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KCSM drops PBS, lays off six employees

Neil Gonzales of the San Mateo County Times reports that KCSM (43.1 digital, cable 17) has dropped its PBS affiliation and has laid off six staffers to avoid being sold.

PBS cost KCSM $400,000 a year.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to get it out of the red,” said Karen Schwarz, board president for the San Mateo County Community College District, which owns the license to the KCSM public television and radio stations.

KCSM will no longer air shows such as “American Experience,” “NOVA” or “Frontline,” but KQED 9 was airing them anyway. KCSM will still air shows on cooking, home-improvement and other subjects from organizations that distribute noncommercial programming, Schwarz said.

Lawrence told Gonzales that the cutbacks also include the loss of six positions from accounting to producing — five on the television side and one in radio.

KCSM also plans to lease some of its multi-channels, Lawrence said.

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