UCF wise to buy WMFE’s license
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 13:06
UCF’s new partnership with WMFE has now been confirmed with the purchase of the station’s license. The channel launched last year, following an announcement by WMFE that it would discontinue broadcasting ventures in Central Florida. However, now that approval for this purchase is final, UCF should utilize the channel as an opportunity to expand news coverage and education opportunities to the university community as well as Central Florida, while also placing priority on its ability to assist students with hands-on career applications.
The sale benefits the UCF community and Central Florida in numerous ways. Most importantly, the purchase should provide opportunities for journalism, film and digital media majors including internships and career prospects. A local station that is already established and funded would offer students the ability to make a seamless transition from classes to real-world experience. WMFE confirmed that UCF will be able to use its TV master control space for as long as needed, therefore eliminating funding problems in the near future before UCF sees profit from it. Although the purchase is being made using auxiliary funds from things like UCF’s bookstore, an effort should be made to ensure that profit from the station will benefit students with regard to opportunities as previously mentioned. The respective colleges within UCF that tend to the majors that might benefit from this move should work to create a program that would assist students in experiencing and profiting from the operations at WUCF TV.
The station is currently accessed by 3.5 million viewers throughout nine counties in the area and would have possibly been sold to the religious network Daystar instead, a business deal that would have hindered the channel’s airing of current popular programs such as Sesame Street and NOVA. Programs that are science, technology, engineering and mathematics oriented and educational are beneficial for all ages in Central Florida but also align with UCF’s goals of increasing interest and productivity within STEM-related majors.
The sale also frees up WMFE’s funds to focus more on providing our area with quality news. WMFE CEO Jose Fajardo said that proceeds from the sale will benefit local news radio expansion as well as station endowment, another plus for Central Florida. Overall, the purchase is a mutually beneficial one for the students and residents within UCF and Central Florida and will hopefully contribute to the expansion of knowledge and opportunity.
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