What can the largest independent public broadcasting station do to raise some cash? Well, since donations ran dry and ratings plunged for Southern California's KCET since the member station severed ties with PBS over a bitter dues dispute, the outlet has had few good options. Now, KCET has decided to sell its nearly 100 year old studio lot and the Church of Scientology is emerging as the leading bidder.
According to The Los Angeles Times, who cites anonymous people familiar with the deal, the station is "in talks" to sell off the $14 million dollar studio to the Church of Scientology. The church's main Los Angeles headquarters is just a few blocks away and already owns quite a few buildings in the neighborhood. The KCET studio was established in 1912 and formerly housed Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists. Nothing's said, though about why or what the Church plans to do if/when they purchase the KCET lot.
Apparently this is what happens when you stop regularly airing PBS shows Sesame Street, Frontline and Masterpiece Theater in favor of documentaries and other original programming. For those nostalgic, via LA Observed, a "morning stroll" through KCET's time-worn red brick lot. Worth a look: