KCETLink, the independent pubmedia organization created through merger six months ago between pubcaster KCET in Los Angeles and national satellite programmer Link TV, today announced 22 layoffs as a result of a reorganization.
Spokesperson Ariel Carpenter told Current that the organization is not disclosing any additional information beyond the release and confirming the number of full-time job eliminations. Five vacant positions also are not being filled.
The announcement also said that KCETLink would increasingly focus on "transmedia programming opportunities” for viewing on web and mobile devices.
“These are challenging and transformational times that require us to make difficult financial and operational decisions for the continued health of the organization in order to create a public media organization that can grow in the 21st century,” Al Jerome, KCETLink’s c.e.o., said in the statement. “In addition, we have to factor digital innovation into every decision moving forward, which has required us to design a new paradigm that operates multiple platforms simultaneously and continues to offer engaging new productions to our viewers.”
Examples of KCETLink transmedia projects are the recently released World News mobile app; Stand Up Planet! a multi-platform comedy/reality series about global development, currently in production in India and South Africa; and two newly acquired films, Shadows of Liberty and The Power of Two, “both heavily supported by digital engagement and available on multiple screens,” the announcement said.
The announcement is the latest major news for KCET, which stunned the pubTV system by dropping its PBS membership in January 2011.