|Los Angeles, California|
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 28 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Public TV / Independent TV|
|First air date||September 28, 1964|
|Call letters' meaning||Community
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
28 (UHF, 1964-2009)
59 (UHF, 2000-2009)
|Former affiliations||NET (1964-1970)
|Transmitter power||155 kW|
|Licensing authority||Federal Communications Commission|
|Public license information:||Profile
KCET, channel 28, is an independent, non-commercial public television station licensed to Los Angeles, California, USA. KCET's studio is located at 2900 West Alameda Avenue in Burbank, California, and its transmitter is atop Mount Wilson. As of 2012, Al Jerome is the president and CEO.
KCET was a charter member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) at its inception in 1970. The station was Southern California's flagship PBS member station until December 31, 2010, when it ended its partnership with PBS after 40 years to become the nation's largest independent public television station. KCET's management cited unresolvable financial and programming disputes among its major reasons for leaving PBS. KOCE-TV (channel 50), licensed to Huntington Beach in Orange County, replaced KCET as the area's primary PBS station.
For much of its time on air, KCET had broadcast from its studios in Hollywood until moving to new offices in Burbank's media district in 2012. The move has left KTLA as the last remaining radio or television broadcaster in that neighborhood as stations have moved on to other cities and neighborhoods in the region.
In October 2012, KCET announced that it was merging with noncommercial satellite network Link TV to form a new nonprofit entity, to be called KCETLink and headquartered in KCET's Burbank facilities; the merger is intended to also simulcast LinkTV on one of KCET's subchannels.
KCET signed on September 28, 1964 as an affiliate of National Educational Television (NET), with Jim Case heading all of the program direction. It was actually the second attempt at an educational station in the Los Angeles area: KTHE, operated by the University of Southern California, had previously broadcast on channel 28, beginning on September 22, 1953. It was the second educational television station in the United States, signing on six months and four days after KUHT in Houston, Texas, but it went dark after nine months due to its primary benefactor, the Hancock Foundation, determining that the station was too much of a financial drain on its resources. In 1970, KCET became a charter member of PBS. For most of the next 40 years, it was the second most-watched PBS station in the country.
The call letters KCET stand for Community Educational Television, not to be confused with the organization of the same name formed by Daystar Television Network in 2003, which made an unsuccessful bid to purchase KOCE.
Previously, KCET was headquartered in a historic area of Hollywood, used as a film and television studio from 1912 to 1970. KCET purchased the former Monogram Pictures property in 1971, assisted financially in part by both the Ford Foundation and the Michael Connell Foundation. The newest building was named the Weingart Educational Telecommunications Center and housed KCET's master control, digital control rooms, ingest, and editing stations on the first floor and engineering, new media operations, and news and public affairs on the second floor.
On October 8, 2010, KCET announced that it could not reach an agreement to remain with PBS and would become an independent television service as of January 1, 2011. In a letter to viewers, board chairman Gordon Bava said that PBS wanted KCET to pay $7 million for its programming — more than double what KOCE was paying. KCET remains a member of American Public Television's APT Exchange.
On March 30, 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that KCET was in negotiations to sell the studio to the Church of Scientology, with KCET relocating to a smaller location following the sale, in light of KCET's sharp decreases in ratings and pledges following dismembership from PBS. The sale of the property, which was sold for $45 million, closed on April 25, 2011, with part of the proceeds going towards KCET's leasing of the studios until new facilities were found. KCET relocated to a new complex in a high-rise state-of-the art building, The Pointe, in April 2012, located in Burbank.
At the end of the 2011 Fiscal Year, contributions and grants to KCET decreased even further, down 41 percent from the previous year to $22.3 million.
In October 2012, KCET announced it was merging with San Francisco-based Link Media to form KCETLink, a single 501(c)(3) transmedia organization, based in Burbank. KCETLink reaches a much wider broadcast audience that includes Link Media’s 33 million subscribers on DIRECTV and DISH Network, and KCET’s 5.6 million households in Southern and Central California.
