As it approaches the midpoint in its fiscal year, KCET-TV Channel 28 says its budget projection is essentially on target, despite a drop in December on-air pledge revenue for the third year in a row.
During a 15-day drive that ended Wednesday, Los Angeles' largest public-television station brought in $814,590 in pledges from 12,856 subscribers--contrasted with $836,788 from 16,327 subscribers a year ago.
Barbara Goen, KCET's vice president for public information, blamed the Southern California economy for the decline in contributions. But the station remains on budget, she said, because of "larger gifts from major donors" separate from the pledge drive. The station has "absolutely no reason to anticipate" any cutbacks, Goen said.
Altogether, about $17 million of KCET's $40.3-million budget for the fiscal year that began last July is expected to come from subscriptions and contributions of so-called "unrestricted" money--that is, money not geared toward specific programs or projects. Other revenues come from specific grants, government agencies and the rental of the station facility in Hollywood.
The four annual pledge drives accounted for $3.8 million in station income during the last fiscal year. In the first two of this year, August and December, KCET has raised $1.6 million. At this point last year, $1.7 million had been raised.
In Orange County, meanwhile, KOCE-TV Channel 50 broke the record for its annual winter fund drive. The public-television station raised $168,158 during an 11-day campaign that ended last Sunday, bringing its total fund-raising for the year to $579,961. (Last year's winter drive brought in $127,498; the total for the year was $480,602.)
Station manager Robert C. Moffett attributed the marked increase to popular programming and to an increased audience, the result of a more powerful transmitter installed in 1991. KOCE's annual operating budget is $4.7 million.
Times staff writer Zan Dubin contributed to this article.