Current Issue

Mar.18, 2009

Vol. 109, No. 10


WPRB acquires Nassau Weekly

By W. Raymond Ollwerther '71
Published in the March18, 2009, issue

(This is a corrected version of an article published in the March 18, 2009, issue. The correction appears at the end of the story.)

In a consolidation of campus voices, WPRB, Princeton’s student-run radio station, has acquired the Nassau Weekly by assuming the publication’s debts of about $13,000.

Ned Bennett ’11, WPRB’s station manager, said the acquisition is “a fantastic opportunity for both organizations.” He said the radio station plans to raise its profile among students, strengthen its arts coverage, and tie in to the Nassau Weekly’s Web site. The weekly, in turn, will benefit from WPRB’s experience in managing sales, fundraising, and business administration, he said.

Bill Rosenblatt ’83, president of WPRB’s board of trustees, said the station assumed Nassau Weekly debts of about $7,000 to the University and about $6,000 to The Princeton Packet Feb. 19. The deal “will give us an enormous campus presence that would be hard to get any other way,” he said.

Rosenblatt said the Nassau Weekly staff members were concerned about maintaining their editorial independence, and said they will be able to “maintain their atmosphere of creativity.” He said there will be some sharing of content but noted that FCC regulations impose greater restraints on material that is broadcast over the airwaves.

WPRB’s finances are “stable — we’re in good shape,” Rosenblatt said, pointing to two years of successful fund drives since the nonprofit station moved to a listener-supported business model. He said that unless the Nassau Weekly had received some form of financial assistance or “some massive fundraising,” the magazine faced the prospect of shutting down.

WPRB, founded in 1940, is the nation’s oldest commercially licensed student-run radio station, and Bennett said more than 70 students are involved in its operations. The Nassau Weekly was founded in 1979 by students including David Remnick ’81, now the editor of The New Yorker.


For the record

WPRB is the nation’s oldest commercially licensed student-run radio station. The original version of this story omitted “student-run” from the description.
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