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WBRU Alumni: An important message from the WBRU GM
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Dear WBRU Alumni:
 
My name is Kishanee Haththotuwegama. I am the current General Manager of WBRU, writing to you on behalf of our Station Membership.
 
I write at a pivotal moment in WBRU’s history. This past weekend, we held an official Station Membership meeting to discuss a resolution passed by the Board of Directors to begin the process of seeking a buyer for WBRU’s commercial license and assets. Despite extensive efforts to remain sustainable, we’ve reached this point due to a decade of decline in the Providence radio market compounded with national decline in standalone radio stations. Our meeting ended with a straw poll consensus that the Station Membership will stand in concurrence with the Board in authorizing the sales resolution.
 
The consensus to begin the sale process comes because we see no other viable options. We’ve arrived at this point only after exploring a wide range of financial options, yet the challenges we face are more than just financial. We’re also faced with the reality that broadcast radio may not be the most engaging content distribution technology for the student workshop in the 21st century.
 
As a refresher, the WBRU mission statement reads as follows:
 
“To prepare and challenge Brown students to lead, manage and operate a self-supporting educational workshop focused on creating and distributing, via traditional and emerging media, music-centric entertainment, news and information content to young adults.”
 
Nobody at WBRU proposes to abandon this mission. Instead, we see great potential for using the several million dollars that the sale of the broadcast license will bring to finance a new workshop. We look towards developing a workshop that will be a multi-faceted, student-directed content creation entity that continues to further our mission statement.
 
The Station Membership will vote officially on this resolution at our next meeting on March 11. We sent notice of that vote to all members late yesterday afternoon. Should the formal vote match the straw poll conducted last weekend, we expect that Station Membership will authorize the resolution to sell. We, the students, with the full support of the Board of Directors, wanted the news of the resolution to come from us.
 
Even more importantly, we want to ask for your ideas on what a new workshop might look like — one that would focus on emerging media. As students, we are reaching out to you for your support as we determine the most appropriate next step to further our mission statement. We feel the best way to develop a new, more relevant workshop is to draw on all the resources of our alumni.

If you have ideas or concrete strategies for how to best transition WBRU to a new workshop, please fill out this Google form.

The ideas you provide us will inform our decisions for how best to move forward.
 
As we look toward our next chapter, Brown University has offered to lend its assistance in the form of a line of credit — the ability to draw on these funds if needed will assist in keeping WBRU fully operational during the transition, sets us up for a successful sale process and gives us options, should new, unexpected opportunities emerge.
 
As students, we’re immensely proud of WBRU’s long legacy and the relationships built among students and alumni over many decades of operation. We continuously look to our alumni as the bridge between our experience at WBRU and the professional world, and we believe that you are an integral part of how we can move forward.
 
You can expect to hear from me again on March 11 to inform you of the results of the formal vote. If you have any questions, please email alumni@wbru.com.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kishanee Haththotuwegama '19
General Manager, WBRU-FM
 
Copyright © 2017 WBRU, All rights reserved.


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