Saturday, July 01, 2017

It's the end of an era: Channel 18 cancels international format that served generations of L.A. immigrants

The L.A. Times reports:
For more than 30 years, Channel 18 served as a TV United Nations in a city of immigrants desperate for programming in their own languages. The station broadcast an eclectic mix of shows that covered news and topics such as music, sports, travel and religion.

At various times, it offered content in 14 Asian languages, including Japanese, Vietnamese and Tagalog, along with Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Hebrew, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Russian.

But this multiethnic quilt is coming to an end Saturday, when Channel 18 switches formats and begins broadcasting info commercials in English.

Officials have said little publicly about the reasons for the change. The station has struggled in recent years, filing for bankruptcy in 2012.

Experts also are quick to note that the types of programs Channel 18 offers are now commonly available on the Internet, cable TV and through video rentals.

In the past, KSCI “might have been the only place the audience could go to for certain type of Asian language entertainment,” said Lena Chao, professor of communication studies at Cal State L.A. “Now people can go to video bookstores and rent soap operas by the stacks.”
Making America great again : one English speaking station at a time.