Seattle’s KCTS to become Cascade Public Media with two additional organizations

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Seattle public TV station KCTS has merged with a digital news organization, acquired a community website and is changing its name to Cascade Public Media.

The changes are “the next step in our organization’s evolution,” President Rob Dunlop told station supporters in an email Wednesday. The station announced in April that it would switch to a digital-first content model.

KCTS has merged with Crosscut, a local nonprofit newsroom. The station also acquired the website What’s Good 206, which offers “locally inspired digital media for and by millennials” and provides media training.

No money changed hands in the Crosscut merger, according to station spokesperson Hilda Cullen. KCTS paid $2,500 for WG206, primarily for equipment and the web domain, she said.

Crosscut’s board will continue to serve in an advisory capacity, with Dunlop heading the combined operation.

“Welcoming Crosscut to our organization will help us to broaden our work in journalism and become more deeply engaged in the civic conversation,” Dunlop wrote to supporters. “What’s Good 206 will be a mechanism for developing the next generation of public media journalists.”

A KCTS press release said no layoffs are planned. Cullen said eight Crosscut employees will move to the station in January; one from WG206 arrives Thursday.

The merger allows Crosscut “to bring several part-time staffers up to full-time and offer everyone improved employee benefits,” Executive Editor Tamara Power-Drutis and Editor-in-Chief Greg Hanscom wrote in a web post.

The post also noted that “the two entities will retain their own voices and editorial independence.” Donors will be able to choose to financially support KCTS, Crosscut or the combined organization.

KCTS will continue to air PBS content as a member station.

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