- "Community Supported Television" (c. 1976-198?)
- "Member Supported Television for Southern and Central California" (198?-1997)
- "Rethink TV" (January–December 2011)
- "Be Moved" (December 2011 – November 2012)
- "Infinitely More" (1997–2010, 2012-present)
As the flagship PBS station for the Pacific Time Zone, KCET was a major producer of PBS programming.
It produced the acclaimed Carl Sagan series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in 1978-1979. KCET produced or presented Hollywood Television Theater, Trying Times, and the Hispanic family drama American Family for PBS, and was one of the consortium of stations that produced American Playhouse.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, KCET produced a six-part miniseries in conjunction with the BBC called Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State.
As of 2007[update] productions include its award-winning and signature news and public affairs program Life & Times hosted by Val Zavala (underwritten by The Whittier Foundation, Jim & Anne Rothenberg, QueensCare, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Boeing, and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department). Huell Howser's California's Gold is produced at the KCET lot.
KCET also produced the weeknight talk show Tavis Smiley and a PBS science show, WIRED Science. A television program designed for care-givers, A Place of Our Own and its Spanish language equivalent, Los Niños en Su Casa are taped at the KCET studios, produced with a grant from BP.
KCET also produced California Connected, a television newsmagazine about various people, places and events throughout California, co-produced with KQED in San Francisco, KVIE in Sacramento, and KPBS in San Diego. This series ended its run in 2007 after five seasons.
On December 9, 2010, KCET announced its new program schedule without PBS affiliation in 2011. Programming included movies; travel, science, and drama programs, Britcoms and news programs, as the station maintains their relationship with program syndicators American Public Television and NETA, among others, which allow non-PBS stations to air their programming. Some of the programs that were announced and/or continued on the new lineup include Globe Trekker, Rick Steves' Europe, Burt Wolf: Travels and Traditions, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, The McLaughlin Group, Inside Washington, BBC World News, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Visiting With Huell Howser, and KCET's newsmagazine, "SoCal Connected".
KCET's 2012 schedule includes, Open Call a weekly series showcasing arts and culture in Southern California hosted by opera singer Suzanna Guzmán; expansion of its interview program, LA Tonight with Roy Firestone; Your Turn to Care, a four-part documentary about caregivers hosted by Holly Robinson Peete; BBC crime drama Inspector George Gently; the British ITV dramedy, Doc Martin; and Classic Cool Theater, a showcase of classic films, cartoons and newsreels.
All KCET programs are produced in high definition and the station's main channel is transmitted in 720p.
|28.1||720p||16:9||KCET-HD||Main KCET programming|
|28.2||480i||4:3||KCET-KF||KCET Kids and Family|
For its first seven years on digital TV, the majority of the programming on KCET's high definition subchannel 28.1 (outside of most primetime shows) was different from the main signal on Channel 28 (which was initially operated on digital subchannel 28.2 and was later replaced with KCET Orange), as was with most other PBS stations with HDTV capabilities. With the arrival of new programming services from PBS and V-me (which airs on digital subchannel 28.3) in mid-2007, programming from the main signal was integrated into the HD subchannel to accommodate for space, while at the same time preserving the integrity and demand for quality HD programming. In August 2007, KCET began broadcasting PBS World under digital subchannel 28.4. World's lineup includes programming related to world culture, news and history.
On January 1, 2011, with the suspension of its active membership in PBS, 28.2 became "KCET Kids and Family" airing mostly children's programs, 28.3 remained V-me (which operates independently of PBS), and 28.4 began airing MHz Worldview. The former had 28.2 is KCET Orange and 28.4 is PBS World.
Other ventures and partnerships
One of KCET's multicast channels was digital subchannel network "KCET Orange", which aired on Channel 28.2 until the January 2011 PBS dismembership, and the majority of Southern California digital cable systems. The network aired programs like Life and Times, plus additional arts and cultural programming tailored to Orange County.
