When universities put their radio stations up for sale, more often than not the people lining up with cash in hand are non-local radio groups. So, it’s a wonderful surprise when those who work at a station that’s on the chopping block take the initiative to save the station from outside parties. As we reported last year, public radio station WLIU found itself for sale after the State University of New York at Stony Brook took over the Long Island University campus in Southampton, New York.
Campus radio dated back to as early as the 1970s at the formerly named Southampton College, with stations broadcasting over carrier current (WSCR, which eventually morphed into an Internet-only student station and is presumably now defunct) and FM (WPBX, which was renamed WLIU). Most recently WLIU has been broadcasting a public radio format. When the station was put up for sale, a group of community members and station staffers formed Peconic Public Broadcasting in order to make a bid for the station. For the past year they have been fundraising and working hard to make their purchase of the station a reality.
Peconic Public Broadcasting successfully completed its acquisition of WLIU on Wednesday, December 15 and the station announced that it will now be broadcasting under the new call letters WPPB at 88.3 FM. According to a press release, the new station will continue to air public radio programming, but with “added local emphasis.”
It’s great to see that community members in Southampton were able to keep their station both independent and locally owned and it’s nice to finally hear some good news about a college radio station sale.