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University explores selling WNDU

Kate Antonacci | Monday, April 4, 2005

The University has hired Kalil and Co., a brokerage firm based in Tuscon, Ariz., to look at the possible sale of Michiana Telecasting Corp. (MTC), the operator of WNDU-TV, according to a statement released Friday by Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves. “In recent months we have received a number of inquiries from parties interested in acquiring Michiana Telecasting Corporation,” Affleck-Graves said. “The University feels it has a responsibility to evaluate such inquiries in a fiscally prudent manner.”Due to the University’s “limited knowledge of the broadcasting industry,” Affleck-Graves said the outside brokerage firm was hired to help with the evaluation.Though the firm has been hired, Affleck-Graves said that no decision has been made at this time.”The financial officers of the University are always making evaluations of how the money can best be put to use,” University spokesman Matt Storin said.Though the subject of selling the station has come up before, it has never been examined to this degree, Storin told South Bend Tribune.Storin would not speculate as to why Notre Dame is looking into selling Michiana Telecasting Corp., whose station WNDU is located on Notre Dame’s campus.Sources close to WNDU said the content of some NBC programs over the last five to 10 years may be considered a cause for possible sale.In Sept. 2003, WNDU-TV decided not to air the comedy television show “Coupling” because of its racy subject matter. The board of directors of MTC unanimously voted after receiving advance copies of “Coupling” episodes. Four officers from the University were involved in the voting. Though viewers voiced concern, the University was cautious about the sensitive nature of the show and the effect its airing may have had on WNDU’s business relationship to NBC.WNDU’s President and General Manager Jim Behling had no comment about the possible sale.The University has owned the station since 1955.