Marilyn Lawrence

The San Mateo County Community College District is planning to sell KCSM-TV to eliminate an ongoing drain on the district’s finances, the San Mateo County Times reports.

“I’m disappointed,” KCSM General Manager Marilyn Lawrence said Thursday. “The station has been a legacy to the college. It’ll be a great loss to the community.”

KCSM-TV already has drawn interest from four possible buyers and could fetch about $5 million, Lawrence said. She noted by way of comparison that public broadcaster WMFE in Orlando, Fla., is being sold to a religious group for more than $3 million.

District board members lamented having to put the station on the market — the school has owned the TV station since 1964 — but they said they had no choice. It’s losing about $800,000 a year despite reducing its budget. KCSM even dropped its PBS affiliation in order to save money.

“As much as we would like to have the TV station, it seems peripheral to our mission as a higher-education, career-training institution,” board President Richard Holober said. “We can’t continue to carry it as a costly item.”

Bay Area Media News


  1. Have you seen the crap that airs on this station? Who is watching these shows? Sell the station and put the money back into the classrooms. KCSM radio and TV have long since stopped serving students educational/training needs. The first TV show to air produced by "students" is an interview with the instructor, who received topped billing in the credits. And when was the last a student served as a DJ at KCSM radio?

    If you're looking for a story, how about a cost benefit anaylsis of KCSM TV/Radio in relation to student education.

  2. They could have hired a private company to amrket the TV station and to sell ads to bring in revenue to equal the expenses.

  3. Great, the Jesuscasters get another station! I've got to wonder if the station could have been saved if the community college's staff and board had been more creative and entrepreneurial. The story doesn't bring this up, but I wonder if the college tried to lease the multicast channels it got from the FCC in the conversion to digital television. Multicast channels (like 7.2, 7.3, 9.1, 9.2, etc.) can be worth a lot of money in a market as large as the Bay Area.

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