End of the run for 'Life & Times'

graphicI missed this in the news last week. Or rather, let's say it got way underplayed — just a brief buried in the LAT Calendar section. The news is that KCET has decided to drop "Life & Times," its self-described "signature news and public affairs series," after sixteen years. That will leave the local PBS station with no daily local news presence. The show's format has changed much through the years — remember Jess Marlow, Hugh Hewitt and Patt Morrison? — but it's still the only English-language show doing in-depth local reports and features. The show has won 22 local Emmy's and 25 Golden Mike awards. The end of the line is not even really acknowledged in a press release announcing the launch in winter 2008 of a weekly replacement tentatively called "SoCal Connected." Looks as if KCET still has hopes for the California Connected concept that was dropped last December. Bret Marcus of "CC" and Val Zavala, anchor of "Life & Times," will be involved in the new show. How's this for PBS-speak:

KCET President and CEO Al Jerome: “Southern California continues to gain in regional, statewide and national importance. SoCal Connected (w.t.) will be a significant force in identifying regional differences, as well as stressing the commonalities in the communities that make up this dynamic region.”

Check out the Life & Times website and staff-written blog. L&T airs at 7 pm weeknights on KCET.

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