Wausau Group Wanting to Run Public TV Hits Roadblocks

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

A group of Wausau residents says they're willing to take over community television, and have it on air by Sept. 1st.

But according to Wausau's mayor, the city is still considering other proposals.

When Mayor Jim Tipple announced the city was cutting funding of its two public access channels last December, Bernie DeLonay was one of the first to try and save it.

"We wanna bring it back as community television and provide a better choice of watching what you wanna watch. Yes, there has to be sponsorship, yes there has to be money going on there," she said.

The channel is still running limited programming, and its former director, John Jordan, is gone.

Mayor Tipple says DeLonay's group has asked to take over, but there are other business proposals the city must consider.

"She's got a passion for public access and that's admirable but we need to look at what's the best option for the city and we will explore those options," the mayor said.

One of those options, he says, is UW-Marathon County.

DeLonay realizes there are obstacles, and projects running the station would cost $200,000 a year. But she's ready, and says she has the support.

"There's a license up there in the mayor's office and we would love it if he would actually call back and talk to us himself and hand the license over along with all the equipment," she said.

The mayor says he's not just going to hand it over.

"We're not because we're going through a process of getting the best possible option for the city."

He says most likely the city will form a committee that will select whoever has the greatest chance of success.

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