KNKX hires Carol Handley as director of music programming


88.5 KNKX has hired Northwest jazz radio veteran Carol Handley as its new director of music programming. Handley will start Aug. 20. KNKX’s current music director, Nick Francis, retires this month after 13 years in that position.

Handley comes to KNKX with decades of extraordinary music programming, management and on-air experience in the Seattle market including jazz in all its forms and adult album alternative (AAA), roots, pop and eclectic formats. Handley also has strong relationships with regional businesses and jazz organizations. In 2011, she created Carol Handley Presents, a concert production company, online jazz radio station and website with podcasts featuring musician interviews.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the wonderful team at KNKX that has been the voice for jazz, blues and NPR news in the Pacific Northwest,” says Handley. “The work of building community throughout the entire region is something I’m proud to be a part of, and look forward to contributing to.”

Most recently, Handley was interim general manager and on-air host at KBCS-FM at Bellevue College. She was program director at the top-ranked AC station KRWM-FM (Warm 106.9) from 2012-2015 (programming its precursor, KKNW-FM in the early 1990’s), and program director/on-air host at the nationally recognized contemporary jazz station KWJZ-FM from 1996-2010. Handley was also assistant program director at eclectic AAA music station KEZX-FM, hosted middays and created its Sunday morning jazz show. Her first commercial radio management and on-air experience was at KJZZ in Bellevue (the AM station attached to the legendary 1980’s AAA station, KZAM-FM). Handley hosted the Sunday morning jazz program on (then) 88.5 KPLU in the mid-1980’s.

“Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a love of storytelling,” says KNKX Director of Content, Matt Martinez. “With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.”

KNKX is an ambassador for jazz and blues, and a vital source of quality, non-commercial news, including NPR and regional coverage. The KNKX programming staff are storytellers who reach deeply into the community to reflect the voices of our people, our region and beyond. KNKX is funded by a loyal community of listeners who value the station’s independence. KNKX operates a network of 12 radio signals that cover Western Washington, reaching 322,000 listeners weekly. In addition, and KNKX’s 24-hour jazz stream, Jazz24 reach 350,000 listeners every month online. KNKX has more than 12 million views on its YouTube channel of live jazz and blues performances.

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