KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) The Central Texas College Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to move forward in assigning the broadcasting license of KNCT-TV to Gray Television and KWTX-TV.
“What the board did today was to give approval for the appropriate division to complete the process of the assignment of the license to Gray Television and KWTX. This is an agreement in principle, and now details can be worked out,” KWTX General Manager Mike Wright said.
The CTC board voted 6-1 in February to pull the plug on the station, which has been providing PBS programming to Central Texas viewers for about 50 years.
KNCT-TV will cease over-the-air broadcasts at midnight on Friday.
The decision to take the station off the air came after the board voted last year to be part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Spectrum Act.
The deal called for certain stations to "repack" or switch to another channel to open up frequencies for wireless broadband.
The move came with a $4.4 million price tag for CTC. .
Officials say the school was led to believe the college would be reimbursed for the full amount, but Congress approved funds to cover only 60 percent of the cost.
“Talks about reassigning the license began after the decision not to repack was made. We issued a request for bid and at the conclusion of process, the administration was pleased to recommend license transfer to Gray,” CTC Chancellor Jim Yeonopolus said.
With the decision Tuesday, the college may proceed working out details of the agreement with Gray Television and KWTX-TV.
The final agreement should be worked out within days, and then CTC will begin the process of filing required applications with the FCC for the license assignment.
The entire process should be finished by the first of the year, college officials said.
“We are considering many options with regard to future programming and efforts to best serve the region,” Wright said.
This is a great opportunity for KWTX to deepen our commitment to Bell County. We are honored to be chosen by Central Texas College to build on the foundation and legacy it has established through KNCT,” he said.
KNCT-TV, on the CTC campus in Killeen, went on the air in 1970.
Its programming consists of PBS and local shows produced by the college.
“Fans of PBS television can now access programming from the Austin PBS affiliate through Spectrum and Grande Communications via KLRU-TV,” KNCT General Manager Max Rudolph said.
“It will be located at the same channel numbers as KNCT. Local satellite customers can access PBS programming on KAMU-TV, the PBS affiliate in College Station, and streamed from the PBS website,” he said.
The license transfer will not affect KNCT-FM, which CTC will continue to operate.
Where you can find PBS
Grande – 804, 4 (KLRU)
Spectrum – 4 (KNCT)
DirecTV – 15 (KAMU)
DISH – 12 (KAMU)