KCETLink selects former ABC Family executive as new president

Michael Riley, a former head of ABC Family, is the new president of Los Angeles-based KCETLink, the independent public media station and satellite TV channel. Riley succeeds Al Jerome, the KCET executive who led what had been PBS’s flagship station in Los Angeles through its acrimonious 2011 split from PBS. He spearheaded the station’s subsequent merger with noncommercial satellite broadcaster Link TV in October 2012. Dick Cook, board chair for KCETLink Media Group, cited Riley’s “strong track record in brand-defining content creation, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and digital leadership — both domestically and across international markets” in Monday’s announcement. Riley began in the job immediately.

After 18 years leading KCET, Al Jerome announces retirement

Al Jerome, the broadcasting executive who led Los Angeles public television station KCET out of PBS membership and into a partnership with satellite network Link TV, is retiring within the next six months, KCETLink announced today. Jerome has served as president of KCET for 18 years and is only the third person to lead the organization in its 50-year history. He will stay on through September and assist in the search for his successor, the statement said. He joined KCET in February 1996 after a 30-year career in commercial broadcasting at NBC, CBC and ABC. During Jerome’s tenure the station won 69 Emmys, seven George Foster Peabody awards, five duPont-Columbia awards and the Edward R. Murrow Award.

KCETLink’s Marcus exits, recalling ‘great run’ with SoCal Connected

Bret Marcus, the KCET exec who led production of the station’s acclaimed local news series SoCal Connected, is among the 22 employees riffed in the layoffs announced last week by KCETLink, the new public media outlet formed in a merger of the Los Angeles pubTV station with noncommercial satellite channel Link TV. Marcus, a former commercial TV news executive, served as KCET’s chief content officer and executive producer of the award-winning SoCal Connected, the local public TV news show that had a storied history producing investigative series and other news reports that made a difference in communities in the region. “I feel like I had a great run there,” Marcus told Current. SoCal Connected and its predecessor, California Connected, “were very unusual programs, produced by some of the best people in the news business. I’m very pleased about that.”