Brown Student Radio (BSR) and WBRU.com have joined forces to return 360° Experience in Sound to the airwaves on a new community radio station, WBRU-LP 101.1 FM, which began broadcasting this week.
BSR, a recognized student activity at Brown University, was searching for a new broadcast home to supplement its online programming. “We have been pursuing a low-power FM license from the FCC for 17 years and we’re truly excited to be back on the air,” said general manager Willem Pickleman.
WBRU.com, which operated WBRU-FM for over 50 years before selling the 95.5 FM license in 2017, was also looking for a way to continue broadcasting the popular 360° Experience in Sound over the airwaves on Sundays.
“360° programming has been a central part of culture in the greater Rhode Island area for over 40 years for black and brown people, particularly incarcerated men and women,” said Kyle Tildon, outgoing co-director of the 360 unit at WBRU.com. “In addition to the resumed Sunday broadcast, 360 programming is already available 24/7 at www.WBRU.com and the WBRU apps for iOS and Android, and a new podcast, The Amplifier, is set to launch in the spring.”
“This collaboration between our two organizations is a win/win and we are thrilled to be part of it,” said Pickleman.
“One of the goals set by students in planning for the advanced media workshop was to build stronger connections between WBRU and the local community,” said Lindsay Sack, general manager of WBRU.com. “Returning 360° Experience in Sound to the airwaves on Sunday is one way we are fulfilling that commitment.”
As a community service, Brown Broadcasting Service (owner of WBRU.com) funded construction of a transmission facility that carries the new non-commercial radio station to approximately a ten-mile radius around its Providence location. BBS has also offered to supply programming to WBRU-LP to supplement BSR’s own programming. BSR chose to adopt the familiar call letters WBRU-LP. (LP indicates that it is a low-power station.)
Two other local nonprofit organizations, AS220 and Providence Community Radio, were granted licenses to share the 101.1 frequency. They share the WBRU-LP transmission facility and have been invited to collaborate with WBRU.com for some of their programming.