Southern California’s Main PBS Outlets Rebranding; KCET Gets New Name After 60 Years

Southern California’s flagship PBS station is getting a rebrand. PBS SoCal, which merged with KCET a half-decade ago, said today that it will consolidate both brands under the PBS SoCal name starting February 6.

It’s the end of the road for the region’s venerable KCET brand, which launched in September 1964. But the programming its viewers are used to seeing will not change, and the KCET broadcast call letters will continue to be referenced during FCC-mandated station ID breaks.

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Billing the move as a brand simplification, PBS SoCal said it’s aimed at creating more efficiency and better awareness and to enhance engagement across digital streaming platforms, social media, educational curricula and in-person events.

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“This change ensures we are following what the community has requested and aligns the local flagship organization with the trusted values and brand strength associated with the PBS name,” said Dan Ferguson, SVP Marketing and Communications at PBS SoCal.

PBS SoCal, which already has consolidated the PBS SoCal and KCET websites under that name, said it remains committed to its mission of providing high-quality, enriching content that is available anytime and anywhere for free.

“PBS SoCal and KCET merged in 2018, and since then, we have grown into a strong public media entity serving Southern California that reflects the diversity of our region and provides a full schedule of beloved and trusted PBS programs,” PBS SoCal President and CEO Andrew Russell said in a statement. “Our honored tradition, built by KCET, of producing original, thoughtful and inspiring content around the arts, local culture, environment, news and public affairs remains core to our deep commitment of serving our community with high-quality public media.”

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Over-the-air, local viewers will continue to be able to watch PBS SoCal Plus programming on 28.1, while PBS SoCal viewers will continue on 50.1. Cable and satellite carriers will host PBS SoCal Plus content on the same channels that carried KCET.

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