Baylor, KCTF Form New Alliance

Oct. 28, 1998

by Larry D. Brumley

The boards of Baylor University and Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Foundation, which operates Waco public television station KCTF Channel 34, have approved an agreement to transfer control of the foundation to the university, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

KCTF, which is housed on the Baylor campus and receives a number of in-kind services from the university including office and studio space, accounting services and other infrastructure support, has in recent months been seeking a partner to strengthen station operations.

"KCTF is an important resource to the community and to the university," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "Its educational, cultural and public service programming adds to the quality of life in Waco, and the station provides valuable hands-on learning experiences for students in the university's telecommunication division. We did not want to see the community lose local control of its public television station.

"The university is committed to strengthening the local programming and the educational and public service initiatives of KCTF as we seek to make it one of the best small-market public television stations in the country," Sloan said.

Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Foundation was established by a community group in 1993 to assume ownership of KCTF from Central Texas College in Killeen, which had held the station's license since it went on the air in 1989. The KCTF license transferred to Brazos Valley on Feb. 1, 1994. Central Texas College continues to operate public television station KNCT, which serves Bell and Coryell counties.

"One of the primary objectives of the governing board of the Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Foundation has been to find a way to make sure that KCTF continues to serve Waco and the Central Texas community far into the future," said Randy Ramey, current chairman of the board of Brazos Valley.

"The board and the station staff have been working for the past two years to develop a strategy that will secure the future of KCTF," Ramey said. "This new relationship with Baylor gives KCTF the ability to magnify the growth that the station has been experiencing and allows Baylor to broaden and deepen its relationship with all of us who live in Waco and McLennan County. This important evolution in the life of KCTF gives me the greatest confidence that the station will achieve the real potential that PBS offers each of us."

Brazos Valley will be governed by a 12-member board made up of university and community representatives. It is anticipated the FCC approval process will take 90-120 days.

The Public Broadcasting Service-member station employs eight full-time and several part-time staff members.

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