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Ansin sells WLVI airwaves but will keep station

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The broadcast signal for WLVI-TV (Ch. 56) has been sold for an undisclosed sum in the federal government’s auction of spectrum, according to owner Ed Ansin in an interview Wednesday.

Ansin had put the frequency for the independent station into the Federal Communications Commission’s buyback of local TV airwaves last year. The FCC had valued WLVI’s signal as high as $452 million.


Ansin declined to say how much the signal sold for, beyond “a lot of money,” but said the price did not come close to the FCC’s posted value. He bought the station for $113.7 million in 2006.

Asked what he plans to do with the proceeds, Ansin said, “I hope not to spend it foolishly.’

The veteran broadcaster said he will continue to operate WLVI, which airs the CW network, but in a channel-share arrangement with another station he owns, WHDH-TV (Ch. 7).

The two stations will continue to run their own programming. The CW is popular for shows such as “Supergirl” and “The Vampire Diaries.” WHDH, which parted ways with NBC in January, is now an independent station focused on local news.

An FCC spokesman said the agency is not confirming any auction results until bidding concludes in April.


Last year the FCC conducted an auction for broadcasters to sell their frequencies to the government, which in turn sold the airwaves to wireless companies hungry for more broadband such as Verizon and AT&T.

Many local TV station owners viewed the auction as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cash in. Winning bids for the airwaves totaled more than $10 billion.

Shirley Leung is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @leung.

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