Friday, April 20, 2018


KEXP-FM 90.5 FM in Seattle recently received one of the largest ever bequests to an individual public radio station. An anonymous listener, identified only as "Suzanne," left nearly $10 million to the noncommercial Triple A and Alternative Rock station.

According to a spokesperson from KEXP [link], the surprisingly generous donation will help establish a permanent endowment, allow expansion of KEXP’s digital efforts and fund a full-time education and outreach team. 

The New York Times reported [link] that Suzanne died in 2016. She was living out of state but frequently visited her family who live in the Seattle area. Following her death, Suzanne’s estate lawyers informed KEXP’s management of the gift in February 2017.

Kevin Cole
Some people at KEXP knew Suzanne and her taste in music. One of these folks is Kevin Cole, KEXP’s Chief Content Officer and afternoon host. Cole celebrated Suzanne’s gift with a handpicked 45-minute set of her favorite music on Monday (4/16). Cole began the set with Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne followed by tunes by the English Beat, Sharon Jones and the Cure.

After the set, Cole talked about Suzanne and her gift:

“We are humbled and honored [by her] incredible generosity. Suzanne’s love of music, her support for artists, her sense of philanthropy and service to the community, and the joy she found in exploration and discovery will live on in the programs and services that are made possible through this amazing gift."

Suzanne was a listener since the 1990s. She described KEXP’s role in her life in a testimonial that she recorded before her death. During the on-air tribute listeners heard Suzanne’s voice say:

“When I told my uncle that my favorite radio station had just gone off the air, he turned me on to KEXP. Music is one of the best ways to unite people globally, and I love an organization which spreads that goodness.”

She ended her taped remarks with KEXP’s frequently heard positioning slogan:

“I’m Suzanne, and I power KEXP.”

Inspired by the donation, KEXP has also created a new planned giving initiative, the Reverb Society [link].


My friend Chuck Singleton, GM of WFUV, New York, contacted me about a mistake in last Wednesday’s post [link] about the station’s performance in the March 2018 Nielsen PPM ratings. In the post we combined WFUV’s weekly listeners in the New York book with the weekly listeners in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) book. 

Singleton told us that the Long Island data is already embedded in the New York numbers, so we were double-counting them. We checked with RRC and Chuck is correct. Listeners in the Long Island metro and the Middlesex-Somerset-Union (Northern New Jersey) metro are embedded in the New York data.

The chart on the left contains the correct information for WFUV and other New York stations.

The same arrangement is also found in northern California.   

San Jose’s numbers are embedded in the San Francisco PPM ratings.

KQED has 962,400 estimated weekly listens includes listeners in San Francisco and San Jose combined.

In the Seattle-Tacoma PPM ratings KUOW and KNKX increased their estimated weekly listeners by significant amounts over March 2017.

KEXP (featured above) also increased their weekly listeners, up 9% over the past year.

Two stations, noncom KUOW and commercial KIRO, are neck-and-neck.   

KIRO leads in weekly listeners and KUOW leads in AQH share.

KUOW and KNKX lead Sinclair’s KOMO and KTTH in both weekly listeners and AQH share.

(An announcement for one of my consulting clients.)

No comments:

Post a Comment