WMFE Plans to Sell TV License to UCF
June 21, 2012 | Central Florida Broadcaster WMFE announced late Thursday its intent to sell its TV license to the University of Central Florida. With a price tag of $3.3 million dollars and a local buyer, WMFE executives are hoping for quick approval from the FCC.
If the deal gets approved by the Federal Communications Commission, it would likely place WUCF TV as the primary PBS affiliate in Central Florida.
WMFE CEO Jose Fajardo says approval from the FCC could take several months, but UCF’s position as a current public broadcaster should minimize any regulator concerns, "this is a local institution, and educational institution that already is a licensee holder of a broadcast license, that being WUCF FM, they already have a track record of doing education and local programming, so we think that unlike the other buyers that we’ve had to consider that this would be as close to a slam dunk as possible."
Previously WMFE had considered selling its TV license to religious broadcaster Daystar.
Fajardo says the proceeds from the sale will go into local radio news expansion and a station endowment.
University of Central Florida Spokeswoman Christine Dellert says WUCF TV will be able to expand its signal after the sale is approved, bringing PBS programs such as NOVA, Nature, and PBS Kids shows to viewers over a larger geographical area.
Currently WUCF TV broadcasts through a partnership with Brevard Community College. WBCC will revert to original status as a secondary public broadcaster in Central Florida after the sale.
Dellert also says UCF hopes to expand hands on opportunities for students interested in TV production.
Next the University's board of trustees meets to vote on the Channel 24 sale Monday morning.
You can read about WMFE's sale announcement HERE.