2018 Annual Report

Storied Past

Promising Future

KNKX Infinity Mirrors KNKX NPR Seattle Tacoma

Though we live in an increasingly uncertain world, community support continues to make the future of KNKX a promising one. The collective investment of KNKX listeners ensures that a Northwest public media source remains to make the world a little less uncertain, for there is no replacement for the local and NPR reporting that offers perspective on the issues of the day. There is no substitute for the jazz and blues that remind us that beauty and creativity still prevail.

There’s nothing that connects us to humanity like hearing diverse voices, as they share their stories of joy, sorrow, hardship and vulnerability.

Forces that help us connect and better understand each other in meaningful ways have never been more important – or more under threat. Your support gives KNKX the resources to thrive and grow when it matters most. Everything contained in this Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report was made possible by the enduring generosity of YOU - our listening community. Thank you!

To see a downloadable version of this report, click here.

KNKX delivers excellence in jazz, blues and news with stories that inspire, inform and connect our community.


A Message from KNKX
President & General Manager

Dear Listeners and Friends,

KNKX celebrated its first anniversary as an independent, community station this past fiscal year, and I’m pleased to say, that thanks to your generous support, we are on sound financial footing. This means that we will be able to take the next steps in the growth of our radio station; steps that include maintaining our presence in the South Sound with a new home in Tacoma, as well as expanding our Seattle location.

We entered the fiscal year fresh from the campaign to save the station. As we move forward, our paramount goal is to be an even more important public media service for our region, and to connect and serve our listeners like never before. Our call letters, KNKX (‘Connects’) remind us that we’re here to make meaningful connections:

Between small towns and big cities,

Between distant news and lived experience,

Between people and the music they love

These connections make us more than a radio station—they make us a community.

This Annual Report highlights the many ways in which we made those connections with you in Fiscal Year 2018. During that time, we also laid the groundwork for KNKX Connects, a series of live All Things Considered broadcasts from local communities. The goal of the project is to present rich storytelling and to highlight issues and voices from those communities. The series officially launched from Port Angeles in June 2018. While there, our news team reported on the ripple effects of Port Angeles’ housing shortage, visited with the city’s semi-pro baseball team, and took a guided hike in Olympic National Park. This project, along with all you helped us accomplish this past fiscal year, serve to illustrate KNKX’s ongoing commitment to connecting local communities through the vibrant stories and music so richly represented in our Northwest home.

It is against the backdrop of this mission to strengthen meaningful connections through excellence in jazz, blues, and news that we enter the next chapter of our independence.

Preparations have already begun to move our Parkland operation to the heart of Tacoma’s downtown theater district by July 1, 2019. As the Tacoma project moves forward, we must also plan for changes in our Seattle operation. Our Seattle lease is expiring in June of 2020, so finding a larger, more accessible location in Seattle is our next priority.

In order to raise the funds necessary to make our new homes a reality, we’ve started our $6 million capital campaign - KNKX Next. This campaign will set the foundation for KNKX’s future—one that is more innovative and more accessible than ever before.

You saved this station.

Now, with KNKX Next, we’ll write the next chapter in our story of independence together. Our connection with you is why we are here. Thank you for all of your support!

With gratitude,

Joey Cohn

Board of Directors

  • Stephen Tan
  • Claire Grace
  • David Veterane
  • Joey Cohn
  • Keith Seinfeld
  • Gayle McIntosh
  • Scott Ahlsmith
  • John Teutsch
  • David Deacon-Joyner
  • My Le Goel

Community Advisory Council

  • M.E. Peg Achterman
  • Michael Armstrong
  • Donald G. Arsenault, CCIM
  • Jim Burbidge
  • Rudy Castillo
  • John W. Comerford
  • Greg Dallaire
  • Paulette De Coriolis
  • Dave Ellgen
  • Linda Farmer
  • Alex Fryer
  • Bob Hirsch
  • Henry Izumizaki
  • Stacey Isaacs
  • Jeanne Juneau
  • Jim Long
  • Lloyd Mildon
  • Brian Pearson
  • Lyn Quitslund
  • Cary Retlin
  • Fred Seidel
  • David Sturtevant
  • Paul Taylor
  • Joan Tornow
  • John Woltjer


