Writing for The Seattle Times, a communications professor and former reporter and producer for the city’s KCTS-TV argues that the station should sell its broadcast spectrum and cede local public TV service to Tacoma’s KBTC.
“Our region deserves better,” writes Barry Mitzman, now a teacher of strategic communications at Seattle University. Stations duplicating PBS programming are “inefficient,” he argues. “Regional consolidation might save money that could be invested in programs,” Mitzman continues. “Many states, including Oregon and Idaho, have unified public-TV systems that produce more original content — often much more — than KCTS does.”
With KBTC airing much the same programming as KCTS, the Tacoma station could take over a KCTS transmitter. The latter station could then sell its spectrum in the upcoming FCC spectrum auction and serve “some greater purpose” with the proceeds, Mitzman says.
Mitzman’s op-ed spins off of the recent restructuring at KCTS, which laid off production staff and canceled a local news show. The station is shifting focus to creating digital videos to post online, some of which will be reused for broadcast.