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College plans to put KCSM-TV up for sale

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.”

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