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Posts Tagged ‘Al Jerome’

KCET to Merge With Satellite Network Link TV

Local public television station KCET announced a merger today with Link Media, an independent non-profit media company based in San Francisco. The resulting company will be called KCETLink and will be headquartered in KCET’s Burbank offices.

Hopefully the merger will provide KCET with much-needed resources. The station has been experiencing financial struggles, including a precipitous drop in contributions since leaving PBS in 2010.

More details on the deal from the New York Times:

After the merger, effective Jan. 1, the two brands and most of their programming will remain separate. But Link TV, which airs cultural and news shows and series like the Danish import “Borgen,” will get an immediate visibility boost in Los Angeles, where KCET will begin to broadcast it on one its digital multicast channels.

Currently, Link TV is available in just 33 million DirecTV and Dish Network homes nationwide.

KCET head Al Jerome will become chief executive of the KCETLink, and Link Media president Paul S. Mason will become chief strategy officer. Jerome advised the NYT that there would be layoffs after the merger, “as some business functions, including fund-raising, are consolidated.”

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KCET Announces Five New Shows for 2012

KCET and Eyetronics Media and Studios announced their fall lineup of California-themed original programming as part of a new $50-million partnership.

The working titles for the five shows are Ocean Alive, Department of State, Classic Cool Theatre, California Game Changers and Retrostory.

“We are pleased to move forward with this exciting initial line-up featuring an eclectic array of educational and entertaining shows covering Southern California ecology, public affairs, lifestyle, innovation and history,” KCET president and CEO Al Jerome said in a statement.

Descriptions for the new programs are after the jump:

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Investor Partnership Bringing Original Programming to KCET

The future of public television station KCET has been in doubt since they split from PBS at the beginning of the year, leaving a gap in their programming schedule. But today the station announced a partnership with Eyetronics Media and Studios to produce original programming over the next five years.

The Encino-based Eyetronics will provide $50 million in financing to produce and acquire content. Variety reports:

To kick off the arrangement, KCET plans to launch production on five new series before year’s end designed to air on the station. Eyetronics, headed by CEO Dominique Bigle, will package and distribute these and ensuing programs domestically and internationally.

Southern California people, places, culture, innovation and history — both celebrated and little-known — will be featured.

According to KCET CEO Al Jerome, the deal will bring new hires to the TV station.

KCET Gets a Cool Million to Help Break Away From PBS

If there were any questions about how KCET is going to fare outside the PBS umbrella, a bunch of them were answered today. LA’s rogue station just landed a $1 million grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to help ease the transition to independence. That kind of cash tends to soothe the pain.

Said KCET president Al Jerome in the press release: “This expression of strong support for KCET at this critical juncture in our history is an inspiration as we continue our efforts to make this new independent KCET a model for independent public media in the 21st century.”

Press release in full after the jump.

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KCET is Going Rogue

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?