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.”