Friends of 88.5 FM propose cheaper sale

This piece originally appeared in The Mast at mastmedia.plu.edu

JEFF DUNN; News Editor: dunnja@plu.edu

Friends of 88-5 FM released a letter of intent last Tuesday asking Pacific Lutheran University to lower its asking price for KPLU from $7 million to $6 million, citing the $1 million the university would save by not paying severance and unemployment benefits.

Additionally, the letter of intent proposed to let KPLU continue operations on-campus in the Martin J. Neeb center, rent-free, provided that they would consolidate all of their operations to the first floor.

Former chair of KPLU’s advisory council and current chairman of the Friends of KPLU governing board Stephen Tan called the deal “substantially similar” to the offer to KUOW.

“We’re saving them over $1 million, so we’re asking for a $1 million reduction in the cash to be paid,” Tan told Current the day of the announcement.

“They are ignoring costs to the university of allowing the six month fundraising period that has already more than offset those savings.” Allan Belton; Vice President of Finance and Administration

Vice President of Finance Allan Belton said that they had received the proposal last week and are currently analyzing it. Belton also pointed out that the cost of allowing the community group effort has reached $1.5 million, which far exceeds the savings indicated by their offer.

“They are only counting what they estimate as perceived savings to the university for accepting their offer,” Belton said. “They are ignoring costs to the university of allowing the six month fundraising period that has already more than offset those savings.”

The Save KPLU campaign just passed $5 million at press time, meaning that if PLU agrees to the new proposal, Friends of 88-5 FM would only need $1.3 million more to prevent the impending sale to KUOW. Tuesday was also #GiveBIG Day, a donation holiday ran by the Seattle Foundation. Friends of 88-5 FM received so many donations through #GiveBIG, the Seattle Foundation’s website actually went down for several hours, prompting the Seattle Foundation to extend the donation time period another 12 hours.