Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Kid's Channel Coming to KEET

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 12:58 PM

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Kids, adjust your rabbit ears. Local PBS affiliate KEET is planning to launch a new, 24-hour children’s programming channel this year.

The channel will feature PBS Kids shows, according to a press release, offering educational and entertaining programming outside of the classic kids-times — Saturday mornings and before and after school hours.

KEET General Manager Larry Ciecalone said adding the channel — likely to be 13.5 for digital antenna users — will cost the station about $100,000 for new equipment and computer programming. The station is simultaneously launching an online live stream of the channel, which will offer interactive opportunities for tuned-in kids.

While the press release described the channel as “localized,” Ciecalone said that simply means it will carry KEET branding. But, he said, the station’s 12 employees are looking at ways to incorporate locally produced children’s TV and already have classroom outreach programs and other community events.

Ciecalone said the new shows will give parents peace of mind. “It’s not just mindless stuff,” he said. “Kids can sit and watch and [parents won’t] worry about what they’re doing.”

From KEET:

Today, KEET TV announced that it will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s services later this year. Provided by KEET, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is KEET’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. KEET will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on an additional television channel and offer a live stream, making it easy for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties’ children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the KEET-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, tablets and over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org.

Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.

“KEET has been an integral part of the community for many years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,” said Larry Ciecalone, General Manager of KEET. “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for Humboldt and Del Norte families by adding these new 24/7 services to our offerings, ensuring that our proven educational content is accessible anytime and anywhere to all kids – especially those who need it the most.”

PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network.[i] With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, KEET will build on this reach and impact.

Through this effort, KEET will extend its commitment to early learning by offering more families high-quality PBS KIDS content that is trusted by parents and proven to help kids learn. In a recent survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids’ behavior, with 74% of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS.[ii] And years of research confirm that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement. A recent study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.[iii]

Designed to meet the needs of today’s kids, KEET’s new, free 24/7 services will provide learning opportunities for children whenever and wherever they access media. Nielsen data demonstrate that live TV is the dominant way children access video, accounting for 68% of the time children spend watching video content.[iv] Most kids’ TV viewing takes place on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings.[v] This trend is true for all children, but especially for those in low-income families.[vi]

The KEET PBS KIDS 24/7 channel will include popular favorites such as DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, ODD SQUAD, WILD KRATTS and DINOSAUR TRAIN, the new series NATURE CAT and READY JET GO!, which debuted February 15, and SPLASH (w.t.), a series from The Jim Henson Company that will premiere in fall 2016. KEET will provide the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel in addition to its current primary PBS channel, which will continue to feature a PBS KIDS day part. The schedule of children’s programming on KEET’s primary channel will be different from the 24/7 channel, offering families a variety of options.

The 24/7 PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of KEET’s long-term vision for its children’s service and will build on its reach and impact in the community, where it provides essential services for kids, parents and teachers. In the coming year, KEET will roll out a variety of additional initiatives designed to meet the needs of today’s children, including new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content, digital innovations and customizable tools for parents and caregivers. The new PBS KIDS channel will enhance the work we do with KEET’s Ready To Learn initiative.

About KEET PBS North Coast

Celebrating 47 years of service, KEET TV is a PBS affiliate serving the people of the North Coast with a community supported alternative to commercial media. KEET broadcasts a wide array of national, nature, history, current affairs, health, performance, children's, educational and entertainment programs. KEET also produces a wide variety of programs and specials focusing on the North Coast. KEET operates 4 digital broadcast channels: 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 and 13.4. KEET is a community owned television station licensed to Redwood Empire Public Television, Inc. www.keet.org

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Grant Scott-Goforth

Bio:
Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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