WBRU to go off air Sept. 1, 95.5 FM to be Christian rock

Educational Media Foundation taking over 95.5; 'BRU to broadcast online

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – WBRU will be disappearing from the FM airwaves at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31, switching over to programming from a Christian music network immediately thereafter.

The alt-rock radio station run by Brown University students has held a place on the FM dial since 1966, but the station’s board and student operators made the decision back in March to put its 95.5 FM signal up for sale, citing decreasing revenues and other issues.

WBRU spokesman Art Norwalk said the signal sold for $5.63 million; the money will now be used for an endowment for the educational workshop component of the radio station.

Last week, Eyewitness News confirmed WBRU’s plans to file an application to transfer its license to the Educational Media Foundation (EMF), a California-based nonprofit that broadcasts Christian adult-contemporary music.

On its website, EMF describes its mission as to “create compelling media that inspires and encourages you to have a meaningful relationship with Christ.”

The WBRU news was first reported by the website RadioInsight, which said the alt-rock station will be turned into an affiliate of EMF’s “K-Love” network.

Despite no longer broadcasting on FM radio, Norwalk says the station’s programming isn’t disappearing. Instead, WBRU is planning to move entirely online with two streams: one for alt-rock and the other for the 360 programming that usually runs on Sundays.

WBRU is currently owned by a nonprofit, Brown Broadcasting Service Inc., though it’s technically independent of Brown. The station grossed $1.05 million in revenue in 2016, according to a document provided to prospective buyers.

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.