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WRBB-FM. (Radio station: Boston, Mass.) records

Identifier: A111


WRBB, Northeastern University's student radio station, was formed as WNEU in 1962 when a student group known as the Husky Hi-liters began broadcasting out of a small room in the basement of Ell Student Center. The Hi-liters were responsible for the University student broadcasting system which informed students of campus events and activities. In December 1962, the station began transmitting on AM radio, expanding its reach to include two dorms and other locations around campus. The following year, WNEU became an affiliate of ABC radio and provided news coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. In 1968 the radio station welcomed its first female announcer, Donna Halper, who broadcasted a nightly show called "Full Circle". In 1970 the radio station moved to FM and changed its call letters to WRBB, the RBB standing for Rock Back Bay. As a non-commercial station, it transmitted at 10 watts on 91.7 FM. An FCC ruling in 1978 required all stations operating at 10 watts to boost their power to 100 watts or move to another frequency. The ruling was meant to prevent small radio stations from interfering with larger commercial stations on neighboring frequencies. With limited space in a crowded airwave, WRBB's application for an increase in wattage ran out, and in 1982 the station was forced to move to its present location at 104.9 FM. As a "secondary" station, it shared the space with WVCA in Gloucester. WRBB's signal remains at 10 watts which limits its reach to a two and one-half mile radius from its transmitter located in the Curry Center. WRBB continues to transmit on 104.9 FM, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, playing a variety of music and providing extensive coverage of the University's sports teams. The station has since added a live stream broadcast on its website:


  • 1966-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1996-2000


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

Administrative and Operational records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel Records (box 1, folder 3, and folder 4) are restricted for 75 years from date of creation.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.


WNEU begins broadcasting from Ell Student Center.
Begins transmitting on AM radio. Receivers set up in NU dorms and other campus locations.
First female announcer, Donna Halper, begins broadcasting a nightly show titled “Full Circle”.
Moves to FM radio and changes call numbers to WRBB, transmitting as a 10 watt, Class D station on 91.7 FM.
FCC passes ruling requiring all 10 watt stations to increase to 100 watts.
FCC ruling and interference from adjacent stations force the move to 104.9 FM.


2.35 cubic feet (3 containers)

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in alphabetical order by subject.

Technical Access:

One 3 ¼ inch floppy disk in Box 3 does not open.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was transferred from the WRBB Radio Station, 15 January 2008.


  • "Fresh Air", Northeastern University Alumni Magazine, March 2004.
  • Northeastern University Student Handbook, 1962-1963.
  • "WNEU-AM Starts Broadcasting", Northeastern News. Vol. XLV: No. 10, December 14, 1962.
Finding aid for the WRBB-FM Records
Finding aid prepared by Cheryl Ostrowski
November, 2011
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US