It’s impossible to begin talking about KNKX this year without first acknowledging the adventures and ultimate triumph of the Save KPLU campaign.
All of the accomplishments detailed in this Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report were made possible by the resounding voices, tireless actions, and generous donations our community poured into making the very existence of KNKX possible. During a historic grassroots campaign, 21,000 individuals cobbled together $8 million in just six months to purchase our broadcasting license and provide the station with critical start-up funding. KPLU officially became KNKX, your independent community station, on August 31, 2016.
The story of KNKX demonstrates the power of community; the power of individuals coming together with one goal and reaching seemingly impossible heights. It’s a story that embodies the essence of our community at its best.
In the years to come, we will constantly work to honor the generosity and enthusiasm that the Save KPLU campaign ignited.
Thank you to all who made the dream of KNKX a reality!
To see a downloadable version of this report, click here.
This year, newly independent KNKX took the opportunity to consider who we are as a community station, reconciling a 50-year legacy and a reinvigorated vision for the future. With a refreshed mission statement and clearly defined core values, KNKX seeks to foster an empathetic and educated community in which compassion, lifelong learning and finding joy and necessity in the arts are paramount.
With a wealth of original production, KNKX differentiates itself as a leader in bringing context along with its content.
We are a community licensed station. We seek to inspire, educate and entertain our audience by reflecting our local community.
We’re committed to continuing to innovate so people from our region and beyond can access jazz, blues and news through KNKX.
Deep, relevant music and news depends on the voices of our community. We’re connected to our community through our events and our people. That connection is at the forefront of our minds.
Average monthly visitors to KNKX online
Average weekly KNKX listeners
Live Studio Sessions
NPR One users who call KNKX their station
Students impacted by School Of Jazz
Episodes of Sound Effect
Hours of Jazz & Blues music
Views on YouTube
Locally produced news stories
Fiscal Year 2017 is one that highlighted why news on KNKX is so essential. With thoughtful and balanced coverage from our own team of journalists, the Northwest News Network, and NPR, the news you hear and support on KNKX helps you make sense of the unpredictable and unrelenting state of current events that affect our world, country and local communities.
Regional coverage extended to what has been the major topic of the year: politics. KNKX produced multiple series leading up to and following the November elections to clarify complex issues and paint a nuanced picture of individuals from both sides of the aisle.
This series examined the Sound Transit 3 proposition, including its timeline, light rail, regular rail and buses. We presented multiple angles on the measure.
During the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, All Things Considered host, Ed Ronco, had an ongoing dialogue with one delegate from each party.
Sometimes, politics can feel like an insiders' game, but we shed light on some of the processes that affect our lives in this 14-part series.
In this multi-part series, we heard from a farmer, a teacher, a construction worker, a community organizer and a computer programmer who talked to us about the presidential election and their hopes for the future.
We increased our coverage of South Sound issues, thanks to reporter Will James who made coverage of the region a priority for his beat. Stories with a South Sound focus included: “How The South Sound Can Carve A Future Apart From Seattle” and “Rethinking The Future of Tacoma’s Industrial Tide Flats.”
Sound Effect is celebrating more than two years and over 100 episodes of touring ideas, inspired by the Puget Sound region. The Sound Effect team takes a deeper look at the unique stories of our Northwest home, finding extraordinary insights in everyday life.
In honor of Black History Month, we teamed up with the women behind the “Hella Black Hella Seattle” podcast to tell stories of black history in the Northwest.
In collaboration with Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins, we brought you an investigative look into the spike in prison suicides here in Washington State.
We took inspiration from the number 100 to celebrate the 100th episode of Sound Effect. In this milestone episode we explored the stories behind Northwest businesses with the address Suite 100, including a brewery, a methadone clinic, and a volcano observatory.
KNKX remains one of the few stations that continues to share a wealth of expertly curated jazz and blues with a mass audience, both here in the Northwest and around the world on Jazz24. Recordings from classic giants like Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, modern superstars like Gregory Porter and John Scofield, leading innovators like Snarky Puppy and Northwest favorite, Industrial Revelation - and everything in between - expose listeners to a whole world of eclectic music.
Last year, we hosted 62 Studio Sessions. These live performances punctuated by engaging conversation with one of our resident music hosts, are a signature part of our service to the jazz and blues community. Notable visiting artists included ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro, the legendary Hugh Masekela, and award-winning vocalist, Catherine Russell.
