WFUM, a PBS channel owned by and licensed to the U-M, is based in Flint. It will be on Columbia Cable for nine months at no cost to subscribers.
WFUM has a sound reputation for providing excellence in educational, cultural, instructional and public affairs programming to people in southeastern Michigan, said Walter Harrison, executive director of university relations.
WFUM tailors its programming to people who maintain non-traditional work schedules, thus strengthening and increasing viewing options among public television stations with overlapping markets, said Ronald D. Harmon, general manager and vice president of Columbia Cable (Ann Arbor). After nine months, we will conduct a survey of Columbia subscribers to determine what interest there is in placing WFUM on the Columbia Cable system on a permanent basis.
U-M and Columbia Cable officials noted that WFUMs ties to the University have helped it carve a niche as a leader in Intelligent Television. It is the flagship station in the state in the production of self-instructional programs.
Programs such as Passing Through, Minority Viewpoint and Ask the Lawyers address the needs of urban and suburban audiences alike. How-to programming include such popular series as An Herbal Harvest and Country Basketweaving.
Having WFUM available here creates a range of potential productions designed to serve the interests and needs of the Ann Arbor communityadditional programming in the arts, enrichment series, and other local community interest broadcasts, said Gordon Lawrence, WFUM director of broadcasting. We appreciate the opportunity to serve this expanded audience through Columbia Cable and are eager to explore the options that this carriage decision will provide.