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U. Georgia Scraps WNEG Newsroom in Favor of Student Newscast

The University of Georgia has shut down the news operation at WNEG, and filed with the FCC to relicense the station as non-commercial. Seventeen employees were laid off, reports Athens Banner-Herald.

The station will be part of Georgia Public Broadcasting System, rechristened as WUGA.

Says the Banner-Herald:

“It was an unhappy day,” said Cully Clark, dean of UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which had operated the station. “These were some very fine people.”

WNEG’s professional news broadcast, which had aired five nights a week, will be replaced by a student-produced newscast called NewsSource, which will air Mondays through Thursdays when school is in session, starting about Jan. 24.

The UGA Research Foundation bought WNEG in 2008 for $1.4 million, and has lost considerable money on it since then, reports the newspaper.

The Banner-Herald used its editorial space to applaud the revamp. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the story too.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.