Marquee Broadcasting Inc. of Brookeville, Maryland, has entered into an agreement to acquire WUGA-TV from UGA for $2.5 million. Marquee Broadcasting is owned by Brian and Patricia Lane. The company also owns WMDT-TV, the ABC/CW/Me-TV affiliate in Salisbury, Maryland.
WUGA-TV has a history of service to communities in Northeast Georgia from a broadcast tower located in Toccoa and is available on satellite and cable systems across much of North Georgia. The station, originally known as WNEG-TV, was acquired by the University of Georgia Research Foundation in 2008 from Media General Inc. After three years of operation as a commercial station, the license was transferred to the university and management was transferred to the UGA Division of Public Affairs in 2011. The call letters were changed to WUGA-TV, providing noncommercial programming under an affiliation with Georgia Public Broadcasting.
In the summer of 2014, UGA retained Patrick Communications to explore a potential sale of WUGA-TV and advise the university throughout the process. After exploring all of the currently available options, the university determined Marquee Broadcasting was the best fit in terms of price and engaged ownership from a buyer with interest in actively serving the local community.
Plans for the station involve multiple sub-channels with a variety of programming options as well as a focus on community feedback and involvement.
Transfer of the license for the television station is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, which is anticipated this summer.