The Los Angeles public television station KCET has struggled to raise money and develop programs since its high-profile defection from PBS, says the Los Angeles Times.
KCET severed its 40-year tie with the nonprofit network at the start of last year, citing skyrocketing dues for airing PBS shows.
In its first full year as one of the country’s few independent public TV stations, KCET saw contributions and grants plummet by 41 percent, to $22.3-million. Ratings dropped as popular PBS fare like “Sesame Street” and “NewsHour” departed and promised new shows with a Southern California slant were slow to materialize.
The station said revenue has climbed steadily this year, and viewership has returned nearly to what it was before the split with PBS. Chief executive Al Jerome said the station is making “really good progress” in a three-year plan to re-establish itself, but several Los Angeles-area nonprofits that have collaborated with or supported KCET said they are no longer working with the station due to concerns over its future. [Editor's note: The previous sentence has been revised to fix an inaccuracy.]