Another public television station in a top 20 market is leaving the PBS fold, reports Elizabeth Jensen in The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
The station is WMFE-TV in Orlando, Fla., which is being purshased by an undisclosed buyer. The sale comes just months after KCET-TV in Los Angeles quit PBS, citing high dues it couldn’t afford, the article notes.
PBS confirmed that WMFE will leave the PBS family under its new owners, and that PBS will look to other member station partners to help serve the Orlando market, the story says. Two smaller public TV stations, WDSC-TV in Daytona and WBCC in Cocoa, have signals that overlap with WMFE, the piece notes.
WMFE president Jose Fajardo told the publication that the public TV model isn’t viable any longer, at least in Orlando, where it was unable to pay its $1 million annual dues to PBS after donations plunged. He added that the station was also concerned about cuts in state and federal funding.