station's operating budget, KOCE spokeswoman Erin Cohn said.
The road for the struggling station has taken several twists and
turns over the past seven months, since the station was first placed
on the market.
Half of the original 10 bidders have dropped out, leaving the
station with five interested buyers, four of which are religious
broadcasters. The other is the KOCE Foundation, a nonprofit group
dedicated to keeping the station's educational programming and local
news coverage on the air.
The KOCE Foundation pulled out of a joint bid with L.A.-based
KCET-TV last week, citing time constraints as its reason for the
A group of business executives announced Wednesday that they will
provide needed funding to ensure that KOCE's bid doesn't drop, now
that the partnership has dissolved. The business leaders include
Dwight Decker, CEO of Conexant Systems, Inc., Matt Massengill, CEO of
Western Digital Corp., David E.I. Pyott, CEO of Allergan, Inc., Henry
Samueli, chief technical officer of Broadcom Corporation and John Tu,
CEO of Kingston Technology Company Inc.
"If KCET stayed in, they'd bring certain financial strengths and
coordination, and we'd be using their equipment and personnel and
that might save money," Coast Community College district board member
Jerry Patterson said.
Dissolving that partnership, however, strengthened the
foundation's bid, Patterson said.With overlapping coverage areas, the
chance for competition between the two networks could have easily
weakened their ability to function as a team.
Another bidder, Trinity Broadcasting Network, the nation's largest
religious broadcasting conglomerate, announced its support for
keeping the station a PBS affiliate.A PBS station that runs
educational programming and local news would benefit the area more
than another Christian broadcasting channel, spokesman John Casoria
said. Trinity Broadcasting News already owns channel 40, which airs
in Orange County.
"We are very much attuned to what the people of Orange County see
as value," Casoria said. "And clearly, the people of Orange County
see KOCE as being an institution which is worthy of support."