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

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 wbru.com 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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