The views from the fifth and sixth floors of KCET’s glass-encased offices at The Pointe in Burbank are spectacular, offering panoramic vistas of next-door neighbors NBC LA, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Forest Lawn in the southern distance and more. Another big difference from the station’s previous red-brick HQ on Sunset Boulevard is that employees are now ensconced in an open-cubicle set-up as sleek as that of a Madison Avenue ad agency.
But these are not the only reasons for the renewed sense of excitement at KCET. Thanks to the expansion of SoCal Connected to four nights a week, the addition of Madeleine Brand to the show’s talent ranks, a recent merger with San Francisco’s Link Media and the resulting imminent arrival of new chief strategy officer Paul Mason, this viewer-supported TV station is very clearly and boldly trying to re-invent the jettisoned PBS model.
SoCal Connected shoots two shows on Monday and another two on Wednesday, with a repeat broadcast Fridays. As FishbowlLA sat at the back of the control room yesterday watching the production of tonight’s November 29 broadcast, we were reminded of that scene in Broadcast News where William Hurt’s character shows nervous newbie Albert Brooks how to properly sit on a sports jacket. TV news is all about the smallest of details.