KNKX Listeners




Leadership Members


Staff Members




Advisory Members


Board Members

Building Community

This community is the backbone of the station, a constant and enduring inspiration in the stories we tell and the music we play. In Fiscal Year 2018, we made creating opportunities to personally connect with our listeners a priority. Whether that connection was forged by hosting live performances, direct interactions at local festivals, or simply the magic of 700 public radio fans occupying a single room, all joined by a common love – KNKX – community events were, and will continue to be, a powerful link to listeners throughout the Puget Sound region.

Ballard Locks

Jazz & News On A Summer's Day

KNKX took over the Ballard Locks for All Things Considered Live and a concert in the park featuring local jazz talent. The news, the jazz, and a park packed with old and new KNKX friends – it was a glorious day illustrating what KNKX does best, connect our community.

KNKX Holiday Jam 2017

Holiday Jam

In 2017, Holiday Jam audiences were treated to a dynamic performance from Olympia-based vocalist, LaVon Hardison at Edmonds Center for the Arts. Vocal jazz ensemble, Soundsation, of Edmonds Community College, and the Edmonds-Woodway High School Jazz Ensemble joined Hardison in spreading holiday merriment throughout the auditorium.

Wait Wait Dont Tell Me Live KNKX

Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me LIVE

KNKX listeners were treated to a raucous evening of cathartic laughter when Peter Sagal, Bill Kurtis, the Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me crew and special guest, Lindy West, visited Seattle’s Paramount Theatre in December.

KNKX The New Cool

New Cool Concerts

The Landing at Tyee on Lake Union provided a scenic backdrop for a series of free concerts featuring artists from Abe Beeson’s weekly exploration of contemporary jazz, The New Cool.

KNKX Public Radio Poulsbo

KNKX In Poulsbo

In partnership with the City of Poulsbo, KNKX took part in a day-long festival featuring music by local professional and student musicians, intermixed with civic presentations honoring Poulsbo businesses, organizations, and individuals that are contributing positively to the local community.

KNKX December Drive 2017

KNKX December Drive

For the third year in a row, listeners who donated to KNKX during our Winter Drive, also helped fill a backpack with food for a child in need for the Northwest Harvest Three Squares backpack program. In the end, KNKX listener support filled an astonishing 1,580 backpacks. This accomplishment came full circle when KNKX staffers spent a morning volunteering at the Northwest Harvest Kent warehouse.

“I appreciate that you give a voice and represent the smaller communities in our state every day. Your coverage of our region as a whole is both important and unique.”



“You are such a big part of my life whether at home, on the road or even at Camp Muir where I work as a climbing guide. KNKX and NPR are always near and dear. Thanks for being there for us!”



News & Information

The relentless pace of news this year had audiences turning to public media seeking clarity and context on events that are shaping the direction of our country. KNKX brought you national and international news from the reliable voices of NPR and gave a regional perspective from our own team of journalists. Tackling subjects at the heart of current civil discourse – gun control, homelessness, the opioid epidemic, immigration, and much more – KNKX gives you the information you need to make informed opinions without the sensationalism experienced through many other news sources.

Big Stories & Breaking News

KNKX Eclipse KNKX Seattle 2018

Fiscal Year 2018 was packed with stories of consequence. News from the White House, the #MeToo movement, a slew of punishing natural disasters and heartbreaking school shootings – one story followed the next at a dogged rate. Because of this, it’s impossible to mention every major or breaking news story of the year, but it’s worth remembering some of these stories that directly impacted you and our region. You gathered together to marvel at a once-in-a-lifetime, solar eclipse. You saw democracy in action at numerous civil protests, including the Seattle March for Our Lives and the Women’s March. You went to polls during November elections, an informed voter and ready to do your civic duty. You shared in the tragedy of the DuPont Amtrak crash. KNKX reporters and our partners at the Northwest News Network were on site bringing you the facts and the context of every story.

