KCET is in negotiations to sell its Sunset Boulevard studios to the Church of Scientology, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Real estate brokers tell the newspaper that the station plans to move to a smaller location, and officials have been touring potential sites. The historic 4.5 acre site has been assessed at $14.1 million. Both KCET and Scientology officials declined comment to the paper.
KCET's lot is at 4401 W. Sunset Blvd.; the Church of Scientology Los Angeles is four blocks away, at 4810.
Meanwhile, LA Weekly's Media blog quotes a KCET insider as saying that its top execs are "going to leave the station burning and destroyed and walk away with money falling out of their pockets ... It's a scandal ... They only thing they're not dismantling is their own salaries ... this is really sad."
KCET dropped its PBS membership as of Jan. 1, in a dispute with the network over dues and overlap issues, and is now the largest independent pubTV station in the country. It continues to struggle with sinking ratings and fundraising numbers.