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WTVI Viewers May Soon See Changes Due To CPCC Merger

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The Mecklenburg County Commission has given CPCC and WTVI the go ahead to merge their stations. Viewers may be able to notice a difference in programming by this summer. CPCC's cable station airs all locally produced programs on repeat, shows like Trail of History, Charlotte Cooks and Inside Jobs. WTVI airs mostly national public television programs with some Charlotte area productions. "Our goal would be for WTVI to be almost entirely local programming in addition to the PBS programming it now offers," says CPCC spokesman Jeff Lowrance. CPCC expects to get federal approval for the merger by July 1. Lowrance says he expects viewers will see some changes on WTVI shortly after. Mecklenburg County will give the station about $350,000 to help with the transition, as well as $800,000 for new equipment over four years. After that, CPCC officials say the station won't need any more county money. The station will still be a public TV station, but Lowrance says they're looking at doing away with on-air pledge drives. CPCC is planning to eliminate three positions and has asked the county for $72,000 to cover severance.