The LA Times is reporting that public television station KCET is in talks to sell their historic Sunset Boulevard studio to the Church of Scientology. The Los Feliz studio dates back to 1912, and was once the home of Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists. According to the LA Times, the Sunset Blvd. property has an assessed value of $14.1 million. KCET responded to the rumors with a post on the station website:
We would like to respond to the erroneous information being circulated about KCET. Here is the truth: KCET is NOT being sold. We are firmly committed to being Southern California’s independent public TV station.
We ARE looking for a new production facility that will allow us to not only produce award-winning shows but to expand our digital footprint across multiple media platforms. As part of the process, we have entered into a real estate transaction to sell our current studio lot. Funds from this sale will be used to convert KCET into a contemporary TV station by investing in a new location, equipment and productions. As part of this transaction, there are confidentiality provisions that limit what we can further say.
What the statement doesn’t say is that they could really use the cabbage. The financially strapped station split with PBS in January to avoid paying millions in hefty fees, and has since seen a sharp decline in both ratings and donations. The alien-loving cult of Scientology, on the other hand, seems to be getting by okay.