Tuesday, July 14, 2009

KCSM drops PBS, lays off six employees

Neil Gonzales of the San Mateo County Times reports that KCSM (43.1 digital, cable 17) has dropped its PBS affiliation and has laid off six staffers to avoid being sold.

PBS cost KCSM $400,000 a year.

"We're trying to do everything we can to get it out of the red," said Karen Schwarz, board president for the San Mateo County Community College District, which owns the license to the KCSM public television and radio stations.

KCSM will no longer air shows such as "American Experience," "NOVA" or "Frontline," but KQED 9 was airing them anyway. KCSM will still air shows on cooking, home-improvement and other subjects from organizations that distribute noncommercial programming, Schwarz said.

Lawrence told Gonzales that the cutbacks also include the loss of six positions from accounting to producing — five on the television side and one in radio.

KCSM also plans to lease some of its multi-channels, Lawrence said.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe these 'public' broadcasting stations would be better off if they produced their own shows rather than relied upon a network ... the problem with KQED is that it airs too many PBS shows and doesn't do enough local production ... and it's not as if we have high standards ... i'm fine with talking heads and amateur production values ... what i want is local people talking about things in my community ... HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT FOR KCSM?

John C. Baker said...

So KCSM drops PBS affiliation, leaving me with very little I care to watch and giving me even less inclination to contribute. Nice.

I can't even find the "French in Action" telecourse on KCSM anymore -- which was the only thing I watched on the channel (for its ridiculously silly plot and hot '80s French fashions. And Mirelle, sweet Mirelle.).