Rhode Island declares independence (again)

The four-year struggle to establish WRNI in Providence, R.I., as an independent public radio service for the state crossed a long-awaited threshold last month, when its aspiring licensee announced the station’s independence from Boston’s WBUR, the NPR News powerhouse that partnered with local pubradio supporters to establish WRNI a decade ago. Rhode Island Public Radio, the station’s licensee-to-be, began operating WRNI-AM Sept. 1 under a management contract with Boston University’s WBUR Group. The agreement anticipates state approval of the $2 million sale under loan terms covered by WBUR and its university licensee. “We don’t anticipate difficulty in getting a favorable ruling,” said RIPR Chairman Jim Marsh.