COSTA MESA — KOCE-TV, the Orange County public TV station that has operated for nearly four decades at Golden West College, will change its name along with its address and programs when it becomes Southern California’s prime PBS station.
Effective Jan. 1, the station will be known as PBS SoCal and broadcast both local and national PBS programs around the Southland. The station recently announced that it had taken over the role of full-service provider for the region after Los Angeles-based KCET opted to split from PBS.
PBS SoCal, which has announced plans to move from Huntington Beach to a new headquarters in Costa Mesa, will broadcast to Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties and the city of Santa Barbara.
In addition to Orange County staples like “Real Orange” and “Inside OC with Rick Reiff,” the station will offer “NewsHour,” “American Masters,” “Tavis Smiley,” “Frontline,” “Masterpiece Theatre” and other national shows.
President and Chief Executive Mel Rogers said that despite the station’s new regional role, he still wanted to make it a definitive source of Orange County programming.
“This is our home here, and we have affection for it,” he said. “We have always felt the electronic media in L.A. tended to ignore issues and events in Orange County. We tend to get good coverage down here for crimes and mass murders and police chases once in a while, but I feel strongly that what we can do as we serve the market broadly is even better, because we will be a station that serves Orange County.”
Rogers noted that despite the extensive new lineup, no Orange County-based programs will be cut. To make room, the station will revert to a tighter schedule.
“On KOCE, we used to repeat those shows quite a bit, and some of those repeats will be going away,” Rogers said.
The station launched a new website Thursday morning, https://www.pbssocal.org, that contains programming and other information.