Rhode Island Public Radio Acquires WUMD

Rhode Island Public Radio 89.3 WUMD DartmouthRhode Island Public Radio has announced the acquisition of Student-run 89.3 WUMD North Dartmouth MA from University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth for $1.5 million and $60,000 worth of underwriting over ten years.

RIPR intends to move WUMD to Tiverton RI where it will cover the eastern third of the state and the New Bedford/Fall River MA market. The network is currently heard on their owned 102.7 WRNI-FM Narragansett Pier as well as The Wheeler School’s 88.1 WELH Providence and Coventry Public School’s 91.5 WCVY Coventry RI.

RIRP states that UMass-Dartmouth will continue to operate WUMD as a webcaster.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.


  1. Oh, No! NPR has swallowed up another student run radio station! This sucks!!!

    • Let’s try this again…

      As I’ve told you many times, NPR doesn’t own radio stations. Its member stations own NPR and complain about their policies profusely. However, NPR’s drive time news shows are bigger audience getters–and fund raisers–than any music program. And what is the bigger public service–a larger service area for the only serious and purposeful national broadcast news operation left (and RIPR’s own regional news shop) or mumbling college students playing obscure music for an infinitesimal minority of listeners (and if it’s on vinyl, playing it at the wrong speed)?

      • Mark,

        Many people simply use “NPR” as a catch-all for all public radio stations. Nothing more to it than that.

      • Way to put down college students who are trying to get their start in broadcasting, Mark. Good job.

        • You really think that the kids working at an indie rock college station are trying to get their start in broadcasting? Outside of those schools that have a broadcasting program that run their stations as real-world laboratories–and those stations are a small minority of non-coms–the only student staffer at these stations that’s going to be working in broadcasting after graduation is the nerdy sports guy who does the sports talk show and PBP (if there is sports PBP on the station–the elitist Rock Snobs who run the station hate sports because the jocks are more popular than they are) who will be working for ESPN as a PA on “SportsCenter” after graduation or the marketing major who’s trying to sell underwriting messages who will hopefully get to work for iHeart or Cumulus at some cluster (if the station is open enough to even consider underwriting). The path from college radio to the real world pretty much ended about the time the Sex Pistols came around and college radio became part of an alternative support system for musicians that didn’t want platinum albums and sports stadium tours. Does the kid who gets to play whatever he wants to at WUMD really want to be handing out T shirts at big box store openings for the local Kiss FM or classic hits station? They’re either going to be in the music biz (and not in radio) or somewhere else (and playing volunteer on “community radio” for the rest of their careers because their idea of personality is the killer segue). In particular, during the KTRU kerfuffle in Houston the KTRU alumni supporting their station did not include one broadcaster save someone working for Adult Swim. NOT ONE BROADCASTER. Unless college stations are run like real world stations–including clocks, rotations, AudioVault and Selector–they are NOT training grounds for future commercial broadcasters–or people who want to go to public radio.

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