WCMZ-TV

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WCMZ-TV
( WCMU-TV satellite,
Mount Pleasant, Michigan)
WCMU FM.png
Flint, Michigan
United States
Branding CMU Public Television
Channels Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 28 (PSIP)
Subchannels
Affiliations
Owner Central Michigan University[1]
First air date August 23, 1980; 36 years ago (1980-08-23)
Call letters' meaning W Central Michigan Z
Former callsigns WFUM (1980–2010)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
28 (UHF, 1980–2008)
Digital:
52 (UHF, 2004–2008)
Transmitter power 500 kW
Height 258 metres (846 ft)
Facility ID 69273
Transmitter coordinates 42°53′56″N 83°27′41.6″W / 42.89889°N 83.461556°W / 42.89889; -83.461556
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information:
(
WCMU-TV satellite,
Mount Pleasant, Michigan) Profile

(
WCMU-TV satellite,
Mount Pleasant, Michigan) CDBS
Website wcmu.org

WCMZ-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 28, is a PBS member television station located in Flint, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by Central Michigan University, and operates as a satellite station of WCMU-TV in Mount Pleasant. WCMZ-TV maintains transmitter facilities located off Kipp Road near M-15 (State Road), just south east of the village of Goodrich in southeastern Genesee County, which is also used by former sister radio station WFUM.

History[edit]

WFUM[edit]

First WFUM logo
1990s WFUM logo.
Final WFUM logo.

The station first signed on the air on August 23, 1980 as WFUM under the ownership of the University of Michigan–Flint with coverage of the Crim race.[2] Initially promoted using its WFUM call letters, the station eventually began to brand itself as "Michigan Television". Prior to WFUM's sign-on, Flint had been one of the few areas of Michigan that was not served by an over-the-air PBS station. Most cable providers in the area (then as now) piped in WCMU-TV, WDCQ-TV in Bay City, WTVS in Detroit, WKAR-TV in East Lansing or WGTE-TV in Toledo.

In 2002, the University of Michigan moved all media assets including WFUM into Michigan Public Media, which reported to the main UM Ann Arbor campus.[3] In 2007, the station broadcast the Crim Festival of Races for the last time as its producer had retired the year before and cost were too high to produce.[2]

WFUM was the first PBS member station in Michigan and the first television station in the Flint/Tri-Cities market to broadcast exclusively in digital. The station discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 28, on November 19, 2008 and signed back on by November 24, 2008.[4] The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52,[1] which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era UHF channel 28.

In 2008 the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded the station nine regional Emmy awards for several programs. The programs included "Childhood Places, Secret Spaces" in which children's author Christopher Paul Curtis returns to his native Flint city and a documentary about a Howell World War II Army Air Corps photo officer.[5]

WCMZ-TV[edit]

On April 23, 2009, the University of Michigan announced plans to discontinue its operation of WFUM-TV.[5] On October 27, 2009, the Board of Trustees of Central Michigan University approved a proposal for CMU to acquire WFUM, for a maximum purchase price of $1 million.[6] While WFUM was transitioned into a satellite of WCMU-TV, CMU vowed to include Flint-area events and issues in its programming, as well as produce new programming that would originate from the region.[3] On January 15, 2010, the WCMU-TV signal was being broadcast by WFUM-TV.

The station receives WCMU programming via a microwave relay connection between WCMU's studios in Mount Pleasant to WFUM's transmitter, through relay facilities set up at Mott Community College. CMU originally hinted that the takeover of WFUM would begin in late November;[7] however, CMU took over operations of WFUM on January 15, 2010.[8] The Federal Communications Commission approved the transfer of the station's license on March 16, 2010.[9] CMU officially took over WFUM on May 18, 2010[10] and the call letters were changed to WCMZ-TV.[11]

The station's former studios in the William L. White Building at the University of Michigan-Flint is now a newsroom and satellite studio for all-news NPR affiliate WFUM Radio.

Sale and closure[edit]

On February 8, 2017, Central Michigan University announced it will sell WCMZ-TV in the FCC spectrum auction for $14 million, citing the easy availability of surrounding PBS member stations over-the-air and on pay services, namely Delta College's WDCQ-TV and stations from Detroit (WTVS) and Lansing (WKAR).[12]

Broadcast and cable availability[edit]

WCMZ-TV's signal reaches as far away as Port Huron, Detroit and Lansing. In Metro Detroit, WCMZ-TV is available on Comcast (in standard definition only), Bright House Networks, WOW! and AT&T U-verse systems in Ann Arbor and Detroit's western and northern suburbs; it is not carried on Cogeco's Windsor, Ontario system or on Comcast systems in Detroit and the southern suburbs.

In Mid-Michigan, the station is available on Comcast and Charter Communications systems in Flint, Saginaw and Bay City. It is not available on Charter's systems in Alma or Mount Pleasant, or Comcast systems in the Thumb. Following CMU's takeover of the station, WCMZ-TV's unavailability in Alma and Mount Pleasant was made moot, as these systems also carry WCMU-TV. In addition, initially, Charter in Saginaw and Bay City offered both WCMZ-TV and WCMU, despite identical programming; the duplicate signal has since been dropped.[13]

Not all subchannels are available on cable in all areas. An agreement between the American Cable Association, the Association of Public Television Stations and PBS requires them to be carried on digital cable tiers after the digital transition date of June 12, 2009.[14]

Programming[edit]

WFUM was the only television station owned by the university, but the University of Michigan–Flint was no stranger to the medium – it produced an educational series, University of Michigan Presents, which was syndicated to television stations nationwide from the 1960s into the early 1980s. Over the years, WFUM had introduced several of its own shows, including Passing Through (hosted by Karen Sherrin) and High School Challenge (hosted by Jim Gaver).

From 1980 at sign on until 2007, the station broadcast the running of the Crim races.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WCMZ". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Machniak, Christofer (August 22, 2007). "Channel 28 broadcast will be missed". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "WFUM would bring more local programming to Flint under Central Michigan University ownership". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. October 28, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ Burden, Melissa (November 2, 2008). "Digital TV conversion happening now: Big Bird may be out on Flint station by November deadline". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Mostafavi, Beata (April 23, 2009). "University of Michigan closing Michigan Television, station WFUM". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Board of Trustees approve acquisition of WFUM TV station in Flint". Central Michigan Life. October 27, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "CMU looks forward to acquiring station". Morning Sun. Mount Pleasant, MI. November 7, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Flint station WFUM-TV broadcasting WCMU programs". Central Michigan Life. February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ http://www.michigantelevision.org/aboutus/pdfs/WFUM%20732.pdf
  10. ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101369956&formid=905&fac_num=69273
  11. ^ "Media Bureau Callsign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ Lozon, Von (February 8, 2017). "CMU to end Flint public television station after $14 million sale". Flint. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ Per Zap2it, zip code 48706 (Bay City).
  14. ^ ACA Ratifies Digital-Carriage Deal With Public TV Stations

External links[edit]