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Thu Jan 14, 2016, 01:31 PM

Howard University Takes Step Toward Sale of Spectrum Rights

Hat tip, DCRTV.com:

WHUT To Participate In FCC's Spectrum Auction - 1/14 - Howard University said Wednesday that it would join other broadcasters in taking part in a Federal Communications Commission auction that could entail selling the rights to the spectrum on which it broadcasts the nation's only black-owned public television station. Citing confidentiality rules surrounding the auction, Howard did not detail its bidding strategy or intentions. According to FCC rules, the university may choose to completely cede its spectrum rights for a premium payout or to trade them for a less-valuable frequency type and a smaller payment. If it elects to cede its rights, Howard may take its 35-year-old station, Channel 32/WHUT, off the air or try to share spectrum space with another broadcaster. So reports nytimes.com.....

Media

Howard University Takes Step Toward Sale of Spectrum Rights

By NICHOLAS FANDOS JAN. 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — Howard University said Wednesday that it would join other broadcasters in taking part in a Federal Communications Commission auction that could entail selling the rights to the spectrum on which it broadcasts the nation’s only black-owned public television station.

Citing confidentiality rules surrounding the auction, Howard did not detail its bidding strategy or intentions. According to F.C.C. rules, the university may choose to completely cede its spectrum rights for a premium payout or to trade them for a less-valuable frequency type and a smaller payment. If it elects to cede its rights, Howard may take its 35-year-old station, WHUT, off the air or try to share spectrum space with another broadcaster.

The auction has stirred vociferous debate at Howard, a historically black university, as students, faculty and alumni have called on trustees to weigh the station’s symbolic, educational and financial value. Giving up its spectrum could fetch Howard, which has struggled financially in recent years, up to $461 million, though people who have studied the auction, the first of its kind, say they expect a much lower final buyback bid.

Howard’s president, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, wrote on Wednesday in a letter to the university community that Howard could still walk away from the auction at any point and would continue to contemplate “an overarching Media and Communications strategy.” ... The auction is scheduled to begin March 29.

Whether you watch it on an analog TV via a digital converter or on one of those fancy new TVs, WHUR shows up on your dial as channels 32-1 and 32-2. Both show the same programming, 32-1 in HD and 32-2 in SD. WHUR is actually RF channel 33.

Listing of Digital stations in the Washington / Baltimore Region: (Revised January 11, 2016)

Today in the Economy Forum: Your local TV station may have just secretly decided to go off the air

Previously at DU: Will Howard University’s TV Station Be Auctioned Off to the FCC?

Previously (Dec. 13, 2015) in the New York Times: Howard University May Sell Rights to Its Public TV Station’s Spectrum

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Reply Howard University Takes Step Toward Sale of Spectrum Rights (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 2016 OP
thatgemguy Jan 2016 #1
LiberalArkie Jan 2016 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 01:40 PM

1. The Communications Act of 1996

President Clinton signed the Communications Act of 1996 which has allowed the broadcast spectrum, which at one time was considered to be a public trust, owned by us, to be transferred to anyone with enough money to buy it.

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Response to thatgemguy (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 04:00 PM

2. That is the big deal, they are no longer public airwaves.

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