Photo of the United States Capitol


KNKX covered immigration issues throughout our region, looking at how immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented, are navigating federal actions in our community. This included coverage of the federal detention center in Tacoma and the practice of separating parents and children who are in detention. Related stories: ‘4 Things You Need To Know About DACA in Washington State’, ’King County Creates Commission To Help Immigrants And Refugees’, ’Tacoma’s Immigrant Defense Fund Struggles To Find Donors’.

KNKX Education Reporting


KNKX covered a variety of stories focusing on youth and education including students protesting school shootings, public school funding and the need for more and equitable school resources and support. Related stories: ‘Seattle Native Americans Rally for Indigenous-Focused High School’, ‘Opportunity Gap in Schools Getting Wider’, ’Seattle-area students Rally Against Gun Violence On The Anniversary Of Columbine.’

KNKX Homelessness Seattle


KNKX covered homeless and affordable housing from a variety of angles – including going into the tent cities and talking to the public agencies that are directly involved in managing this vulnerable population. Related stories: ‘Inside the Experiment That Is Tacoma’s First Legal Tent City’, ‘Homeless Deaths Have Doubled in King County Since 2012’, ‘Homelessness Is A Defining Election Issue in Puyallup.’

KNKX Environment


KNKX closely tracked the state of the environment in Western Washington from potential threats to advances in technology that can lead to a cleaner place to live. We also investigated the idea of accessing nature and how people who have traditionally not felt welcomed or face barriers are getting up to the mountains for outdoor recreation. Related Stories: ‘I Was The Only Black Girl There’: Two Big-City Women Find Solace In Glimpses Of Nature’, ’Eclipse’s High Tides Blamed For Spill Of Framed Atlantic Salmon Into Salish Sea’, ’Cities, Counties To Pool Resources As They Brace For Climate Change Impacts.'

Return To The Salish Sea

KNKX Salish Sea KNKX Salish Sea

Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp’s 15-part series on the Salish Sea region presented the voices of this remarkable place, revealing the pride and wonder residents associate with their home and the precipice on which this ecosystem stands as it faces the consequences of human enterprise.

See the project here

“I am a high school teacher and use the KNKX and NPR articles that I hear on KNKX on a monthly basis. I appreciate and love hearing the reporting on my commute each day.”



“My family's radios are permanently tuned to KNKX. We value the in-depth local stories and Bellamy Pailthorp's series on the Salish Sea is extraordinary.”



“I listen to and from work. I especially appreciate news that goes beyond sound bites and sensationalism. Now more than ever we need respectful thoughtful journalism and civility. You are a daily lesson on what public discourse sounds like.”


Lake Forest Park

“Access to information is critical to successfully navigating the world we live in. KNKX provides fair and meaningful news coverage people need to make good decisions about issues impacting their lives.”



New Shows

In October 2017, we introduced four new national shows and one rebroadcast of our own weekly tour of ideas, Sound Effect, to the weekday lineup. These new shows capture your mind and your heart as they feature diverse voices and stories on a multitude of subjects – including business, science, spirituality, culture and current events.

KNKX Hidden Brain

Tuesdays @ 7PM

On Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam masterfully combines science and storytelling to help you better understand the world, current events, and yourself.

KNKX On Being

Wednesdays @ 7PM

Host Krista Tippett talks to scientists, writers, and big thinkers about the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?

KNKX Planet Money and How I Built This

Thursdays @ 7PM

Two perfectly paired podcasts, How I Built This and Planet Money, investigate business, the economy and the world of finance with NPR’s characteristic curiosity and depth.

