Two television stations that have been competing for the same viewers in the country’s second-largest market announced plans today to merge.
“After clawing for seven years over the same turf, Southern California’s two large public television stations — KCET and KOCE — are merging to become a stronger voice in local broadcasting,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “The consolidation, announced Wednesday, will bring together two nonprofit organizations with separate strengths and programming philosophies. KCETLink Media Group, which runs the Los Angeles station, has long enjoyed a prominent profile in the community, but its 2010 decision to sever ties with the national Public Broadcasting Service proved to be a costly blunder.
“Orange County’s KOCE-TV picked up the PBS affiliation and its award-winning programming and branded itself as PBS SoCal. But over the years, it too has struggled to win acceptance and prime channel locations from pay-TV operators that would enhance its exposure and fundraising might. Both stations have been hampered by lingering confusion in the market about their roles and programming.”
Dick Cook, chairman of the KCET board, will become chairman of the combined organization when the deal closes this summer.
The Times quotes Cook saying: “This merger has been in the works for many, many years. There is a time and a place for everything, and this is the time, the right moment, for these two great institutions to come together.”
Please click here to read the full announcement from KCET and KOCE.