Vermont PBS sells Mt Ascutney license for $56 million

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Vermont PBS sells Mt Ascutney license for $56 million

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont PBS announced today that it accepted a bid of $56 million for one of its four broadcast licenses, WVTA, in the Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum auction. Vermonters will not see any reduction in over the air coverage. Vermont PBS will reengineer its network and upgrade its remaining signals to replicate coverage transmitted from Mt Ascutney.

“We will continue free over the air broadcast service,” said Vermont PBS President Holly Groschner. “Vermont viewers who currently receive our signal with rabbit ears and other kinds of TV antennas will still be able to do so and of course, our online, cable, and satellite services will remain as they are.”

According to Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont PBS' revenues have been between $5.7 million and $6.8 million per year over the last 10 years.

Vermont PBS will invest its auction proceeds in strengthening the station’s educational and cultural mission. The proceeds are a one-time source of revenue that the station will use to build a 21st century public media platform for the local community. “We look forward to expanding our significant success in bringing the community together through excellent early childhood educational programs, credible in-depth coverage of today’s issues, inspiring visual experiences, and our commitment to the arts,” said Groschner. “Whether Vermont PBS thrives in the future, however, is still dependent on the continued support of viewers, and on state and federal funding for public broadcasting.”

Vermont PBS Board Chair Patricia Gabel noted the coincidence of this investment during the organization’s 50th year: “As part of our celebration, the station has embarked on a strategic planning process that envisions a vibrant role for public media in our region. Throughout Vermont and our viewing region, we’ll be inviting the public to participate in this process later this summer. I encourage everyone to join us and to share your thoughts.”

Proceeds from the FCC auction will be distributed to stations in late 2017 and details will be announced when plans are finalized.

“This positive result was achieved through an expertly analyzed and executed strategy by Vermont PBS leaders and dedicated technical staff,” said Gabel. “The team saw an opportunity for innovation and transformation of educational and cultural programming for Vermont.”

Source: Colchester, Vt. – February 17, 2017 – Vermont PBS. Vermont PBS is Vermont’s statewide public media provider and visual storyteller, with a commitment to cultural enrichment and civic engagement. More information is available at vermontpbs.org.