Main | Thursday, April 07, 2011

Orlando Loses PBS Station

This morning my mom tips me to the news that Orlando's PBS station has been sold to a religious broadcaster. If the deal is approved by the FCC, Orlando will now have four local Christian television stations. Cable customers will continue to get the PBS station out of Daytona Beach. Television industry blog TVB reports:
The Public Broadcasting Service has lost its second large-market member station since the year began. WMFE-TV in Orlando, Fla., has been sold to Dallas-based Christian broadcaster Daystar Television for $5 million, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Community Communications Inc., the nonprofit that runs WMFE’s TV and radio operations, said increasing financial pressure led to the sale of the television station. [snip] Orlando is the 19th largest TV market in the United States, with 1.45 million television homes. Earlier this year, PBS lost its main member station in the nation’s No. 2 market, Los Angeles, when KCET-TV dropped its affiliation. KCET went independent Jan. 1, 2011, after being the main PBS affiliate in Southern California for four decades, citing financial pressure brought on by a 40 percent fee hike from PBS.
As I've mentioned here before, my first real post-college jobby-job was at WMFE, where I was a lowly news assistant. It was a generally terrible gig, but I did get to work the first space shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral. I was also out at work, as was my boss and half of the news department. I'm guessing that the GOP's recent attacks on PBS has something to do with WMFE throwing in the towel.

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