The diocese is taking a serious look at whether it is cost-efficient to continue to provide the $1.2 million operating budget to the TV station or go to different forms of delivering video.
As the first step in a possible switch, the TV station has been listed with a broker at an asking price of $2.5 million.
Colin Dougherty, KNXT general manager, said listing the TV station with a broker is a way of “looking to the future and to see what the feedback will be.” For now, the station is operating as usual.
Diocese Chancellor Teresa Dominguez said the diocese is not in financial trouble. It provides 98 percent of the KNXT budget, with the rest coming from a telethon and fundraising dinner.
Dominguez said listing the TV station with a broker is part of a larger plan to restructure and develop a comprehensive Office of Communications. In addition to the diocesan newspaper, website and various forms of social media, the diocese will continue video production. It’s how that video will be delivered that’s the big question. There is no timeline for making changes, Dominguez said.
Should KNXT be sold, the next owners will have to either broadcast more faith-based programming or use it for educational purposes because it has a noncommercial license with the Federal Communications Commission. Once a license is designated to be noncommercial, it can never be changed.
“This means the station can’t go on the open market,” Dougherty said.
KNXT, the only full-power Catholic TV station offering programming 24 hours a day, has been broadcasting a combination of Sunday Mass, talk shows, The Rosary, music and a variety of other programs targeting Catholic viewers. The station celebrated its 30th anniversary on Nov. 2, 2016.
The station’s signal is also broadcast on Channel 38 in Bakersfield. Through the two signals, KNXT reaches seven counties.