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TCA Press Tour: PBS wants KCET to stay in the family

 

Kerger PBS executives are in active discussions with cash-strapped KCET to keep the Los Angeles station a vibrant part of public television, said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger Wednesday morning during the semiannual TV press tour in Beverly Hills.

In town to tout her new slate of national programming that includes a new "Cat in the Hat" series and a postscript to Ken Burns' 1994 "Baseball" documentary, Kerger took a reporter's question about KCET's precarious financial situation, which was reported by Times media columnist James Rainey in Wednesday's Calendar section. In the column, Rainey reported that KCET, hit hard by a drop in contributions and intense competition from other channels, is weighing leaving the PBS network and going independent.

KCET executives, who laid off workers recently and are showing less locally produced programming, complain their annual $6.8 million payments to PBS are hurting the station. In addition to separating from PBS, KCET executives are also considering forming a consortium with three other Southern California public stations -- Orange County's KOCE, the Los Angeles school district's KLCS and the Inland Empire's KVCR.

But Kerger said she doesn't want any of that to happen.

"We have worked with KCET for 40 years and I hope we work with them for another 40 years," said Kerger. "That's my intention."

-- Martin Miller

Photo: Paula Kerger  Credit: Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

Would like to see KCET go private, it should result in more local control.

Hey, MSNBC will still be on cable for your daily fix of Left Wing Pravda.

Ms. MadCow and Mr. Oberdog over on MSNBC do a great job of speaking for the Liberal point of view, why is there a need for PBS?

KCET's problem is simple balance sheet cash control. They do fund raisers every other month (not an exageration. see for yourself). At some point people realize it just isn't worth paying for what they are getting. They just don't know how to make their money go very far.

Interesting. In the article, I didn't see one comment directed at the viewing public. I am not sure Ms. Kurger is aware who the public is in Public Television.

Very unfortunate. KCET has been a fixture in so many homes. I say that a new mgt. team is needed. Cut out the fat/bring back more local programing, and be more selevtive with what is carried that causes the station to pay so much to PBS

TO STEVE LA:

WOULD YOU AND YOUR KIND PLEASE GROW UP. KCET AND PBS ARE NOT MSNBC NOR ARE THEY FOX.

IT IS PURE CLASS vs. THE CHATTERING CLASS.

How Many KCET Executives are there, maybe they should lay off some of them. they're obviously not very good at their job.


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