FCC opens docket on proposed Florida noncom TV sale


Community Communications Inc., operator of WMFE-TV Orlando FL, is tired of struggling with the financial math to keep the station afloat and proposed to sell it to noncom religious outfit Daystar Television Network. The FCC has elected to open a docket on the matter and has published the deadline for petitions to deny.

Daystar is proposing to acquire the station under the licensee name Community Educators of Orlando Inc. for $3M. According to contract terms, the entire amount should be sitting in escrow already, waiting for closing day to go to the seller.

“This was a tough decision that no one took lightly,” said WMFE President José A. Fajardo. “But in the end, our trustees and executive team decided to focus our resources on sustaining and building the most viable part of our business, our FM radio station.” That station is NPR-heavy programming of 90.7 WMFE-FM.

The FCC said that in order to “…foster greater openness, transparency and public participation,” it is placing the matter in a docket. The deadline to file a petition to deny is 5/6/11, and all related filings should reference MB Docket No. 11-75 and File No. BALEDT-20110401ACW.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’re not exactly sure what would constitute an actionable objection to the sale of this station. Daystar has the portfolio to prove that it is a qualified licensee. Some may bemoan the loss of PBS programming; others may welcome the advent of Daystar programming. The FCC does not delve into programming matters and can offer no help on that count to either side. We suspect this deal with go through according to the agreement between the two parties.