Transfer of WBRU’s FM radio signal has been completed, according to station spokesperson Art Norwalk. The Christian contemporary non profit Educational Media Foundation now holds the license of 95.5 FM after having leased it from Brown Broadcasting, Inc. for some months.
Thursday’s announcement marks an end to months of intense debate over the station’s future among both current and former WBRU staffers, as well as among board members of the Brown Broadcasting, Inc, which previously held the station’s license.
The transfer comes only a week after President Christina Paxson P’19 emailed station staff urging them to consider a deal that would see the signal sold to Rhode Island Public Radio instead. That proposal was formulated at least in part by station alum Bill Lichtenstein ’78, who garnered the support of Torey Malatia, president, chief executive officer and general manager of RIPR, while pushing it as an alternate option.
Norwalk confirmed that money from the $5.63 million deal has changed hands, giving student staffers access to funding for new initiatives and programming formulated for the station’s new online format. Station General Manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama ’19 made note of these developments in Thursday’s release.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to remind the community that WBRU continues on the internet at WBRU.com,” Haththotuwegama wrote. “We invite everyone who enjoyed WBRU on the radio to join us online for 24/7 streams of both our alt-rock and 360 Degree Experience in Sound programs, plus pilots of our expanded news and podcasting activities.”