San Mateo college district puts KCSM-TV up for sale

As expected, the San Mateo County (Calif.) Community College District announced Dec. 7 it is seeking a buyer for public broadcaster KCSM-TV. In June, the college district said it was selling the station to end its predicted $800,000 structural deficit. Independent Public Media, a nonprofit consortium headed by WYBE founder John Schwarz and former WNET exec Ken Devine, has already signaled its interest in keeping the channel available for public media (Current, Oct. 17).

With FCC’s eye on Daystar, WMFE-TV sale nixed

The FCC has delayed decisions on two transactions involving sales of public TV stations to Daystar Television Network to examine whether the religious broadcaster meets its criteria for localism and educational programming by noncommercial broadcasters. The scrutiny scuttled a deal involving WMFE in Orlando, pending for nearly a year, and held up a decision on KWBU in Waco, Texas. Daystar, a Texas-based religious network, has been in the market for public TV stations since at least 2003, when it paid $20 million for KERA’s second TV channel in Dallas. It most recently bid on KCSM in San Mateo, Calif. The WMFE sale fell apart after the FCC sent queries to the local entities that had been set up to operate the Orlando and Waco stations.

Licensee sells Palm Beach’s WXEL-TV to nonprofit set up by its managers

Two years after selling WXEL-FM in Palm Beach, Fla., for $3.85 million, Barry University has agreed to sell its public-TV sister station for $1.44 million. The buyer is the WXEL Public Broadcasting Corp., a nonprofit set up by the TV station’s present executives. WXEL’s 15-year custody by the Catholic university in Miami Shores began in 1997 when the school rescued the Palm Beach FM/TV combo from perilous fiscal condition. The stations attracted unsuccessful sale contracts, bids or at least inquiries from New York’s WNET, the Palm Beach County school board, competing Miami station WPBT and a longtime suitor, Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. The latter lost interest when Barry University sold the FM station, says Bryce Combs, a group member and digital media consultant who managed Milwaukee Public Television in the 1990s.