“The Brown Network” began in 1936 as the first student-run radio station in the country. It was a carrier-current AM station broadcasting to Brown dorms. Eventually the station’s name was changed to “WBRU-AM.” In 1966, some of the station’s members secured a loan from the University and founded the radio station WBRU-FM (95.5), while others continued the student-oriented AM tradition. WBRU-FM became a commercial corporation, financially and legally separate from Brown University, while WBRU-AM continued to operate for the Brown community and surrounding areas in the college radio tradition. The AM signal in time became virtually inaudible.
During the mid-1990s, a few students worked to find a new, more audible outlet for those still broadcasting in the older, experimental, student tradition. In 1997, WBRU-AM became “Brown Student Radio” (BSR) and started broadcasting on WELH-FM (88.1). WELH-FM, owned by the Wheeler School, was sold to another organization in 2010, leaving BSR to broadcast solely on bsrlive.com.
In 2018, BSR obtained a low-power FM license. As WBRU-FM had sold their signal the year prior, BSR obtained the call signal WBRU-LP. BSR is now broadcasting on 101.1 FM, online, and through an upcoming mobile app. Today, we are the only FM radio station on campus, staying true to our roots in traditional freeform college radio. Students, faculty, and community members all host cross-genre music shows, podcasts, and talk shows, allowing for a truly free creative outlet for the Providence community. We are officially partnered with PCR and AS220.