KUOW-FM 94.9 is a National Public Radio member station in Seattle, Washington. It is one of 2 stations in the Seattle/Tacomamedia market, and one of the highest-rated NPR stations in the country. It is a service of the University of Washington, but is operated by KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, a nonprofit community organization. Studios are located on University Way in Seattle's University District, while the transmitter is on Capitol Hill.
KUOW is also carried on the following satellite and broadcast translator stations to improve reception of the station:
KUOW's site states its mission as, "to create and serve an informed public, one challenged and invigorated by an understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures."
KUOW went on the air in 1952 on 90.5 FM. Its transmitter was on the University of Washington campus atop the Administration Building, now Gerberding Hall. In 1958, Dorothy Stimson Bullitt moved KING-FM to 98.1 and gifted KING's 94.9 FM transmitter and antenna to the Edison Vocational School. That same year, KUOW started using the 94.9 FM transmitter operated by Edison. KUOW is one of the few public radio (or any non-commercial educational) stations on a frequency outside of the reserved band. For years, it served as a training ground for UW students to learn about broadcasting. Programming consisted of classical music, classroom lectures, local news, and Washington Huskies sports.
In the 1960s, however, KUOW began branching out, adding more news programming. It was a charter member of NPR in 1970. In 1992, it changed format from music to news and information, and in 1999 it moved off campus to its current location on University Way. Also in 1999, UW outsourced the station's operation to Puget Sound Public Radio.
KUOW's 2008 annual report states that the station served an average of 375,800 listeners each week in fiscal year 2008. These listeners averaged eight and a quarter hours of listening per week to total more than 3 million weekly listener hours. In the same year, KUOW ranked second among all radio stations in the Seattle Metro market, with a 4.8% share of the market's radio audience.
KUOW's 2010 (fiscal year) direct support (money received) totaled $10,134,882. Its sources were:
- 60% individuals
- 29% corporate
- 9% government (largely the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the University of Washington)
- 2% other
KUOW produces several programs, most of which are concerned with local news and events:
- The Record: Hosted by Marcie Sillman and Ross Reynolds. This midday news magazine covers a mix of local, national and international news every weekday.
- Speaker's Forum: Speaker's Forum airs speeches and presentations from a wide variety of specialties.
- The Swing Years and Beyond: Hosted by Amanda Wilde, The Swing Years and Beyond airs American music from the 1920s through the 1950s.
KUOW also broadcast the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library's Evergreen Radio Reading Service to blind and handicapped listeners on its 67kHzsubcarrier, until the service's closure on 2014 August 15. KUOW was one of three major FM stations in Washington to do so; KPBX-FM in Spokane and KFAE-FM in Yakima were the others. However, this required a special FM radio capable of receiving such broadcasts; it could not be received on a standard FM radio.
- Dave Beck: Host of Classical Afternoons with Dave Beck, on KING FM
- Luke Burbank: Host of Too Beautiful to Live, Co-host of KIRO's "Ross and Burbank"
- Heather Dahl: Senior Manager/Global Analyst, Neustart Inc.
- Orlando de Guzman: Archipelago TV
- Cynthia Doyon: deceased
- Sam Eaton: Freelance environmental journalist
- Erin Hennessey: News Director KPLU
- Jill Jackson: Capitol Hill Producer, CBS News
- Juris Jansons: General Manager KASB radi
- Lesley McClurg: Producer/reporter, Colorado Matters. Colorado Public Broadcasting
- John Moe: Host of Marketplace Tech Report
- Bill Radke: Co-host of KIRO's Seattle's Morning News
- Dana Davis Rehm: NPR Senior Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships
- Robert Smith: NPR correspondent, National Desk, New York
- Ken Vincent: Anchor/reporter at RR Broadcasting, Palm Springs.
- Andrew Walsh: Host, KIRO Radio