Public television station KCET-TV in Burbank will merge with LinkTV, a San Francisco satellite TV network, to form a new company.
The merged company, to be called KCETLink, will acquire, produce and distribute programs. It will be headquartered in KCET’s Burbank offices and run by KCET Chief Executive Al Jerome.
KCET was long the West Coast flagship of PBS, but severed ties with the network two years ago over a financial dispute, losing programming from the national network. It has since been producing and acquiring more local content.
The merger makes LinkTV’s content available on one of KCET’s digital channels beginning Jan. 1. LinkTV’s programming includes the half-hour news show “LinkAsia” and “Borgen,” a one-hour Danish political drama series. KCET will continue to air its own local programming.
KCETLink plans to develop digital media to deliver news to younger audiences, including a mobile app for the iPad.
“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.
Paul Mason, chief executive at Link, will become KCETLink’s chief strategy officer in Burbank.
KCETLink’s programming will be available on KCET Channel 28 and LinkTV’s 33 million households, as well as on DirecTV and the Dish Network. KCET has a viewership of about 5.6 million households in Southern California.