KNKX Sam Sanders

Fridays @ 7PM

Engaging host, Sam Sanders, discusses current events through the lenses of expertise and empathy on It’s Been A Minute.

Sound Effect

KNKX Sound Effect KNKX Sound Effect

Sound Effect is now in its fourth year of sharing voices and stories of the Puget Sound region. Under the guidance of a common weekly theme, seemingly no subject is off-limits to host Gabriel Spitzer and the award-winning Sound Effect team. Raccoons in Point Defiance Park, volcano preparedness, the origins of sci-fi classic Dune - the experiences of a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend – the potential for storytelling is endless. At its center, Sound Effect is about revealing our humanity and the stories that compose the rich cultural fabric of the place we live.


New Episodes Of Sound Effect

Stories Of Note

Hope and Trepidation Mix as Bellevue Mosque is Rebuilt

The Islamic Center of Eastside is Bellevue’s only mosque.

Listen Now

A Painting Taken by the Nazis is Returned a Decade Laters

Have you ever lost something that’s really important to you?

Listen Now

Keeping A Dying Language Alive After Finding Your Birth Parents

Lois Langrebe has taught Lushootseed for over two decades, a dying language of the Tulalip tribes that she’s struggling to keep from going extinct.

Listen Now

In Tacoma’s Roma Community, Hustling Was A Way Of Life

Growing up Roma meant growing up fast -- and learning how to hustle.

Listen Now

The Opioid Crisis In The Northwest

We share stories of the opioid crisis in the Northwest – the people who are affected, and those who are confronting it.

Listen Now


Songs on Track


New Views On YouTube


New Studio Sessions

Jazz & Blues

Nothing begs for the solace of jazz and blues like the social and political chaos surrounding us every day. In Fiscal Year 2018, you turned to KNKX for the joy, the magic, and the escape that music provides. When you tuned in to KNKX for daily musical inspiration, you found old friends who have created the soundtrack to your life and brand new artists who are forging the future of jazz and blues.

Jazz24 SmackTalk


KNKX is dedicated to jazz in our region, but we also feel a responsibility to make sure this music flourishes around the U.S. and internationally. That’s where Jazz24 comes in. Our 24-hour online jazz stream, found at jazz24.org reaches nearly 300,000 listeners per month in every corner of the globe. Like KNKX, Jazz24 music is thoughtfully-selected and curated by the KNKX Music Director and hosted by your favorite KNKX hosts.

Christian McBride Studio Session

Live Studio Sessions

Studio Sessions graced the KNKX airwaves at least once per week in Fiscal Year 2018, expanding on the recorded tracks in our playlist and infusing our music mix with the energy, innovations and diverse perspectives of today’s jazz and blues artists. With legendary musicians like Arturo Sandoval, blues masters like Marcia Ball, regional stars like The Rumba Kings and Bill Anschell, and New Cool favorites like the Polyrhythmics and GoGo Penguin – our Studio Sessions offer the variety and depth characteristic of the music you find on KNKX.

Regional Spotlight

KNKX Go Go Penguin Victoria JazzFest Ghost-Note KNKX Victoria JazzFest

The vital jazz scene of the Pacific Northwest is alive and well for all to hear on KNKX. We are located in the center of a thriving jazz ecosystem which presents numerous opportunities to feature and nurture our colorful regional music scene. In Fiscal Year 2018, more than half of our Live Studio Sessions featured Northwest-based musicians. We programmed showcases at regional festivals such as Victoria Jazz Fest and Northwest Folklife. We sponsored free public concerts with Holiday Jam, the Ballard Locks, and lokalfest, so that anyone looking for a bit of inspiration could enjoy the pleasures of live jazz and learn about local artists.

“Whenever I pick up my horn, I feel like I am able to channel everything in my mind to one point, and then I just let go. I love jazz, and am happiest when I’m playing and working with others to make great music.”


