Influential Station WBRU-Providence to Be Sold to Christian Radio Organization

955 WRBU Logo
Courtesy of 955 WRBU

Long-running Brown University station WBRU confirmed reports that the station will soon be sold, according to message on its website, although the current programming will continue online. While the station did not specify a buyer, according to a report on WPRI/Providence, a spokesperson for the station said it will file an application this week to transfer its license to the Educational Media Foundation, a California-based not-for-profit organization that broadcasts Christian music; the news was first reported by Radio Insight.

WBRU is not going away,” the station insists in the blog post.  “While we are currently in the final stages of selling its FM broadcasting license, we have big plans. We are going to reinvest the revenue from the sale to continue creating music and news content for the southern New England community. This will be provided on various platforms—platforms that millions of people already use to access their music and news content in the car, on their phones and computers, and on home streaming devices.

“Before we leave 95.5, 24/7 streams of both alternative rock and The 360 Degree Experience in Sound will be available at and via our new smartphone apps,” the message continues. “This marks the first time that either format has been available seven-days-a-week from WBRU.”

WBRU is a rarity among college stations in that it operates commercially; it is owned by the non-profit Broand Broadcasting Service but, like most commercial/college stations is operated primarily by students. The station was founded in 1936 but became a major player in college radio when it switched from AOR to alternative rock in 1988. A frequent stop for touring alt-rock bands over the years, it has been regularly named one of the best stations in the country by Billboard and Rolling Stone.

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  1. loraine colins says:

    BRU was part of my teen years also but all change is a bad thing, K-LOVE is ad free hope filled music, if you have strife in your life you will be offered some peace by listening. Try it once and see if it works for you

  2. Dr slernon says:

    Huge loss for RI. Wbru and sports radio were the last radio stations i listened to outside of CNN channels. Huge part of my teens and 20s, listened religiously and I just turned 30. Sale was for a couple of mil, they must have been bleeding cash. If not, a horrible choice. Same story as wfnx disappearing in Boston. We are all poorer for it.

  3. ITRFGUY says:

    Another fresh, unbiased voice leaving the air waves. I don’t want another religious station, I want WBRU.

  4. Michelle\ says:

    I’m so sad and upset over this news. This is incredibly bad for RI, especially the local music and arts scene here. Whoever recommended this to the students did not understand the wider audience for WBRU. I’m in my 40’s and have been listening for most of my life. There’s nothing else here like WBRU and taking it off FM isolates the entire older audience that still listens to commercial radio.

  5. elenarella says:

    Streaming online is pretty much the same as going away. As someone who has been listening for nearly 30 years, I am shocked and angered by this short-sighted move by the board. WBRU has been a vital part of the community in Southern New England. While I’m sure that some folks will be happy that K-LOVE is coming, a great many more of us will mourn the loss of this alt-rock giant.

  6. Linda Monsalve says:

    I am devastated by this news. WBRU has been my favorite station since I discovered it in 1984. How can life go on?

  7. Kitty says:

    Are u crazy ?!!!!

  8. Dunstan says:

    Just what we need – more religious lunacy.

  9. Garcia says:

    Very nice.

  10. ncmacasl says:

    “Educational Media Foundation, a California-based not-for-profit organization that broadcasts Christian music;” also known K-Love!!!

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