KEET leader says CPB is pressuring California station into merger

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CPB wants KEET-TV in Eureka, Calif., to merge with a larger organization, its executive director said in a newspaper column.

“Pressure is being applied by CPB for KEET-TV to merge with another, larger organization, which very well could mean the end of KEET-TV as an independent, locally owned and operated public television station,” wrote David Gordon Friday in the local Times-Standard.

In the column, Gordon said the station has never met its $800,000 minimum in nonfederal financial support required to receive CPB funds.

“We have exhausted the three waivers issued by CPB that allowed us to continue receiving our federal grants, and we now face the very real prospect of CPB ending our federal funding by Sept. 30, 2019,” Gordon said.

Gordon said KEET will be working with members of Congress, CPB and PBS to save the station. “While we have been conducting our activities discreetly for the past year, the time has come to be more public and to call on community members to support us in this endeavor,” he said, and urged readers to contact their congressional representatives.

Update: Ted Krichels, SVP of system development, emailed Current a statement that said in part: “Over the years, CPB has had numerous discussions with KEET leadership about how KEET might strengthen its financial sustainability, including through operational efficiency, collaboration, and improved fundraising. In early 2019, we will discuss KEET’s viability in light of the changing media landscape with Mr. Gordon.”

One thought on “KEET leader says CPB is pressuring California station into merger

  1. To the recipient of the advice, there isn’t much difference between:

    A: being a noble, low-resourced warrior who’s fighting the good fight against incredible odds and is being smacked down by a giant corporate behemoth yanking on your purse strings.

    or

    B: being an addict who just wants another fix but doesn’t want to hear what caring friends and family are trying to say to them, namely that this addiction isn’t healthy and it’s not going to work, and they’re not going to keep giving the addict money to just flush down the drain.

    I know nothing about this situation beyond what’s printed here in this article, but having known many small media organizations like KEET I suspect the situation is closer to “B” than it is to “A”. I suspect CPB is pushing a merger because they think it’s the only KEET will continue to exist in any form at all and they’d rather see that than see it go under entirely. And while CPB is far from perfect, most of the people there have been there, done that, and see it all before.

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