The University of Washington Regents have filed paperwork (PDF) with the FCC to assign the license for music-oriented public radio station KEXP-FM to the non-profit Friends of KEXP in exchange for “promotional consideration” valued at just over $4 million. The Seattle station, known as KEXP since 2001, was formerly the student-run radio station KCMU-FM, which launched at University of Washington in 1972. The call letters were changed to KEXP in 2001, following the launch of a 10-year partnership with Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project.
Friends of KEXP is managed by a board that includes current station management (Station Director Tom Mara is the President) as well as representatives from the University of Washington. Although the proposal calls for the sale of the license to Friends of KEXP, the University of Washington will still provide KEXP with monetary and administrative support in the coming years.
The deal will mean that University of Washington will continue to get promoted via on-air announcements. For 10 years, at the top of every other hour, “KEXP Seattle, an affiliate of the University of Washington” will be announced during the station identification. Additionally, KEXP will air University of Washington underwriting announcements, will post online display ads, and will recognize University of Washington on the KEXP homepage and audio stream for 10 years.
According to an Agreement for Cooperation, Affiliation and Mutual Support included with the license assignment paperwork to the FCC,
Since 2001, Friends has managed the Station for the University…Over the period of Friends’ management of the Station, Friends’ vision for the Station’s future has matured and grown in sophistication. Friends has secured a lease for a permanent home for the Station at the Seattle Center. Friends has gained the wherewithal and the technical and financial tools to become the FCC licensee and steward of the Station.”
As part of the new 10-year agreement, Friends of KEXP will be considered an affiliate of University of Washington. The university will provide “fundraising and engineering support” and “technical services,” while KEXP will provide the university with promotion and board representation. This new agreement replaces an earlier 30-year agreement from 2011.