How did L.A. lose its major PBS flagship affliate?
Starting Jan. 1, KCET-TV Channel 28 is severing its relationship with PBS to become the nation's largest independent public TV station. Los Angeles' flagship PBS channel will begin airing local programs, BBC repeats, news and documentaries made elsewhere, as KOCE-TV Channel 50 in Orange County carries most of the PBS shows for Southern California.
If major cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., can sustain a PBS player, why not Los Angeles?
In our Sunday Calendar feature, Melissa Maerz and Scott Collins look at KCET's dilemma. Critics complain that the station could have done much more with its resources. Howard Rosenberg, former television critic for the Los Angeles Times who now teaches at USC, noted that "you have this great creative community in Los Angeles, and KCET did very little to capitalize on the local entertainment industry." Meanwhile, insiders point to the complicated financial and power structure of the PBS-affiliate structure.
You can read more about why KCET split with PBS here.
Photo: The KCET building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times