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KING-FM 981 FM; "Classical King FM" is a classical music radio station in Seattle, Washington Its transmitter is located near Issaquah, Washington on Tiger Mountain

KING-FM broadcasts in HD1


The station has been a non-profit, listener-supported public radio station since May 2011

KING-FM was once co-owned with KING 1090 AM, now KFNQ and KING-TV channel 5, but was donated to a non-profit partnership consisting of the Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, and ArtsFund by King Broadcasting upon that company’s sale to The Providence Journal Company in 1992 Even after the sale, the radio station was long co-located with the television operation KING-FM moved to an office building several blocks away in 1999

KING-FM began broadcasting in Seattle in 1948, originally at FM 949, owned by King Broadcasting co-owner Dorothy Bullitt The year before, Bullitt had bought KEVR and changed it to KING23 Seattle is located in King County, for which its call letters were chosen Bullitt also owned KRSC-FM, which had gone on the air around 1947 at FM 981 under different ownership and been acquired by Bullitt in 19492 The classical-music station KING-FM moved from 949 to 981 MHz in 1958, replacing KRSC-FM The 949 transmitter was donated to Edison Vocational School, who used it to begin broadcasting KUOW-FM on that frequency

During the late 1970s, KING-FM carried syndicated concert broadcasts by the Philadelphia Orchestra usually under direction of Eugene Ormandy, the New York Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Many of the syndicated concert programs featured well-known instrumentalists and conductors performing works which they never recorded commercially - eg Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in a highly memorable 1976 reading of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony in A major

In the mid-1970s, KING-FM's schedule also included specialized programs showcasing Quadraphonic LP recordings and historical recordings In 1983, KING-FM was the first station in the Seattle area to utilize compact disc technology for its recordingscitation needed

In 1993, KING-FM relocated its transmitter from Seattle's Queen Anne Hill to Tiger Mountain near Issaquah This higher-altitude transmitter location provided a vast improvement in the reception quality of KING-FM's signal throughout the Puget Sound area, and the Cascadescitation needed

KING-FM was also one of the first radio stations to broadcast its programming online, becoming one of the first internet radio stationscitation needed

Although KING-FM is owned by a non-profit entity, the station had continued to operate on a commercial basis However, on March 23, 2010, KING-FM announced that it would transition to a public radio station in July 2011, citing reduced advertising revenue4 Successful fundraising efforts led the station to announce on April 7, 2011, that the transition will instead take place on May 2, two months ahead of schedule5

In 2011, Classical KING FM 981 made the successful transition from a commercial to a non-commercial public radio station Now as a listener-supported station, Classical KING FM 981 has added new programming and increased on-air music


  1. ^ http://hdradiocom/station_guides/widgetphpid=11 HD Radio Guide for Seattle-Tacoma
  2. ^ Duncan, Don August 22, 1990 "Pioneers In Broadcasting" The Seattle Times Retrieved October 13, 2013 
  3. ^ "Classic-music KING FM to rely on listeners" Puget Sound Business Journal American City Business Journals March 23, 2010 Retrieved March 23, 2010 
  4. ^ Rolph, Amy April 7, 2011 "KING FM will become listener-supported sooner than thought" Seattle Post-Intelligencer Retrieved April 9, 2011 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for KING-FM
  • Radio-Locator information on KING-FM
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KING-FM

Coordinates: 47°30′14″N 121°58′34″W / 47504°N 121976°W / 47504; -121976

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