Posts Tagged ‘WMFE’

Jose Fajardo is leaving WMFE…

(from – Jose Fajardo, the president and CEO of WMFE, is leaving, the public broadcaster announced Friday.

Fajardo has been with WMFE since 1996 and became CEO in 2007. He oversaw WMFE’s getting out of public television last year, a controversial move that ended with the sale last month of Channel 24 to the University of Central Florida for $3.3 million.

WMFE decided to concentrate on its radio station, 90.7 FM. WMFE Board Chair Bob Showalter said that Fajardo was leaving the radio station in the best financial condition in recent memory. Showalter cited an October fund drive that raised $200,000; the goal had been $180,000…..Cont…..


10 2012

WMFE sold to Univ of Central FL…

(from – Public broadcaster WMFE said Thursday that it plans to sell its license for TV station Channel 24 to the University of Central Florida for $3.3 million.

The deal must be approved by UCF’s Board of Trustees, which will vote on the sale Monday.

Under the deal, payments would be made over three years, and UCF would get production, broadcasting and transmission equipment, too. UCF stressed that it would make the purchase without state or tuition funds.

“It’s best for the community,” said Jose Fajardo, president and CEO of WMFE. “There were a couple of buyers interested in the station. We thought it was in the best interest of the community to keep the station community-owned and -operated.”….Cont….



06 2012

Did protest letters to the FCC kill WMFE sale deal?

(from – When viewers spoke out against WMFE’s sale of Channel 24 to a group affiliated with a Texas evangelist, the Federal Communications Commission listened.

The moral of the story: The protest worked.

WMFE recently announced that it had walked away from the deal and is seeking another buyer. The March 13 letter from the FCC helps explain why WMFE wanted out. Barbara Kreisman of the FCC wrote to Robert Olender, who was representing the proposed buyer, Community Educators of Orlando.

Kreisman told Olender that the FCC had received more than 530 letters and submissions protesting the sale of a non-commercial educational (NCE) television station to Community Educators….Cont….

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03 2012

WMFE sale deal falls through…

(from – Orlando public broadcaster WMFE announced nearly a year ago that it planned to sell its TV station for $3 million to a religious broadcaster.

But WMFE has opted out of the deal in hopes of landing a more lucrative offer, Jose Fajardo, station president and CEO, said today.

“It became clear to WMFE that the current deal we had in place was being drawn out longer than we anticipated,” Fajardo said. “The market conditions have changed in a favorable way to be able to pursue other options for WMFE.”

WMFE will not remain in the public television business and has nothing lined up with new PBS station WUCF TV, Fajardo said.  “Our options are to continue to seek a strong buyer and focus on public radio,” Fajardo said….Cont….



03 2012

Local station forced to drop PBS, due to Scott cuts…

(from – Central Florida is losing another PBS station. WDSC in Daytona Beach will stop showing the PBS lineup July 1.

The board at the Daytona State College decided Thursday that it could no longer purchase PBS programs as the college weathers state budget cuts and increases tuition. Gov. Rick Scott last month vetoed almost $4.8 million for public broadcasting, meaning each Florida public TV station lost more than $400,000.

WDSC’s leaving the PBS fold follows WMFE’s decision on April 1 to sell its TV station, which has been the primary PBS station in the region. When it announced its decision, WMFE said there were two other PBS stations (WBCC in Cocoa and WDSC) in the area. The PBS lineup will be off WMFE-Channel 24 on July 1 as well….Cont….


06 2011

The sky is falling at WMFE…

(from – Orlando public broadcaster WMFE says it needs to sell its TV station quickly or the consequences could be dire.

In a comment this week to the Federal Communications Commission, WMFE has answered 525 objections to its selling TV station Channel 24. WMFE reveals that its “cash reserves are limited and most have already been consumed to sustain WMFE-TV over the past few months.”

WMFE adds that a delay in the sale “would be devastating to the surviving entity.”….Cont….


06 2011

Money from WMFE sale to pay bills…

(from -WMFE is selling Channel 24 for $3 million, but the Orlando public broadcaster won’t be banking all that money.

WMFE has bills to pay, including $700,000 it owes to PBS for 2011 programming dues, WMFE boss Jose Fajardo says.

But that’s not all. “At this time WMFE is negotiating with several different state and federal agencies,” Fajardo said in an email. “The proceeds of the sale of WMFE-TV will help pay for any money that will need to be reimbursed to state or federal agencies.”….Cont….

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05 2011

UCF moves to keep PBS in Orlando…

(from – The University of Central Florida is moving to keep PBS in Orlando — if the UCF Board of Trustees approves a partnership with Brevard Community College this week.

WMFE-Channel 24 will stop offering PBS June 30. Public broadcaster WMFE has decided to sell the TV station to concentrate on radio.

WMFE’s decision left viewers wondering about the future of PBS here. Under a proposed plan, UCF and BCC will assume responsibility for  PBS here. Two UCF panels must give their blessing on Thursday: The advancement committee votes Thursday morning, and the full Board of Trustees will vote Thursday afternoon.  These meetings are open to the public in the Live Oak Room on the UCF campus. The first meeting will be at 9 a.m.; the second begins at 1 p.m….Cont….

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05 2011

What will happen to PBS in Orlando?

(from – Orlando’s PBS fans can savor the irony: PBS is holding its annual meeting here this week shortly before PBS goes off Channel 24.

WMFE is selling Channel 24, complaining that the PBS business model is broken. WMFE cites several problems, notably PBS dues were going up and Central Florida viewers weren’t giving.

So what happens next? Maybe we’ll learn more this week.

PBS has said it is working with Florida stations on the issue. I’ve heard various scenarios: Two other local public-television stations — WDSC in Daytona Beach and WBCC in Cocoa — could step up and offer the schedule. If neither does, perhaps another PBS station in Florida will step in. Or maybe the University of Central Florida will have a role….Cont….

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05 2011

Students protest WMFE sale, FCC gets an earful…

(from – How does the public feel about WMFE’s sale of Channel 24?

You’ll get an idea by looking at comments and letters at the website of the Federal Communications Commission. You’ll find 463 responses there

Last week, a famous Central Floridian urged viewers to show their support for Big Bird. Via an email, former Congressman Alan Grayson asked PBS fans to write the FCC. Grayson wrote that his children enjoyed “Arthur” and that he had enjoyed “PBS NewsHour,” “Frontline,” “The American Experience” and “Nova.”….Cont….


(from – When Anna Eskamani learned that Orlando public broadcaster WMFE was going to sell Channel 24, she thought it was a joke. The announcement came on April 1. Then she got fired up.

“I’ve lived in Orlando my whole life. We didn’t have cable,” she says. “PBS was the only thing I watched.”

Her reaction to the sale? “This is not supposed to happen,” she says….Cont….

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05 2011