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Television

KCET announces merger with satellite network Link TV

KCET is writing the next chapter in its story: a merger with satellite network Link TV.

Formerly the Los Angeles area’s PBS flagship, KCET will merge with Link to form KCETLink, “a powerful new independent public transmedia company that acquires, produces and distributes provocative global programming targeted to a national audience across multiple media platforms,” according to a news release.

The new outlet will be available in 33 million U.S. homes through DirecTV and Dish Network, according to the companies. That’s not including the 5.6 million households that KCET already reaches in Southern California.

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Al Jerome, KCET’s chief executive, is to run the new entity, with Link’s president, Paul S. Mason, becoming chief strategy officer. The combined company will be headquartered in the Burbank high-rise where KCET already has offices and studio space.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“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.

KCET has struggled with fundraising and declining viewership since it left the PBS network at the end of 2010. The merger with Link offers the station a new opportunity to develop programming that will catch on with viewers nationwide.

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