Over the past year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a voluntary auction to purchase the right to use broadcast spectrum from commercial and public broadcasters across the country with the goal to re-sell that spectrum to wireless providers for the benefit of creating more bandwidth for mobile broadband and other wireless services. Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation, known in central Virginia as the Community Idea Stations, participated in this auction by offering two channels the corporation controlled in the DC area, WNVT, Goldvein, Va and WNVC, Fairfax, Va. These stations overlap the WETA and Maryland Public Television viewing areas and run international news and other international programming rather than PBS content. The goal was to sell these two non-PBS stations and use the potential money to further our core mission in the Commonwealth.
The FCC recently completed this national auction of broadcast spectrum, and the Community Idea Stations will receive a one-time infusion of capital of nearly $182 million as a result of its participation. This is wonderful news, and will give us even greater opportunities to serve our community.
We will use a portion of the proceeds to focus even more on local content that tells the rich stories in history and showcases the arts in our community. We will build and enhance our news-gathering operations. We will broaden our community engagement to ensure maximum local impact. And, we will leverage our experience in producing award-winning radio and television content to enhance digital-first production capacity.
In order to preserve this one-time infusion of capital, the majority of the funds will be used to create a Foundation to protect and grow the principal. The dividends will be used to provide resources to produce new public media content for the benefit of Central Virginia, as well as the Commonwealth at large, long into the future.
Rest assured that WCVE and WCVW in Richmond and WHTJ in Charlottesville as well as our radio stations will all remain on the air and service should remain seamless. The spectrum auction proceeds clearly position us to produce more programs and accelerate our efforts to be an invaluable media partner in moving this region, and indeed the Commonwealth, forward. Our focus on community, on local impact, and on using the power of media to educate, entertain and inspire now becomes even stronger.
Continued support from our members and sponsors is essential to take full advantage of this transformational opportunity. We will continue to rely on funding from our members and sponsors to pay for national PBS and NPR programs and to support our ongoing operations. Public broadcasting, by definition, requires partnership with viewers, listeners and community organizations. Community support ensures that we remain accountable to the public and reinforces our commitment to deliver unbiased, trusted, non-commercial media to our community.
The staff and leadership of the Community Idea Stations are proud to be a part of central Virginia and look forward to this tremendous opportunity to raise our ability to serve our viewers, listeners and community.
Townhall Meeting Planned
The staff and leadership of the Community Idea Stations are proud to be a part of central Virginia and look forward to this tremendous opportunity to raise our ability to serve our viewers, listeners and communityPlease join us for a town hall-style meeting at our studios at 23 Sesame Street in Richmond on Thursday, April 27 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. so we can further detail the stations’ direction and answer your questions.