Florida licensee gets $18.7M for WUSF-TV in spectrum auction

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WUSF’s headquarters in Tampa. (Photo: WUSF)

The University of South Florida has sold WUSF-TV in Tampa for $18.7 million in the FCC’s broadcast spectrum auction.

An announcement Wednesday said the signal will go dark later this year. Proceeds will be invested to “support university initiatives,” the statement said.

WUSF broadcasts in an overlap market with WEDU, PBS’s primary member station in Tampa. The university announced in October 2015 that it would participate in the auction, which the FCC is using to free up spectrum for use by mobile providers. At that time, some 30 employees worked at the station.

The university statement said that USF is in “early stages of discussions” about the future of programming and “options available to WUSF-TV employees.”

Television licensees have started to announce sales since the FCC lifted a prohibition Monday on discussing the auction publicly. Central Michigan University announced Wednesday that it will receive $14 million from the sale of the signal for its public station, WCMZ, in Flint.

Correction: A previous version of this story gave incorrect call letters for the Flint, Mich., station. They are WCMZ, not WFUM.