Is Brown Down For ‘BRU Buyer?


By Adam R Jacobson

One of the first “alternative” FM radio stations could be heading to a new owner, should the non-profit owner of this longtime Class B facility in New England find no other alternative.

Brown Broadcasting Service Inc., a corporation comprised of Brown University students who represent the station management and the board of directors that includes one Brown student, is considering the sale of WBRU-FM 95.5 in Providence, R.I.

The company, which is not owned by Brown University but provides through its mission learning opportunities for students, notified Brown alumni via a letter sent Thursday (3/2) that its nine-member board voted to find a buyer for the facility, which signed on as WJAR-FM in 1948.

WBRU’s Alternative format dates to the mid-1960s, when its folk music provided a generation of Newport Jazz Festival attendees a unique radio voice for the likes of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Its signal covers all of Rhode Island and much of Eastern Massachusetts.

Famous WBRU alumni include ESPN’s Chris Berman, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, and Fletcher Heald & Hildreth attorney Peter Tannenwald — a key player in WBRU’s potential sale.

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