Los Angeles Business Journal

KCET to Merge with Bay Area Public TV Group

By Jonathan Polakoff Originally published October 17, 2012 at 1:52 p.m., updated October 17, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.

Burbank’s KCET (Channel 28) announced Wednesday that it will merge with LinkTV, a public television satellite network based in San Francisco.

The deal creates a combined entity called KCETLink that will acquire, produce and distribute programs. It will be headquartered in Burbank and run by KCET Chief Executive Al Jerome.

KCETLink’s programming will be available on LinkTV’s 33 million households, DirecTV, Dish Network and KCET’s 5.6 million households in Southern California.

KCET was for decades the West Coast flagship station for PBS, but severed ties with the network two years ago, losing programming from the national network, and has been producing and acquiring more local content.

The merger makes LinkTV’s content available on one of KCET’s digital channels beginning Jan. 1. For example, LinkTV’s half-hour news show, “LinkAsia,” will be shown on one of KCET’s three digital channels. LinkTV’s programming also includes “Borgen,” a one-hour Danish political drama series. KCET will continue to air much of its local programming.

KCETLink also plans to develop digital media to deliver news to younger audiences, such as a forthcoming mobile app that will curate world news videos for the iPad and Google TV.

“With our combined resources, we are taking a bold step forward to become architects of a new sustainable model for the industry to keep public media thriving as a vital resource in the digital age,” Jerome said in a statement.