AirTalk

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KCET at a crossroads

by AirTalk

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Sesame Street Muppets (L-R) Elmo, Jesse and Rosita address an audience and the press before a special tree planting ceremony promoting the launch of the 'When Families Grieve' support group initiative at Madison Square Park on April 8, 2010 in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Yet another potential casualty of the Great Recession is Los Angeles’ stalwart public television station, KCET. Struggling, but holding on, the station is facing a lack of underwriters and a splintered audience and is considering several options to stay afloat – selling their historic Sunset Boulevard studios, banding together with other regional public TV stations or maybe even leaving the PBS network and becoming an independent station. KCET pays a yearly $6.8 million to remain a PBS affiliate and does not have exclusivity to top tier PBS programs such as “Nova” and “Frontline.” But critics of these measures feel that that additional belt-tightening at KCET is in order. Do you think that KCET should remain in the PBS network? Can they survive without “Sesame Street” in their programming?

Guest:

James Rainey, Los Angeles Times staff. He writes the “On the Media” column and wrote today’s article on the future of KCET.

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