Another KCET digital cable channel was KCET Desert Cities, which was available for Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area until the January 2011 PBS dismembership. It was carried on Channel 218, and its programming schedule differed from the main Los Angeles signal.
In 2006, KCET established a partnership with California State University, Fullerton. The signature program offering resulting from the partnership was the public-affairs show "OC Insight", which aired through 2011 when the partnership ended. Students and faculty from the university's College of Communications were integral to the show's production. Jeffrey D. Cook, the university's chief communications officer, served as executive producer of OC Insight during the show's final two years of broadcast.
KCET offered their studio facilities to commercial productions to provide themselves an additional stream of revenue. They have been used mainly for the productions of the Game Show Network, including 2007's Camouflage and the 2010 revival of The Newlywed Game. KCET's studios also hosted the MTV game show webRIOT and the California Lottery's Saturday evening programs, The Big Spin and Make Me a Millionaire.
KCET utilizes several repeaters to extend its coverage:
|Call sign||Analog channel||Digital channel||City of License||Ownership||Notes|
|K16FC-D||no||16||San Luis Obispo||KCET||originally on channel 15 as K15BD, displaced for KSBY-DT|
|K26FT||no||26||Santa Barbara||KCET||Now K26FT-D since June 2009|
|K28GY||no||28||Santa Barbara, etc.||KCET|
|K14AT-D||14||no||China Lake, etc.||Indian Wells Valley TV Booster|
|K31JM-D||no||31 (soon)||China Lake, etc.||Indian Wells Valley TV Booster||currently holds a construction permit|
|K51DD-D||no||51||Ridgecrest||Indian Wells Valley TV Booster|
|K46HT||46||no||Daggett, etc.||County of San Bernardino|
|K48EM||48||no||Morongo Valley||County of San Bernardino|
On February 4, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined KCET $10,000 for failure to make its public file available for inspection by the general public. The fine stemmed from an incident on August 19, 2010, when an FCC agent, not identifying himself as such, told the security guard on duty that he would like to see the public file; the guard denied him access, as he was told that he would need to make an appointment. A return visit the following day (August 20) gave the same results. It wasn't until another visit that day that the agent was able to see the public file, but only after identifying himself as an FCC agent. According to the FCC document, the Executive Assistant for KCET explained that "the General Counsel of Station KCET was not in the office during those two days and that she did not know the exact organizational rules regarding public access to the station's public inspection file." The Security Supervisor also said that he was just following the station's security procedures. The FCC later levied the fine, citing that while security delays are reasonable, the fact that the examiner was unable to see the public file without an appointment and without identifying himself as an FCC agent led to the fine.
- Collins, Scott (October 8, 2010). "Los Angeles PBS affiliate KCET exits network fold to go independent". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Larsen, Peter (October 8, 2010). "KOCE takes over as top PBS station after KCET cuts ties with network". The Orange County Register. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Collins, Scott (October 17, 2012). "KCET announces merger with satellite network Link TV". Los Angeles Times.
- "Telecasting Yearbook 1954-55" (PDF). Broadcasting Telecasting: 64. 1954. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Bava, Gordon. "Rethinking public television in Southern California and the new KCET". KCET. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- Vincent, Roger; Collins, Scott (March 30, 2011). "KCET-TV said to be in talks to sell landmark studio to Church of Scientology". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- Collins, Scott (February 9, 2012). "Funding down 41% at KCET". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Church of Scientology Acquires Hollywood Studio Facility" (Press release). PRWeb. April 25, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "KCET Sells Production Studios To Church Of Scientology". CBS Los Angeles. April 25, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Alumia, Angelica (October 17, 2012). "KCET & Link Media Announce Merger Establishing an Innovative Model for Public Television" (Press release). KCET. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Williams, Cathy (December 9, 2010). "KCET Announces New Program Schedule" (Press release). KCET. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- "SoCal Connected". KCET. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE: In the Matter of Community Television of Southern California, Licensee of Noncommercial Educational TV Station KCET, Los Angeles, California, Facility ID. No. 13058". Federal Communications Commission. February 4, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2013.