interests of the public, noting, "While we do have some risk, particularly if a Canadian station decides to increase power, the risk is small. We want to continue our collegial relationship with KUOW, and Wayne and I both agreed that discussions about mutual services are much more productive than challenging each other over license issues." KPLU will continue to serve Bellingham listeners via its translator at 88.7 FM.
KPLU – NPR News and All That Jazz – provides local and National Public Radio news, and jazz and blues on 88.5 in Seattle/Tacoma, 89.3 in Port Angeles/Victoria, 90.1 in Olympia and other communities in its signal network. KPLU and Jazz24 are available at kplu.org and at 88.5 on HD Radio. KPLU is listener supported and a community service of Pacific Lutheran University
KUOW is the region's public radio station for local and national news, information and cultural programming. It serves the Puget Sound region, Western Washington and Southern British Columbia at 94.9FM, Bellingham, WA at 90.3FM and Olympia, WA at 1340AM. KXOT 91.7 FM in Tacoma is an additional service provided by KUOW. KUOW and KXOT are streamed live at kuow.org. KUOW, KXOT and KUOW3 are broadcast at 94.9 on HD Radio. KUOW–FM is licensed by the University of Washington. KUOW–FM, KUOW 1340 AM and KXOT 91.7 FM are listener–supported and operated by KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio a private non–profit organization established in 2000.