AirTalk for August 4, 2010

KCET at a crossroads

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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.

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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