LA’s public broadcasting station KCET has decided to part ways with PBS, reports the LA Times. Starting in January, KCET will become independent, dropping popular PBS shows like “Charlie Rose” and “Sesame Street” and filling the void with programming from overseas as well as feature films.
“After four decades as the West Coast flagship PBS station, this is not a decision we made lightly,” KCET president Al Jerome said in a press release. “We have been in discussions with PBS for over three years about the need to address challenges that are unique to our market as well as our station.
“As an independent public television station, KCET will be committed to investing in Southern California by developing, acquiring, producing and distributing content across all media platforms. We will continue to offer the KCET audience programming from leading national and international sources. Some of these series are currently on our air.”
The move comes as KCET’s dues to PBS reached $7 million annually–out of a $37 operating budget. Mighty pricey! Time will tell how other PBS affiliates respond to the move. Could a PBS revolt be in the works?