Originally published: August 4, 2010
Last updated: August 4, 2010 - 8:28pm
Just three years ago, LA's high-minded public television station threw in its lot with that maven of flashy, commercial TV, Fred Silverman. Some might have feared that teaming with the champion of "Charlie's Angels" and "Three's Company" would disfigure KCET. Instead, the onetime network programming guru helped craft a thoughtful roster of locally oriented programs. One show would adapt theatrical productions for the small screen, another would let politicians mix with voters, while still another would reenact heroic deeds. But KCET's bid to reinvigorate itself fell flat. The station's problem was not Silverman's ambitions -- which turned out to be middle- to highbrow -- but raising enough money to make it happen. The station did not find the underwriters. The programs died before they ever got off the wish list.
Now KCET faces even bigger identity and financial challenges. 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.
- Los Angeles PBS affiliate KCET exits network fold to go independent
- Ahmanson Foundation Helps KCET Go Independent
- The Truth Behind the PBS/KCET Split
- Buzz, Viewers Diverge
- KCET-TV Fined $10,000 on Public Inspection File Access Violation
- How $50 million in donations led KCET to split from PBS
- PBS's Take on KCET Los Angeles' Defection
- PBS wants LA public TV station to stay in the family
- KCET offers view of its programming future
- On the Media: KCET still delivers the news — or does it?
- The future of KCET
- KCET-TV said to be in talks to sell landmark studio to Church of Scientology
- Magid Turned TV News Into Entertainment
- Why KCET never became a major player in the PBS network
- PBS lineup moves to KOCE-TV in Los Angeles