A Proud History of News, Part 3 -- 'California Connected' and 'SoCal Connected'

KCET is celebrating its 50th anniversary year with a series of stories, reflections, and flashbacks, like this throwback below. For more and to participate in our next 50 years, join us at kcet.org/50.

David Brancaccio, the original host of 'California Connected' | 2002

"California Connected"
In 2002, KCET launched "California Connected." We were a part of four-California station consortium, and David Brancaccio and later Lisa McRee hosted. The show contained stories from every corner of California and was seen statewide on 12 public television stations.

My son, who was a preteen at the time, adored the show, especially its host David Brancaccio. He would sit by the TV watching and when election time rolled around, who knew the most about the issues facing our state in my house? It was, by far, my young son. I told Marly Klaus, the executive producer, about that and it was probably her happiest feedback ever.

Bret Marcus took over "California Connected" in its last years, continuing the award-winning journalism that the show was known for, but eventually the funding dried up in its fifth year.

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"SoCal Connected"
Marcus combined "California Connected" with "Life & Times," and this new show was christened "SoCal Connected" -- a new name, but the same award=winning journalism coming from our news team.

Madeline Brand & Val Zavala | SoCal Connected 2012

SoCal Connected went through several changes over the years. The last one was a grand experiment, where we were once again a daily presence in your homes.

Val Zavala and Madeline Brand were the co-hosts, and they did a fabulous job showcasing the good and the bad in Los Angeles. One of the interesting additions that Madeline Brand brought to the table were her interviews with people. It was similar to what she did on her radio show.

Now it is time to bring us up to date. It has been a year since we have had a news presence. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ahmanson Foundation, we are currently gearing up for our 6th season of "SoCal Connected."

SoCal Connected Logo

Once again, we will have a new look and the show will be compiled from segments that we shoot in the field and then assemble into a seamless whole. Reporters and staff have been hired, and we will continue to strive to bring our best to Southern California.

Val Zavala is in charge of it all.

It will be airing on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. Starting on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Do check it out.

That ends my three-part series on our news shows over the decades. If you missed either of them, you can check out part 1 and part 2.

This is another in a series of posts where Cathy Bower, KCET's Broadcast Operations Coordinator, looks back at some interesting moments and events during the station's 50 years on the air. Read more entries here.

About the Author

I am a Broadcaster by day and a blogger by night. I love to paint, cook and travel with my family. I am also the owner of a rescued cat, who rules our lives.
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