KCET-TV's landmark studio lot has officially been sold to the Church of Scientology, which apparently needs more production space for video and satellite content. The news of an impending deal for the nearly 100 year-old lot was first reported last month, when the Los Angeles Times cited sources saying that the Church was in serious talks to land the property.
KCET is now the largest independent public television station in the U.S., after it severed ties with PBS over a bitter dues dispute. The transition has been anything but easy: the station's ratings have plunged and donations have slowed as it switched out PBS shows Sesame Street, Frontline and Masterpiece Theater in favor of documentaries and original programming.The Church of Scientology nabbed the 300,000 square foot studio from the station for an undisclosed sum (the LA Times noted that the assessed value of the lot was $14.1 million). And they'll be using the production facilities to create their own branded content that will be beamed throughout the world via the property's existing satellite uplink, noted The Hollywood Reporter. As for KCET, it will be moving to headquarters that are, according to its CEO, a "little bit smaller."