KCET-TV Gets $1 Million to Go Indie
LOS ANGELES: KCET-TV received a $1 million grant as it prepares to become
the largest independent TV station in the country. The move comes in the wake of its divorce
with the Public Broadcasting System. KCET received $1 million from the Ahmanson
Foundation in Los Angeles, where it served as the flagship PBS station for 40
years. Earlier this month, KCET announced the end of its affiliation with PBS,
effective Jan. 1, 2011.
“The Ahmanson Foundation has been one of KCET’s most important and longstanding
foundation supporters,” said KCET president and CEO, Al Jerome. “The foundation
has provided grants for all three seasons of ‘SoCal Connected,’ and it has
underwritten the local broadcast of ‘Nova’ on KCET for many years.”
The decision to take the station independent came as it faced a 40 percent
increase in PBS dues, due in part to its own fundraising efforts. KCET said the
dues were then “frozen at the highest rate in the station’s history just as the
economy tumbled,” pitting it against three other PBS member stations serving
KCET raised $50 million in programming grants in 2004, which led to the rise in
its PBS dues, the
Angeles Times reported. Dues are based in part on a station’s
fund-raising efforts, thus KCET’s dues went from $4.9 million to $7 million.
However, because of the nature of the $50 million programming grant, that money
could not be spent on dues.
KCET will remain a non-profit, viewer-supported public TV station operating
under an educational broadcast license granted to Community Television of
-- Deborah D. McAdams