Pacific Lutheran University's move to put KPLU up for sale on November 12 took everyone by surprise. Defenders of the deal say this is a win for both stations and there's nothing untoward going on.
But if KPLU is a public radio station, shouldn't the public have some say in what happens to it? Belatedly, the public is being given the chance to weigh in. That's happening tomorrow, at a meeting of the station's community advisory council, at 2 p.m. at the Westin Hotel's Pike Room in downtown Seattle (6th and Stewart).
There's expected to be a large crowd. Normally, the council meets at KPLU's studios in Belltown.
Pacific Lutheran University seems to be feeling heat for the decision to sell. I continue to get anguished e-mails from loyal listeners, and it's a safe bet that the university is getting that feedback as well. One alumnus of PLU forwarded a November 20 e-mail from the university's alumni board, which acknowledges that news of the sale "felt initially like a significant loss for us and for the University. However, shock and loss quickly turned to acceptance and understanding as we openly discussed the rationale for this sale."
The alumnus who forwarded the e-mail added: "Personally, I think this is a crock of shit." While PLU has said the sale had nothing to do with its financial position, Standard & Poor's downgraded the university's bond rating on September 18, citing a "weakened overall financial profile," one month before PLU regents approved the $8 million sale.