Kulczycki tops prod’n at KCET

In a major overhaul, pubcaster KCET has put all of its programming and production units under the direction of senior programming veepee and station manager Stephen Kulczycki.

The exec has overseen the broadcast and local production areas since he arrived at the station in 1983. More recently, he has supervised KCET’s pledge drives.

Under his new duties, Kulczycki will administer local, national and international productions.

In conjunction with the restructuring, KCET announced that 11-year station vet Phyllis Geller has ankled her post as senior VP of national productions.

Geller will continue to work with KCET on a part-time basis as an exec producer on the theatrical film “Roosters” for “American Playhouse.” She also will consult on national productions, including a 1995 pre-school production titled “The Puzzle Factory.”

No positions were eliminated as a result of the restructuring, but KCET was forced to trim eight positions when it recently drafted its roughly $ 40 million annual budget, according to KCET prez William Kobin. The cuts were likely the result of a $ 1 million shortfall because of a reduction in donations.

The station is interviewing several of the pinkslipped individuals for other positions that have been frozen, which he said could reduce the overall number.

Senior VP David Crippens, who has overseen production for the station’s educational enterprises division, will now report to Kulczycki on programming matters and to Kobin on all other educational activities.

The changes are designed “to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness in this tough decade,” Kobin said Friday.

By putting all production and programming under a single individual, Kobin hopes to strengthen the station’s production capability, expand its role in education and increase fund-raising opportunities.

“A centralized programming (and) production center will … more efficiently utilize our talented creative and technical people,” he said. “It will result in a single, cohesive overall production strategy for the future in an era of increasing choice for viewers, scarce resources and growing competition.

“It will ultimately be more cost-effective at a time that demands that we spend prudently. And it will enable me to more effectively balance my time between our production goals, our education emphasis and our community service.”

The restructuring will result in exec VP Donald Youpa expanding his duties to include human resources, engineering and operations as well as facilities services. He will continue to oversee the station’s administrative and development divisions.

KCET also has created a unit that will emphasize the development of new programming for children under director Patricia Kunkel. The station will put an expanded emphasis on educational projects, including an interactive media center.

The restructuring culminates a lengthy process in which Kobin met with an outside consultant, the station’s board of directors and other pubcasters.

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