KCET & Link Media Announce Merger Establishing an Innovative Model for Public Television

Combining state-of-the-art production, global programming and digital innovation for the next generation public media audience

LOS ANGELES AND SAN FRANCISCO, OCTOBER 17, 2012 -- KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station, and Link Media, an independent non-profit media company that operates the Link TV national satellite network and online international news portal, LinkNews (news.linktv.org), today announced a merger to create 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. 

The newly-formed company will be available in 33 million households via DIRECTV and DISH Network and 5.6 million households on KCET in Southern California, the nation's 2nd largest television market.  On TV, web and mobile platforms, KCETLink will offer viewers more direct access than ever before to high-quality culturally diverse content.   


KCETLink will be led by Al Jerome as Chief Executive Officer, with Link TV's CEO and President, Paul S. Mason, becoming Chief Strategy Officer based in Los Angeles. The company will be headquartered in KCET's new state-of-the-art production facility in Burbank, CA, where it will tap into the diversified, creative community on the west coast as a go-to, one-stop source for producers whose mission is to create high-caliber programming.

"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," said Al Jerome, President and CEO of KCET.

"This is more than just a merger of two organizations, but an enormous opportunity to reinvent the value and purpose of 'independent media' as a vitally important source of cultural ideas, global connectivity and diverse perspectives in the U.S.," said Paul S. Mason, President and CEO of Link TV, and an Emmy-Award-winning veteran of ABC News.

Link Media, which harnesses the latest technology to engage a next generation audience with breaking news from across the globe, will join KCET's award-winning digital media team to focus on developing new technology and programming for web and mobile, such as an upcoming app that curates world news videos for the iPad and Google TV.

United by a shared mission to bring powerful stories and media to diverse audiences, the new KCETLink will be a single organization supporting two distinct brands.  Link TV will continue to serve audiences via DIRECTV and DISH Network, providing a wide array of rich, culturally focused programs that inspire, inform and engage audiences with the world around them.  Hits include the internationally award-winning drama series Borgen, which airs in the U.S. exclusively on Link TV.  The Daily Beast calls Borgen "The best political show ever," and The New York Times calls it "one of the best shows on American television."

Beginning Jan.1, LinkTV programming will be available on one of KCET's three digital multi-cast channels in the Southern California market, providing viewers in the 11 counties of the Los Angeles market with access to Link TV's news, documentaries and music from around the world. In addition, LinkAsia, a unique half-hour program combining state news from Asia with trends and commentary bubbling up through social media, will be added to KCET's current international news broadcast schedule.

KCET's primary channel will continue to air its own locally produced and acquired programs that explore the people, places and topics that are relevant to the vibrant region of California that it remains committed to serving.  Viewers will still be able to watch their favorite original and acquired programs on KCET's schedule, including Doc Martin, Foyle's War, Primeval, Open Call, Huell Howser and SoCal Connected.


About KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time nightly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.


About Link Media & Link TV

Link Media uses media and the power of stories to engage, inform and inspire its audiences to participate in transformational, sustainable change on issues of global importance. Founded in 1999, Link Media operates the Link TV national network and the websites LinkTV.org, LinkNews and ViewChange.org. An independent and non-commercial media company, Link Media acquires, produces and delivers global news, documentaries and cultural programming over three distribution channels: broadcast, Web and mobile devices.

Link TV is available as basic service on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410, reaching more than 33 million US households. Select Link TV programming also airs on 220 cable outlets, including in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, reaching an additional 22 million homes. Link also streams much of its content online at LinkTV.org. For complete background information, program schedule and Internet streaming, go to LinkTV.org. Follow on Twitter @linktv, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/linktv.




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