Thursday, August 05, 2010

Whither KCET? PBS Head Responds to Station's Woes

On the same day that the L.A. Times wrote about PBS outlet KCET's financial disaster -- and the station hinted that it might have to drop or curtail its membership with the pubcaster -- PBS gave its response.

Here's what KCET told the Times' James Rainey:

The options include selling the station's historic Sunset Boulevard studios or banding together with KOCE of Orange County and other local public TV stations to save costs and coordinate programming. Or there's the nuclear option — dropping out of the PBS network and going independent.

My colleague Jon Weisman attended the PBS executive session yesterday at the TV Critics Assn. press tour, and this is what PBS president/CEO Paula Kerger had to say:

"We do have discussions from stations form time to time about the way we calculate the dues, because we use one formula," Kerger said. "We are very aware of the financial challenges that everyone is facing. We've faced them the past two years. ... We’ve tightened our belt; we’ve really focused on work into areas that are our core and at the same time tried to carve out some resources for innovation.

"We are in discussions with KCET and continue to be. We've worked with KCET for 40 years and hope to be working with them for another 40 years."

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