KCET

KCET's President and CEO Al Jerome, center, during ribbon cutting ceremony at the station's new location at The Pointe in Burbank. (Raul Roa/Staff photographer / April 27, 2012)

Times are tough for KCET-TV.

The former PBS outlet announced Friday that it would lay off 22 employees, or nearly one-fifth of its staff, as it completes a merger with the Bay Area satellite provider Link Media.

Now called KCETLink, the Burbank-based nonprofit entity is scrambling to reposition itself as a "transmedia" company that provides content to mobile devices and other platforms as well as televisions. The company has hired a well known PR firm, Rogers & Cowan, to help manage its image during the transition. 

The harsh belt-tightening has been dictated by poor financial results. According to the most recent audited statements, KCET lost $7.4 million during the fiscal year ending June 2012 and had only about $80,000 cash on hand. The station finished the previous year with $1.5 million in cash in the bank.

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-- Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times