Give KPLU six months to raise enough money to secure its independence from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU).
Financially strapped PLU will get exactly the same deal being offered by KUOW and the University of Washington: 7 million dollars and 1 million dollars in underwriting. PLU gets to take over the Neeb building on the PLU campus.
The community gets to keep a beloved radio station, with its extraordinary news operation and world-class jazz programming.
PLU gets the money it needs and will no longer will be viewed as insensitive to the public radio listeners.
The UW will be seen as beneficent and caring, and not a rich raider ready to end a popular public radio station.
I have talked to a number of people and am convinced that KPLU could raise the needed funds in a few months from its large and appreciative audience. In support of this, I received dozens of emails since my KPLU blog came out, with a number of folks offering to contribute generously if they could save the station.
Raising 7-9 million dollars would not be such as heavy lift, considering that KPLU's audience is nearly 450,000 people.
And there is substantial precedence for this. KUNC in northern Colorado faced a similar take over attempt, but was able to raise 2 million dollars in a few weeks to establish itself as an independent public radio station (the story is here). KPLU has a hugely larger and richer audience.
And if KPLU can secure the funds and establish itself as an independent public radio station, then KUOW can use it large stash of cash and investments to increase its local programming, begin to cover the UW more seriously, improve its signal quality, and perhaps shorten its pledge drives.
Talk about win, win, win!