The transmission supplier is partnering with Howard University’s WHUT and Pearl TV to power ATSC 3.0 services for five stations in the nation’s ninth largest TV market.
Sean Plater, who already leads the HBCU’s FM station and has led the school’s NextGen TV broadcast collaborative over the past year, will now oversee its public broadcasting TV outlet.
Beginning later this summer, the school’s WHUT (PBS) will serve as the host station for NextGen TV broadcasts for itself and WJLA (ABC), WUSA (CBS), WTTG (Fox), and WRC (NBC).
Howard University said Thursday that it’s withdrawing from the FCC’s spectrum auction. The school was considering selling the license to its public television station, WHUT, which is the only black-owned public media station in the United States. But many within Howard objected to the sale.
The possibility of a sale, which could put WHUT Washington, the nation’s only black-owned public television station, off the air, has caused concern among students, faculty and alumni.
The FCC set the opening bid for the Howard University-owned noncommercial station in Washington’s spectrum at $461 million, though prices are expected to plunge during the bidding process. Howard President Wayne Frederick said: “Through the auction, there is the potential for the university to realize significant income as a result of the sale of its spectrum. The upcoming incentive auction of television station spectrum will be a unique marketplace. It is unlikely to occur again.”