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WKAR-TV and the FCC Spectrum Auction - a letter to our supporters

tower seen against blue sky and clouds
WKAR-TV Broadcast Tower

WKAR will host public forums on Jan. 4 and Jan. 11 to provide the community with information about the upcoming FCC Broadcast Television Incentive Auction, and the possible impact for WKAR-TV and mid-Michigan viewers. Please see the letter below from Dean Prabu David for more information.  Comments are welcome at the bottom of this page.

Dear WKAR Members and Supporters,

On Dec. 18, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, the license holder for WKAR-TV, approved a resolution to grant President Simon the authority to participate in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Broadcast Television Incentive Auction being held Spring 2016.

To free up spectrum space on the airwaves for the growing needs of wireless broadband, the FCC is conducting an auction in Spring 2016 to reallocate a portion of the spectrum from TV broadcasters to mobile providers.

Owners of TV stations across the nation are being given the opportunity to relinquish the spectrum used by their station in exchange for a payment from the FCC of a portion of proceeds generated from the sale of that spectrum to wireless companies. If WKAR-TV gives up its spectrum, the station will lose the ability to broadcast over the air as it does now.

President Simon must decide by Jan. 12 whether MSU will submit an application to participate in the auction process, which is set to begin March 29. Submitting an initial application does not commit the university to participate in the auction in March, but it is a necessary step to preserve that option.

President Simon appeared on WKAR Radio's Current State program on Dec. 21 to discuss the spectrum auction. You can listen to that segment and read the transcript now at wkar.org (bit.ly/wkar-tv-spectrum-simon)

MSU will host two public forums to provide more detail on the spectrum auction. The forums will also allow WKAR members, supporters, viewers and community members to offer their feedback to university leaders as they consider a decision. Online and written comments also are welcome.

404 Wilson Road Room 147
Communication Arts and Sciences Building

Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.
Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.

Comments may also be e-mailed to: spectrum@wkar.org

WKAR has been working with the board and with President Simon to evaluate this opportunity and explore various options to determine whether participating in the auction is in the university’s best interest.

All decisions related to the auction will be made with due consideration of the university’s core mission and strategic priorities, as well as alternatives for creating and delivering content, supporting learning for students and continuing to provide PBS programming.

The decision to participate in the auction is wholly voluntary and any action taken with regard to WKAR-TV will not involve the license or operation of WKAR Radio.

I look forward to seeing you at the public forums and reading your online comments.

Thank you,

Prabu David
Dean, MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences

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