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Lynch approves final sale of WRNI

Good news for public radio in RI:

Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch announced today that his office has made final approval of the sale of radio station WRNI by the Trustees of Boston University and the WRNI Foundation to Rhode Island Public Radio. Lynch announced his office’s conditional approval of the sale in September 2008. The sale marks the first time that a transaction has been completed pursuant to the requirements of the Public Radio Conversions Act, which became law in 2005.

The act, like the Hospitals Conversions Act, falls under the auspices of the Attorney General’s civil law responsibilities to preserve and protect charitable assets in Rhode Island, and enforces regulations concerning the administration, operation, and disposition of Rhode Island charitable trusts.

“Through the focused leadership and strategic vision of WRNI’s general manager, Joe O’Connor, these conditions were readily and properly addressed,” Lynch said. “Every ‘i’ has been dotted and every ‘t’ crossed. An exhaustive and thorough process, beginning with our review of the proposed sale of WRNI by Boston University back in 2004, has led us to the favorable outcome that we are pleased to announce today. WRNI has become a prized community asset and a trusted source of public information. It’s great for Rhode Island that this station will remain in Rhode Island.”

“Our long-standing belief has always been that public radio in Rhode Island is best served by local ownership and control,” said WBUR Group General Manager Paul La Camera. “The culmination of this sale achieves that objective, and we’re confident that WRNI will thrive going forward.” 

“I’m grateful to General Lynch for his diligence in approving the sale,” O’Connor said. “Boston University and WBUR deserve our thanks for founding WRNI as well as their continuing and generous commitment to assist Rhode Island Public Radio in the years to come. Of course, we are indebted to Rhode Islanders everywhere without whose support we would simply have not stayed on-the-air. Now finally we can say that WRNI is owned and operated by Rhode Islanders.”

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