Breaking: WYCC to “cease all broadcast operations”

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WYCC will cease operations on Nov. 27

WYCC will cease operations on Nov. 27

In a matter of weeks, WYCC Ch. 20 will be no more. Reel Chicago received reports this morning that the station notified approximately a dozen employees that their final day on the job will be Nov. 27. The remaining handful of employees will be moved to other departments within the city college system.

The WYCC facility, located at Kennedy King College, boasts two professionally equipped broadcast studios and an editing suite. Other than filming a pilot next week, its schedule is empty.

Widely recognized for educational content, WYCC also broadcast In the Loop, a “dynamic forum for discussion on current news issues” hosted by Chris Bury that debuted in 2013.

The shutdown appears to be a casualty of the Federal Communications Commission’s “spectrum auction” that began in March 2016.

Described by the FCC as “the first-ever ‘incentive auction’ designed to repurpose spectrum for new uses,” it aimed to reauthorize and relicense a number of networks. Although some were allowed to retain their existing channels and others were moved to new frequencies, a few were evidently lost in the shuffle.

WYCC appeared to confirm speculation by posting the following “FAQS for viewers after switchover to WorldView MHz” on its homepage.

The licensee of WYCC-TV is the Board of Trustees for City Colleges of Chicago. The station was entered into the FCC spectrum auction last spring and the bid was accepted.

As a result of this station’s participation in the FCC incentive auction for broadcast spectrum sale, pursuant to federal regulations, WYCC will cease all broadcast operations on channels 20.1, 20.2 and 20.3 on November 27, 2017.

WYCC is no longer affiliated with PBS or other content providers whose programs previously aired on WYCC. As a result, WYCC is only able to provide WorldView Megahertz programming for the time being on 20.1. The content on 20.2 and 20.3 will not change during this period.

We encourage you to tune to WTTW and visit wttw.com for more information on the programs you enjoy.

WTTW is honoring all active WYCC memberships so if you have any questions about this announcement, or your membership, please contact our member services department at 888 993-9922 or WTTW at 773 509-1111 ext 6.

All monthly and yearly sustaining member contributions by credit card will be automatically cancelled at the end of October 2017. Tax letters for 2017 will be mailed to members who gave a donation of $250 or more.

Finally, we would like to thank our viewers and members for their kind and generous support over the years.

BackTalk
  • guest

    Appalling mismangement affecting hundreds of thousands of viewers who relied on programming, especially FNX, without needing a cable subscription. Can’t a concortium buy this back, such as the group that bought the Sun Times? This is unforgiveable.

    • Greg Blaze

      I don’t think ‘FNX First Nations Experience’ had many viewers compared to WYCC’s main channel or ‘MHz WorldView’.

  • Wayne Kubacki

    Far as I know WYCC wasn’t “lost in the shuffle”. It’s my understanding that the station’s license was owned by the City Colleges of Chicago, and the city (Rahm) decided to sell the frequency for the sake of the one-time money – hence the frequency being “entered into the auction”.

  • mcoyle1960

    This has happened before. In the early 80s, there were federal across-the-board budget cuts to all state universities. I was a student engineer at WUIC (U of I Chicago) when they had to sell their 10W radio license to save money. A small school at 600 S. Michigan bought the license and has been transmitting ever since – Columbia College. It was so important that I continue pursuing a degree in audio that I transfered there the very next semester.

    • Greg Blaze

      That wasn’t a spectrum auction. Occassionally non-commercial radio stations will get sold from one not-for-profit to another not-for-profit.

  • Greg Blaze

    There are numerous problems here. First, the City Of Chicago LIED twice. The mayor orginally said they were not going to participate in the spectrum auction. That didn’t happen, but the City Colleges Of Chicago indicated that WYCC would “channel share” with another TV station. That didn’t happen either because the City Colleges Of Chicago decided to throw in the towel and completly go off the air. The second problem is that that City Of Chicago only received $16 million for Channel 20 WYCC’s spectrum. Could somebody explain why so cheap? Other full power Chicago TV stations sold for much more: Channel 50 WPWR-TV $161 million, Channel 44 WSNS-TV $141 million, and Channel 60 WXFT-DT $126 million. All 3 TV stations will be channel sharing as originially intended. Another low-power TV station: Channel 41 WOCH-CD sold for $9 million and went off the air for good in August. The City Of Chicago has already lost at least $110 million in this process, and now the viewers will no longer receive Channel 20’s main programming. Time is running out for a deal with WTTW to acquire WYCC’s license and some assets in order to channel share 1 of WYCC’s 3 sub-channels on WTTW’s signal: ‘MHz WorldView’ which would appear as Channel 20-1 on TV’s, and retain the WYCC call letters. WTTW would also get WYCC’s “must carry” status on cable, and desireable channel position on cable.