University of Georgia buys TV station near Athens as journalism lab

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At a time when educational institutions are more likely to be spinning off broadcast stations, the University of Georgia has bought a CBS-TV affiliate in Toccoa, 50 miles north of the Athens campus. The school agreed to pay owner Media General about $1.6 million plus DTV costs f0r WNEG-TV, says the asset purchase agreement and will use it as a teaching lab for communications students producing local programs for the northeast corner of the state, according to Dean E. Culpepper Clark’s remarks on the station’s own newscast and in the Independent-Mail of Anderson, S.C. The station will remain a commercial broadcaster, but Clark indicated it may drop its CBS affiliation. Clark came to the university two years ago from the University of Alabama, where he was involved in acquiring Tuscaloosa station (now WVUA) for teaching purposes.