KEET, KIXE in California trying collaboration; each has trouble with NFFS minimums

By Dru Sefton

KEET-TV in Eureka, Calif., could lose its Community Service Grant as soon as September because it is not reaching its minimum non-federal financial support requirement, reports the local North Coast Journal in Humboldt County.

Executive Director Ron Schoenherr told the newspaper that KEET has never raised its NFFS minimum of $800,000, in its 44 years of broadcasting. KEET has received waivers based on its rural location and limited resources until CPB policies tightened in 2010.

In a letter to the station last fall, CPB told KEET it must show by June 30 that “it has significantly improved its long-term financial sustainability through a merger, consolidation, or collaboration.”

In April, KEET’s board of directors passed a resolution to collaborate with KIXE in Redding; that station’s board approved a similar resolution in May. But KIXE is having tough times itself: It also fell short of its $800,000 minimum by $13,000 this year, the first time the station has failed to meet its NFFS requirement since 1964, said KIXE G.M. Mike Lampella.

In July 2012, CPB estimated that 10 or more stations could lose CSGs due to unmet NFFS requirements. Mark Erstling, CPB’s head of system development, at that time said that CPB was “in close communications with the stations’ boards and management,” and conducting detailed financial and management analyses.

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