KNKX GM Joey Cohn to retire

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Joey Cohn, GM of KNKX in Tacoma, Wash., will retire later this year, he told staff Thursday.


“I’m ready to wrap up a 46-year career in public media, that includes 36 years at KPLU/KNKX,” he told Current in an email.

Cohn led the station’s transition from a university licensee to an independent nonprofit, Friends of 88.5-FM. The NPR station was known as KPLU when it was owned by Pacific Lutheran University. When the university pursued a plan to sell KPLU to KUOW in Seattle, a community group rallied in 2016 to raise $7 million to buy the license.    

Cohn started thinking about retirement more than a year ago, he said. KNKX was completing the third phase of a capital campaign that began with the 2016 bid for KPLU’s transition to independence. The campaign has since raised a total of $18 million in capital funds. The second and third phases supported new studios in Tacoma and new headquarters in Seattle, he said. 

Completion of the campaign “marked the final chapter of the station’s bid for independence,” Cohn said.  

The timing of his departure hasn’t been set but Cohn expects to leave before the end of the year. 

The station’s board will conduct the search for his replacement, he said. 

One thought on “KNKX GM Joey Cohn to retire

  1. Joey has done an amazing job of transitioning KNKX from a university to an independent nonprofit with offices and studios in Seattle and Tacoma. It has been a joy to have a front row seat and watch Joey work. He is an incredible fundraiser, CEO, and leader. I wish Joey all the best in retirement. He leaves big shoes to fill.

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