Posted: Thursday, December 23rd 2010 at 1:40pm
WNEG-TV enters into partnership with UGA, GPB
ATHENS - The University of Georgia will enter into a programming management partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and will rebrand its commercial television station WNEG-TV to a public television station to be named WUGA-TV under an agreement in principle announced Thursday. The moves will be subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission.
The station has struggled financially and word leaked out in the fall that it might become a part of the GPB network. (See earlier stories.)
“By serving the public as well as our students and faculty through this new partnership, WUGA-TV will contribute immeasurably to UGA’s teaching, research and public service mission,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “We are pleased that a solution so well-aligned with the university’s mission has been reached to help take the television station forward as a valued university asset.”
“This is a great fit for GPB Media and UGA,” said Teya Ryan, president and executive director of GPB Media. “We’re both educational institutions and through this partnership we can provide valuable programming to all of Northeast Georgia. GPB has its roots in Athens—we signed on 50 years ago on the campus of the University of Georgia—so the circle is now complete as we begin this important new partnership.”
The station, acquired in October 2008 to serve Northeast Georgia and to provide laboratory experiences for UGA students and faculty, will continue to do so and expand its capabilities under the new arrangement, said E. Culpepper Clark, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“The alliance with GPB Media will sustain the vision of UGA as a production center for arts, information and entertainment programming as outreach to Northeast Georgia and indeed the entire state,” Clark said. “The value of the signal and associated digital spectrum will only increase over time, as will the educational value and opportunities for our students.”
The rebranding of WUGA-TV will emphasize the station’s role as an extension of the University of Georgia. The station will carry GPB Knowledge, an educational programming package targeting primarily adult audiences. It includes news, documentaries, current affairs and history programs, ranging from “PBS NewsHour” to the “Nightly Business Report,” “Scientific American Frontiers,” “American Experience” and “Charlie Rose”. Over time, university-produced programs will be added that cover a range of topics from research to the performing arts and public affairs.
Day-to-day operations will be under a director of television who will report jointly to the university’s vice president for public affairs and the director of GPB Media, which will provide the core programming package.
“We are pleased to announce an agreement with GPB that helps us sustain this valuable asset while extending its benefits to students, faculty and the wider Northeast Georgia community,” said UGA Vice President for Public Affairs Tom Jackson. “With GPB’s programming resources, the academic strengths of the journalism college, the program production capabilities of our public affairs staff and the interest of many campus units in conveying information and knowledge to the community at large, the station will operate as a true partnership serving the Northeast Georgia audience.”
Link: WNEG-TV could join public broadcast network
Link: WNEG-TV in danger of 'going dark'
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