Roosevelt HS

“I love how jazz acts as a common language for people to connect."


Edmonds-Woodway HS

“[Jazz] lets you…express yourself through your instrument in a way that I’m not sure many other genres of music would allow.”



“When it came to the time when I had to focus on either jazz or classical music, I chose jazz because of the freedom it gives, the dance-enticing groove, and the joy it brings when you play.”


Bellevue HS

School Of Jazz

KNKX School Of Jazz KNKX School Of Jazz

Now in its 13th year, KNKX’s School of Jazz, is one of our most beloved and impactful programs. The program has evolved in the course of serving over 3,000 students, mentors, and educators, but the inherent thrill watching these young musicians learn and express themselves through music has never wavered. In Fiscal Year 2018, KNKX continued to connect local middle school, high school, and college jazz ensembles with professional musician mentors, culminating in featured Live Studio Session performances

School Of Jazz Seattle JazzEd

Seattle Jazz ED

One of the most electrifying Studio Sessions of the year arrived when we welcomed 28 Seattle JazzED students through our doors, and let’s face it, into our hearts. Led by mentors, trumpeter Riley Mulkerkar of The Westerlies and drummer Sammy Miller, the Seattle JazzED invasion was unforgettable!

School Of Jazz Guest DJ

Student DJs

Along with offering performance opportunities, School of Jazz also invites one student DJ per month to program an hour of Evening Jazz with Abe Beeson. Tracklists including everything from Miles Davis to Snarky Puppy abound as does a palpable enthusiasm for the music these students love.


The financials detailed here reflect income and expenses incurred from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.





Gifts from individual listeners are KNKX’s single largest source of support.



Business support, or underwriting, makes up the second largest portion of the budget.



This revenue comes from the annual Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant.



As a qualifying nonprofit, KNKX received a Google Ad Grant to promote Jazz24 around the world. This grant constitutes the majority of in-kind support in Fiscal Year 2018.



In Fiscal Year 2018, miscellaneous grants revenue included restricted funding for the KNKX Connects live broadcast series.



Jazz24 syndication revenue is our primary source of earned income, as fellow public radio affiliates carry the programming, thus bringing jazz to communities that don’t have the music genre on their local stations.




Programming costs make up the largest portion of KNKX‘s budget. These include fees paid for NPR content, internal production costs for local stories, licensing fees for jazz and blues, and investment in the infrastructure required to deliver jazz, blues and news on the air and digitally.


Membership &

Membership & Development expenses represent costs related to KNKX fundraising, marketing and business support operations. These departments generate the majority of income needed to keep the station operational.



Administrative expenses are those costs needed to maintain daily operations, such as human resources, facility rental and office supplies. They represent the smallest portion of the KNKX budget.

Thank You!

KNKX would not have been able to accomplish anything described in this Annual Report without the board, staff and volunteers on our frontlines, the thousands of donors and over 300 businesses that believe public media is important and worth supporting. Each one of you played a part in making fiscal year 2018 a success. With your continued investment a promising future awaits KNKX. Thank you!

KNKX Thank You KNKX Thank You

You can make more amazing jazz, blues, and news possible with your annual support in Fiscal Year 2019!

Visit KNKX.org or call 877-677-5658 to make a gift.

“My daughters grew up listening and now as parents they listen too. I love the new programs and my old favorites! KNKX just keeps getting better!”



“I am so grateful to have KNKX available to me. Each of you on the air and behind the scenes are doing a fantastic, creative, thorough, imaginative job and I thank you for that.”



“I recently moved back to Seattle after living in NYC for close to a decade, and as I am reacquainting myself with KNKX I am realizing what a great civic resource it is for our community. Thank you for really caring about your listeners!”



“You are the soundtrack to our lives! Thank you for your diligent reporting and captivating storytelling.”



“This station been a trusted companion through the most difficult times of my life...I'm thrilled to help provide the kind of stability that KNKX has given me over the years.”