Last updated: April 19, 2012 - 11:43pm
KCET-TV pushes into its second year of independence from PBS with a new headquarters, a new slogan and new pledges about the thoughtful and provocative shows it will produce about Southern California.
"Where the story really gets good," the fresh tag line declares. Management hopes it also applies to KCET's attempts to go it alone as one of the nation's handful of independent public television stations. Chief Executive Al Jerome said in a recent interview that KCET was making "really good progress" in its three-year plan to create a winning destination without public TV name brands such as "Sesame Street," "NewsHour" and the hit "Downton Abbey." Where Jerome and his top staff see steady progress, though, critics inside and outside the station see a sluggish old media franchise that is spending lavishly on its new studio in Burbank (fully occupied as of this week), burdened with a top-heavy management and slow to launch new shows to replace the familiar old ones. KCET's biggest in-house production, the award-winning "SoCal Connected" news magazine, went on hiatus this spring earlier than in some past years, due to a paucity of funding.
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