Mahony confirms he has ended boycott of KCET

Citing the “confusion” that arose after the Los Angeles Archdiocese lifted its boycott of KCET earlier this week (Daily Variety, Dec. 2), Cardinal Roger Mahony yesterday reaffirmed an agreement settling more than a year of differences with the pubcaster.

The boycott began after the September 1991 airing of the docu “Stop the Church” on KCET.

PBS had refused to carry the program because it did not meet its broadcasting standards regarding quality and fairness.

A new controversy arose after Mahony reinstated his KCET membership and urged others to do the same. He took the action after the station changed its program policy to follow PBS’ broadcast standards.

Mahony insisted the station would not have carried the docu, which he considered anti-Catholic, under its new guidelines. KCET said it might still be able to air it.

The issue of whether KCET would or would not re-broadcast the docu “Stop the Church” is “academic” since the station “never considered re-broadcasting the program.”

KCET has said it will make its programming decisions on a program-by-program basis, judging each on its individual merits and against its program policy statement.

Based on the policy statement “and personal assurances from highest levels of management at KCET, I became (confident) that sensitivities of the Catholic community … would be appropriately considered in future programming,” he said.

“Despite some confusion following this week’s announcement, I am convinced that nothing has changed. (KCET’s board members and management) are all people of utmost dedication and the highest integrity. Our agreement stands. … We believe the word of KCET’s leadership.”

KCET declined to comment on Mahony’s latest statement.

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