Thursday, December 16, 2010

KOCE Rebrands Itself as "PBS SoCal"

We're just 15 days away from the Great Southern California PBS Shakeout, and Orange County's KOCE -- soon to be the region's chief PBS station -- has unveiled more of its transition plans.

KOCE announced Thursday that it will rebrand itself as PBS SoCal, complete with a brand new website,

Here's where it gets confusing: KCET also frequently uses the "SoCal" tag, including for its signature newsmagazine show, "SoCal Connected." This is going to lead to more hair-pulling by local public broadcasting viewers.

KOCE has also signed new deals with regional cable operators, including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Time Warner Cable, to add distribution or improve channel positioning.

The new website will focus on KOCE but also iclude some program info for LAUSD's KLCS-TV and San Bernardino's KVCR-TV in San Bernardino.

KCET, of course, is not part of that local PBS consortium -- ironic, since KCET is the station that first suggested a Southern California PBS partnership. But now that KCET is dropping its PBS membership, it hasn't been included in any further local discussions.

"Our new identity is the result of extensive viewer research, and I am confident that it fully represents our new role as the full-service PBS station in Southern California," said KOCE president/CEO Mel Rogers.

KOCE "PBS SoCal" will be home to series such as "American Masters," "Tavis Smiley," "California's Gold," "Frontline," "Masterpiece Theater," "NOVA" and "Pioneers of Television," as well as "Curious George" and "Sesame Street."

KVCR will air "Nightly Business Report" and "Charlie Rose," while KLCS will air "Independent Lens."

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