We launched a new music show on Saturdays where jazz meets Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, Puerto Rican, and Pan-American rhythms. A lively tour of the diverse world of Latin Jazz hosted by Robin Lloyd.
The future of jazz has arrived, with 21st century jazz inspired and informed by the sounds of today: hip-hop, funk, EDM, and punk rock. Hosted by KNKX veteran, Abe Beeson.
The cultural experiences we have when we’re young often become the most memorable and formative in our lives. To create such experiences, KNKX looks to connect young jazz musicians with opportunities for music discovery through an award-winning education program, School of Jazz. Now in its 13th year, School of Jazz helps local jazz students cultivate their skills and their love of music through collaborations with music professionals in our region. In the years ahead, KNKX strives to expand School of Jazz to provide one-of-a-kind learning and performance experiences to even more students, both in our studios and live “on location” in the schools.
“Jazz is unlike any other form of music because it is almost like a universal language, where anybody can play with a group of people and completely understand each other through the music that they create together. That’s why I love jazz.”
“Jazz is inclusive and endless...”
“Jazz is a means of connecting to others through self-expression in music.”
“I have a connection with jazz because of the emotion it evokes. The fact that it is felt and not scripted makes the music so much more powerful.”
School of Jazz also invites one young jazz fan per month to take over the mic as a guest DJ and curate a playlist for Evening Jazz. The enthusiasm these students feel for jazz is contagious, as they discuss their favorite songs and why they love this style of music with inspiring, and often wise, insights.
Arranging mentorships for middle school, high school, and college jazz students is the foundation on which School of Jazz rests. These experiences culminate with a live on-air performance during one of our signature Studio Sessions. In Fiscal Year 2017, KNKX welcomed 70 young musicians into our Seattle studios for this unique experience to share their musical talents with KNKX listeners, on the radio and online.
Fiscal Year 2017 was all about celebrations and connecting with our community in meaningful ways. Whether it’s at a Sound Effect trivia night or a booth at the Northwest Folklife Festival, we love getting to know our listeners in person. KNKX depends on one-to-one interactions with the public to truly reflect our community’s values and mission. Our generous listeners also inspired us to look for opportunities to give back to our community in meaningful ways through partnerships with other local organizations.
Listeners showed up donning festive holiday sweaters and good cheer at KNKX’s annual Holiday Jam and live broadcast from the Rialto Theater in Tacoma.
We connected with listeners in Bellingham, Tacoma, and Seattle at KNKX Community Meetings, inviting feedback, questions, and general thoughts about the station
The community gave so much to preserve the station and jump start it into independence, we felt a great responsibility to pay it forward. Through a partnership with Northwest Harvest and with the help of listeners, we filled 1,700 backpacks with food for Northwest Harvest’s Three Squares Backpack Program. We were honored to support and give exposure to such a critically important program.
The financials detailed here reflect income and expenses incurred
from KNKX’s independence day, August 31, 2016 through May 2017.
Our first fiscal year as an independent station resulted in a $1.7 million reserve. That money was crucial as we were essentially a "start up" and needed immediate cash flow as an independent station. The reserve also gave us a start on rebuilding the cash and endowment we lost in the sale of the station.
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.
Jazz24 syndication revenue is our primary source of earned income.
Grants revenue represents a relatively small portion of the KNKX budget and has potential for growth in the coming years.
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 & 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.
Sharing listener comments during pledge drives is a public radio tradition. In that spirit, here are comments from some of our most enthusiastic members. Support from listeners like these, keeps your connection to jazz, blues, and NPR news going strong. Thank you to the 22,800 individual KNKX donors for making all of this possible in Fiscal Year 2017!
“I am so proud of being part of a community that has come through to support this station! I am so grateful to you for your labor of love that keeps independent journalism alive.”
“I love the ‘School of Jazz’ program. My daughter and her girls Quartet played on your program one week. You play such a huge role in sustaining the next generation of jazz musicians! Thank you from our whole family.”
“I really like the balance of heart and mind in KNKX programming. As a saxophonist the jazz is a staple of my feelings for that style of music. And the news is one of just a few sources I trust to give me straight factual data.”
“I grew up listening to NPR with my parents and continue every morning and afternoon on my commute. Thank you for your commitment to honest reporting and wonderful storytelling.”
“Thank you for creating the KNKX community and inviting me and my family in.”
A special thanks to our Fiscal Year 2017 business supporters who contributed to KNKX’s mission through corporate sponsorship.