Brown’s Alum: WBRU Sale Was Coerced & Asking AG Kilmartin to Block Sale UPDATED
Friday, September 01, 2017
GoLocal News Team
Former WBRU board member Tucker Hamilton says that the sale of WBRU was coerced and the process did not follow the proper steps. He is raising questions about the legality of the sale.
Hamilton appeared on GoLocal LIVE and told News Editor Kate Nagle that that process violated numerous rules of the board for the iconic college radio station.
Hamilton is part of an alumni group that has appealed to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to block the sale of the station to Christian radio network Education Media Foundation.
"Frankly, I believe it started top down. There are members on the professional board who don't want to be radio station anymore. This is something that came from the professional adult board not wanting to run the station. That trickled down to the students," said Hamilton on Thursday, on LIVE.
"There's been a lack of motivation in sustaining WBRU because of talk that radio is dead, we're losing listeners and money," said Hamilton. "So students who love radio, think why should I love this thing that's dying that the professional board thinks it isn't worth it."
Vote, and Re-Vote
Hamilton spoke with GoLocal's Nagle about how the voting process happened in the spring -- and why he, along with others, are now challenging what took place.
"My initial thought was definitely don't sell the station -- but then I took a step back knowing I was leaving," said Hamilton. "In my opinion, it's unorganized and unprofessional, and WBRU is turning into a paycheck that will dwindle in just a few years.
"But I became very concerned when the actual voting happened. [After] the initial vote, not enough support was given -- the [student] board needed 2/3 to make the sale happen," said Hamilton. "There were supposed to be new members on the board in the fall of 2016. But since the vote was brought to our attention, those rules were disregarded, and no new members were brought to the board which I think affected the vote."
"After the vote, the GM sent out an email, saying we were only a handful of votes short of selling the signal, and now we're stuck. Because we didn't have enough people to approve the sale, we're stuck in this quote-unquote limbo zone, where we'll just keep bleeding money, and we'll be essentially trapped in our debt," said Hamilton. "This wasn't following the plan -- which was if we didn't give the authorization to sell, we'd come up with a [better] option. "
Hamilton then spoke to what he said was bullying and coercion to get students to change their votes -- with some quitting the station.
"I'm speaking out, because I believe that there is what the community has been allowed to hear, and there's been a whole story not told -- and there are more stories," said Hamilton, who said following the second vote, students were told not to talk to any media. "The student perspective should be told."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Story was dramatically up dated at 11:30 p.m. on August, 31.