said Mel Rogers, president of the station located at Golden West
One of the bidders, Community Educational Television Inc. is
affiliated with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which claims to be
the world's largest Christian television network. Other religious
bidders are a Spanish Christian station called Almavision Hispanic
Network and LeSEA Broadcasting Corp., a Christian broadcasting
network based in South Bend, Ind.
Other prospective buyers are fellow PBS stations, Hollywood-based
KCET-TV and San Diego-based KPBS-TV, and the KOCE-TV Foundation, a
nonprofit organization that exists to raise and spend money on behalf
of the station.
Orange County developer Frank Jao, creator of Westminster's Asian
Garden Mall put in a bid and Hunter Wise Financial Group put in a bid
for a private investor.
The source of the remaining two bidders, Community Television
Educators of Orange County and Orange County Public Television
Foundation are unknown.
Coast Community College District's board of trustees opted to
postpone discussions of the bids at its Friday meeting, as one member
was out because of a family illness.
KOCE-TV has been the only source of local TV news coverage in the
county since the Orange County News Channel went under two years ago.
But faced with budget constraints, the college district is no longer
able to shoulder its $2 million of the station's $7.9 million annual
budget, which it has been subsidizing.
This, compounded with the station's costly conversion to digital
programming, underscores KOCE's need for another funding source.
District officials are faced with some tough decisions, trustee
Jerry Patterson said.
"Do we want to sell it to the highest bidder, or do we want to
sell it to the best one that will retain the status of a PBS
qualified station?" Patterson asked. "We're faced with 10 bids, and
not all are PBS qualified. It raises the questions, will we sell to a
non-PBS qualified station, and does Orange County need an educational
Education has always been central to KOCE's mission. KOCE has such