Roger Ebert premiere fades to black for some KCET viewers after mysterious cable glitch


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Some Los Angeles-area cable customers have been left in the lurch after KCET-TV suddenly disappeared from their channel lineups.

A number of subscribers of Time Warner Cable have written The Times to complain that they lost service to the former PBS outlet late last week. KCET has in recent weeks unfurled an almost entirely new lineup, consisting of such shows as ‘Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies,’ which premiered this weekend.


However, a top KCET executive said that the disruption stems from a temporary glitch.

Time Warner was slated to convert KCET to an all-digital signal on Thursday, according to longtime station programming chief Mare Mazur. The switch ‘should not have affected any subscribers with digital boxes, which according to Time Warner represents about 90% of their customers,’ Mazur wrote in an e-mail.

But the next day, she added, KCET began hearing from viewers who couldn’t get the station. The outlet has since been working with Time Warner to try to resolve the situation. ‘I can only guess that there was a snag in some areas during the implementation,’ Mazur wrote.

A representative for Time Warner Cable could not immediately be reached.

Earlier this month, KCET became the largest independent public station in the country after it left PBS after months of disputes over dues and other issues. KCET dropped familiar PBS shows such as ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Charlie Rose,’ substituting a new lineup that also includes Japanese and Canadian news and documentaries.

The Time Warner glitch will not help KCET’s ratings, which have plummeted since it lost the familiar PBS lineup.

-Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)