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Saying goodbye to 'the soul' of Sound Effect, Gabriel Spitzer

Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer tours Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in December 2019, for a story about the old fort built.
Parker Miles Blohm
Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer tours Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in December 2019, for a story about the old fort built.

Every week for more than five years, Gabriel Spitzer’s voice brought stories into your homes that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. In more than 200 episodes of Sound Effect, our host helped you get to know the Puget Sound region and its people through stories of wonder, joy, and profound humanity.   

Now, sadly, it’s time to say goodbye.

But first, before Gabriel sets off on an adventure outside the walls of the KNKX studios, some of the people who worked closely with him over the years have some parting words for their beloved host, who has built a show that's garnered fans across Western Washington and beyond — and fundamentally changed the way KNKX tells stories.

Most recently, that came in the form of Transmission, a podcast about living during the coronavirus pandemic.

“When I think of the soul of those shows, I picture you and I hear your voice,” says Brie Ripley, a former intern and contributor with Sound Effect.

Listen above to the full farewell message, which includes remarks from current staff, founding members of the show, contributors and former interns, among them: Jini Palmer, Janae Janik, Max Wasserman, Brie Ripley, Warren Langford, Erin Hennessey, Allie Ferguson, Posey Gruener, Jennifer Wing and Arwen Nicks. And hear an intimate conversation between Gabriel and producer Kevin Kniestedt.

“Nothing in the world is better than having someone you can be yourself with. And that is how people feel around Gabe,” says Erin Hennessey, who works in community outreach at KNKX and was founding executive producer of Sound Effect. “That's magic. And we're so grateful, Gabe, that you brought the magic to KNKX. Thank you.”

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.