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00000181-fa79-da89-a38d-fb7f2b910000KUOW is joining forces with other Seattle media outlets to highlight the homeless crisis in the city and region on Wednesday, June 29, 2017.The effort was modeled after a collaboration by more than 70 San Francisco outlets to focus a day of news attention on the issue and possible solutions.Read more about the Seattle project and check out our coverage below. Follow the city's coverage by using #SeaHomeless.HighlightsThe Jungle: an ongoing coverage project going into the notorious homeless encampment under Interstate 5.Ask Seattle's Homeless Community: KUOW is launching a Facebook group where anyone may ask a question about homelessness, but only people who have experienced it may answer. This was inspired by a recent event KUOW co-presented with Seattle Public Library and Real Change, where residents of the Jungle answered audience questions. No End In Sight: an award-winning investigative project from KUOW about King County's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

PLU agrees to sell KPLU to community group, not KUOW

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KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter
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On Tuesday, Pacific Lutheran University made its plans for KPLU official. The university agreed to sell KPLU radio to a newly formed community group. That cancels KUOW's agreement to purchase the station.

The group Friends of 88.5 FM has already raised the $7 million needed to buy the station (and $1 million in underwriting for PLU). 

All it needs now is federal approval, which KPLU thinks could come as early as September.

KPLU general manager Joey Cohn said he feels relief and gratitude.

Cohn: "The most important lesson that we've learned through this process is that the community wants to be involved in KPLU closely... so we want to include them and ingrain ourselves into the community even more than we are now."

Last November PLU announced its intent to sell the news and jazz station to KUOW (which is licensed by the University of Washington).

But that would have closed KPLU's news room and led to layoffs, which prompted citizens to start a Save KPLU campaign. So, the two universities agreed to give the community group a chance to raise $7 million to buy the station.

KUOW general manager Caryn Mathes said she's disappointed KUOW won't acquire KPLU, but she wouldn't have done anything differently.

Mathes: "You know anytime you have ‘save us’ in your narrative that makes for a compelling argument. And so, they didn't feel that consolidation was the best thing, OK that's fair. My main goal was that it should remain a public radio asset for the community, and that's now happened."

KUOW has spent $243,000 on the acquisition effort, the majority of it for to legal counsel.

Some of the money also went to launching a pilot music service called Planet Jazz. KUOW leadership said they'll decide next month whether to continue the service.

Meanwhile, the news will keep playing on KPLU, but the station's name will change. Cohn said in keeping with KPLU's community ties, they'll have the public submit name suggestions.

 KUOW has hired an independent editor to oversee coverage of this story.