“Bad news piling up” for KCET, Los Angeles Times says

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Despite its recent announcement of a five-show, $50 million production deal, KCET in Los Angeles continues to struggle as the nation’s largest indie pubTV station, reports the Los Angeles Times. Viewership is down, and the station now averages just 20,000 tune-ins a night during primetime, it said. Also, “no question, going independent has affected viewer support,” said Gordon Bava, KCET board member, referring to the station’s departure from PBS in January (Current, Oct. 18, 2010). “Corporate support is down, but to some extent, that is a function of the lack of local programming.” The newspaper said a KCET spokesperson confirmed that individual membership is down but gifts from major donors are up. KCET received $44.6 million in total support and revenue for fiscal year 2010, down 26 percent from FY09, according to audited financial statements. During that time the station had $53.8 million in expenses including programming and administrative costs.

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