KEXP Announces Ethan Raup as New CEO

Powering KEXP
photo by Jim Bennett

Today, the Board of Directors of KEXP announced their selection of Ethan Raup to serve as the organization's next President and CEO. Succeeding long-time CEO Tom Mara, Raup will be elevated to the position after serving as Chief Operating Officer at KEXP since 2016. The selection process spanned more than six months and involved an international search led by Arts Consulting Group, as well as a process engaging all KEXP staff members. 
"To me, everything we do comes back to music and our incredible DJs and staff," said Raup. "I am committed to leading by empowering and bringing out the best in those around me. Together, it’s our responsibility to keep bringing new life and new energy to our work - and to do so with intention and thoughtfulness and without turning our back on where we’ve been. I’m ready to work hard to translate our shared values into action and help the KEXP community generate even more positive impact in the lives of music lovers in Seattle and all around the world."
During his tenure at KEXP, Raup has led efforts to improve transparency and participation in decision-making for all staff levels, and pushed forward investments in pay equity, including raising KEXP’s pay floor and dedicating substantial resources to eliminating gender and race pay disparities. As Chief Operating Officer, he oversaw strategic investments in technology and infrastructure that will enable KEXP to serve digital audiences more fully, and championed meaningful changes to KEXP’s programming and internal roles in alignment with KEXP’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization.

"The Search committee considered dozens of candidates from around the world,” said KEXP Board President Jill Singh, who helped to lead the process to identify and select KEXP’s next chief executive, along with a cross-section of the members of the KEXP Board of Directors and executive search firm Arts Consulting Group. “Each candidate brought unique perspectives and ideas, but none inspired us the way Ethan did. His knowledge of KEXP, its staff, listeners and journey to be an anti-racist organization fully formed his vision for what KEXP might achieve in the future. He is the right leader for this moment, and we look forward to working collaboratively with him to further the mission of KEXP."

KEXP began as KCMU, a 10-watt student-run station at the University of Washington, and is celebrating its 50th year in operation in 2022. Through the decades, the station has evolved and changed, but has remained focused on music discovery and human-centered curation. As the process to select a new CEO unfolded, the search team remained focused on identifying a candidate that could respect and uphold the current values and programming while also identifying a path to grow impact in the future.
“KEXP is at an incredible place in its growth, and as a search committee we knew we wanted a servant-leader with vision, operational excellence, and a true understanding of the KEXP ethos,” said Cindy Bolton, board member and CFO of the Seattle Art Museum. “We cast a very wide net and after an in-depth process, found the answer was right here all along. Through his skillful balancing of resources and priorities, empathetic and encouraging leadership style, and ability to identify opportunities for improvement and move swiftly to act on them, Ethan has shown that he's exactly the right choice to serve as KEXP's new CEO."
“Ethan showed up to the interview process with both ideas and humility,” said Megan Jasper, KEXP board member and CEO of Sub Pop Records. “I am moved by his dedication to keep KEXP strong so that music can continue serving as a vehicle to enrich people's lives and to bring and hold us together in this increasingly complex world. He has a solid understanding of the station's operations and has interesting new ideas to drive the station and its mission forward in a way that incorporates its key values and allows the rest of us to rock, sway, swerve, and headbang our way through the day."
Prior to joining KEXP in 2014, Raup served as Director of Policy and Operations at the City of Seattle under Mayor Mike McGinn, where he oversaw the operation of City departments. His previous experience also includes tenures in other local governments and community development organizations. Raup will begin his service as CEO on July 1st.
About the KEXP Board and CEO Search Process: 

  • The KEXP Board has 18 members from the community, and is made up of 50% women, 50% men, and 39% BIPOC
  • Board Search Committee consisting of: Cindy Bolton, CFO of Seattle Art Museum, Megan Jasper, CEO of Sub Pop Records, Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction, Erika Sanchez, Vice President of Insurance and Assurance Line, Expedia Group, and Jill Singh, Board President and community volunteer, along with KEXP staff members Rebecca Denk, CFO, and Kim Coyne, Executive Assistant to the CEO and Chief Programming Officer
  • Arts Consulting Group was selected from seven search firm interviews and chosen for their expertise in arts and culture recruiting and corporate values, more information can be found at  
  • Of the more than 50 qualified applicants, about 20 were interviewed in multiple phases. Of these, 35% were women, and 29% were members of the BIPOC community
  • Four finalists were selected and participated in all-day interviews with members of the search committee, board and staff 
  • KEXP staff and board survey responses were incorporated into the final selection 
  • The board voted unanimously for Ethan Raup to be the next CEO for KEXP

Ethan Raup is KEXP’s current Chief Operating Officer, and past Chief of Staff and General Manager, Broadcast at KEXP. Prior to his time at KEXP, he was Director, Policy and Operations at the City of Seattle under Mayor Mike McGinn, where he oversaw the operation of City departments. Ethan has prior experience in community development organizations in Pittsburgh PA and Ellensburg WA, and past service in local government under Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and King County Executive Ron Sims. He is a graduate of Brown University and Cambridge University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of KPTZ in Port Townsend and Ellensburg Community Radio.

Related News & Reviews

KEXP Events

Announcing KEXP Live from Argentina

With collaboration from Argentina’s Ministry of Culture and the Kirchner Cultural Center, KEXP will present a week of live performances and radio programming in Buenos Aires, September 19th-23rd

Read More

New Weekday Radio Lineup Leads Programming Changes at KEXP

Larry Mizell, Jr., Gabriel Teodros, Lace Cadence, Sharlese Metcalf, Albina Cabrera, Reverend Dollars Accept New Roles at the Station as DJs John Richards, Cheryl Waters and Kevin Cole Move to 3-Hour On-Air Shifts

Read More