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After 40 years, KCET is abandoning leadership of public television in Southern California, cutting ties with the Public Broadcasting System. Sesame Street, Nova, Masterpiece Theater and The NewsHour might — or might not -- be available some place else.  Also, the ongoing state budget crisis and two ballot propositions that could make it better -- or not. We also hear about the race for Lieutenant Governor, a boring job with two interesting candidates. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, what's now called "Obama's War" features three allies with different objectives. We hear about the conflicting interests of the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the conflict with the Taliban.

Banner image: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a press conference in Fresno to discuss the passing of the budget, October 8, 2010

Making News KCET Cuts Ties to PBS 11 MIN, 19 SEC

Last August, the management told the LA Times that, despite cutbacks and budget reductions, financial pressure might require KCET to combine forces with other public TV stations, sell out all together or, as a last resort, withdraw from the Public Broadcasting System. The "nuclear option" has come to be. KCET will go independent on the first of January next year. No more Nova, Frontline, Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater or The NewsHour. The news broke last Friday, and viewers have had time to react. President and Chief Executive Office Al Jerome made the call, with unanimous consent from the Board of Directors.

Al Jerome, President and CEO, KCET
Scott Collins, Television Reporter, Los Angeles Times

Main Topic State Budget Fixes Don't Fix Anything 7 MIN, 8 SEC

Last week, after the longest unconstitutional delay in state history, the legislature passed another budget that nobody likes, once again kicking most of the $19 billion deficit to the next legislature and whoever is elected Governor. Joe Mathews, fellow at the new America Foundation and coauthor of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It, has more on the passing the buck on the budget and on two supposed reforms on next month's ballot, Propositions 25 and 26.

Joe Mathews, Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" (@joemmathews)

California Crackup

Joe Mathews

Reporter's Notebook Lieutenant Governor Candidates More Interesting than the Office 6 MIN, 46 SEC

California's Lieutenant Governor takes over when the Governor leaves the state or becomes disabled. He or she also breaks tie votes in the State Senate and serves on a number of boards and commissions. Historically, most lieutenant governors have spent their time campaigning for higher office. This year, the Democratic and Republican candidates are San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the incumbent, Abel Maldonado, who was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger when John Garamendi was elected to Congress.  Lisa Leff reports from San Francisco for the Associated Press.

Lisa Leff, Associated Press (@scoopscout)

Main Topic Obama's War: Is there Any Way to Make Progress? 27 MIN, 35 SEC

NATO and Afghan forces claim they killed a senior Taliban commander today, Hamid Karzai picked a former President of his country to chair a peace council that's reaching out to the Taliban, Pakistan says it's re-opening a border crossing into Afghanistan.

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist
Zalmay Khalilzad, former diplomat (@realZalmayMK)
Alissa Johannsen Rubin, New York Times (@alissanyt)
Zahid Hussain, Journalist, Wall Street Journal and London Times

The Scorpion's Tail

Zahid Hussain

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