University will offer Flint station to another pubTV operator

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The University of Michigan announced today it will close WFUM in Flint and expects to arrange for transfer of the channel to another public TV operator by this summer. Some or all of 21 employees will lose their jobs. A detailed fact sheet, in a Word document, says the station is projected to lose revenues equal to one-third of its operating budget. WFUM was one of the stations found to be in “fragile” economic condition by a CPB survey, the university said. The survey predicted the recession would reduce pubTV stations’ income by 14 percent this year. In Flint, WFUM membership and underwriting revenues are projected to drop 26 percent from last year’s level and the station has used all of its reserves, the university said. Its auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said in February that WFUM was no longer a “going concern,” meaning that it was unlikely to survive. The station won nine regional Emmys in the Michigan competition last year, according to the Flint Journal.