WMFE-TV in Orlando has been sold for $3.3 million to University of Central Florida, also in Orlando. "WMFE had entertained a number of offers, but believed selling Channel 24 to a local organization already invested in PBS better served the community’s best interests," the two organizations said in a joint statement. The boards for UCF and WMFE must approve the purchase agreement before it is submitted to the FCC.
UCF is also home to the new PBS primary station in the market, WUCF TV, a collaboration with Brevard Community College in Cocoa, which took over primary status after WMFE annouced its sale. Once the FCC approves the license sale, UCF will drop its partnership with BCC, Christine Dellert of WUCF TV told the Orlando Sentinel. “The new venture has our full support, and we are committed to assisting UCF to ensure a smooth transition,” John Glisch, BCC spokesman, told the paper.
The Orlando dual-licensee decided to sell off its television operation to concentrate on its NPR station more than a year ago (Current, April 18, 2011). A potential $3 million deal with Daystar never solidified, with the FCC, after months of delay, questioning whether the religious broadcaster met its noncom criteria for localism and educational programming (Current, March 26). And just last month WMFE-TV turned down an offer from Independent Public Media, a group aiming to preserve noncom spectrum by buying struggling pubTV stations (Current, May 14).