Budget problems have forced KCSM-TV San Mateo CA to sever its relationship with PBS, costing it access to primetime programming but saving it $400K. Other cuts will impact the station and its radio sister, KCSM-FM. The stations are licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the stations, part of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose DMA, are scrambling to make ends meet, in part because of financial problems afflicting the state of California.
Along with exiting from PBS, SMCCCD is laying off five television staffers and one radio station employee.
It plans to replace the PBS fare with various non-commercial programs provided by independent producers and organizations.
Looking forward, the station is hoping to raise between $750K-$1.3M annually by leasing HD side channels, and is also exploring the possibility of selling the stations.
RBR/TVBR observation: With the state government unable to provide much help, the television and perhaps the radio station are taking a chance making serious changes to their program lineup –individuals and underwriters who help support the station will be even more important, and the changes will have to be acceptable to them.