"Oh Happy Day" by the Edwin Hawkins Singers rung out over 88.3 FM Thursday morning as the public radio station celebrated the completion of its acquisition of WLIU from Long Island University.
, a non-profit formed by former WLIU employees when Long Island University announced it would be selling off 88.3's equipment and licenses, introduced the station's new call letters on air Thursday morning, WPPB.
"PPB is now poised to usher in a new era as an independent, locally owned and community-minded public radio station serving eastern Long Island and southern Connecticut," a press release issued Thursday morning states. The acquisition was completed late Wednesday, according to the release.
"PPB is excited to join the diverse group of arts, cultural, and public service organizations in this area. We have so much to be thankful for, especially this unique, arts-loving community who rallied to save the station," PPB President Wally Smith was quoted as saying in the release. "Our existence is the result of the collective effort of volunteers, listeners, donors, and a dedicated professional staff each of whom worked tirelessly to secure this valuable resource."
"PPB will maintain the same high level of quality production and programming the community has come to expect, all with added local emphasis," Smith continued.
Smith thanked the supporters who made the purchase of WLIU possible and noted that the station will continue to need financial support from the community for operating costs to to repay the loans that enabled the acquisition.
The radio station was originally housed at Southampton College in Shinnecock Hills, but after Long Island University sold the campus to Stony Brook University in 2006 and it was rebranded as , WLIU was forced to find a new home. Long Island University also announced in August 2009 that it would stop funding the station and sell its licenses and equipment.
The station found its new home at 71 Hill St, a commercial and office complex in Southampton Village.