Just seven years after taking ownership of TV-28, Central Michigan University announced its plan to relinquish ownership of WCMZ-TV to the Federal Communication Commission.

As part of the FCC's ongoing broadcast spectrum auction, the commission will reallocate frequencies formerly used by broadcasters for cellular and other communication services.

Although the $14 million deal will leave Flint without a PBS affiliate, CMU claims in a release that 99 percent of the station's viewers live in an area that is served by other public broadcasting stations. The university also hopes to persuade cable and satellite providers to carry its programming via one of its four remaining TV signals.

The Flint station will cease broadcasting in about three months.

The FCC calls the initiative to re-purpose broadcast frequencies for cellular providers "innovative."

"The incentive auction will benefit consumers by easing congestion on wireless networks, laying the groundwork for 'fifth generation' (5G) wireless services and applications, and spurring job creation and economic growth."

Central Michigan University will continue to operate its four remaining TV stations and four radio stations which serve central and northern Michigan.

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