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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Ferro’

Downsized at KCRW, Harry Shearer Talks About It with KPCC

It’s always dangerous when the person at the other end of a business decision is also a sharp-witted comedian. To wit, here’s how recently downsized KCRW Le Show host Harry Shearer began his phone interview with KPCC’s Mike Roe:

“I got a message that the [KCRW] general manager wanted to discuss a ‘proposal’ with me, that was her word. I understand broadcast speak to know that that wasn’t, ‘Will you marry me?’”

The KPCC “Without a Net” pop culture blog conversation with Shearer runs a bountiful 30 minutes, so there’s lots of info here not just about getting Le Heave Ho but also topics The Simpsons voiceover maestro has covered on the program like Hurricane Katrina and the foreclosure crisis. One of the KCRW vet’s main beefs appears to be – a la Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers – the fact that he was not given more advance courtesy notice about the KCRW weekend programming move. It was simply, “effective immediately.”

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Irish Journalist Sings the Praises of KCRW

In a column that will have the eyes of KCRW general manager Jennifer Ferro and everyone else at the Santa Monica public radio station smiling, Irish Times music critic Jim Carroll explains how he became completely enthralled by the FM beacon during a recent visit. So much so that at one point, he was compelled to almost pay KCRW the ultimate commute-compliment:

There was one particular half-hour which included music from Action Bronson, Papa, Hanni El Khatib, Cayucas, Fritz & The Tantrums, Prince, AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula and Major Lazer. I didn’t want to get out of the car as I was so curious about what the DJ would play next.

Carroll goes on to reference a recent Wall Street Journal article by Steve Oney titled “The Improbable Rise of NPR Music.” He agrees wholeheartedly with a quote in the piece from “First Listen” shepherd Amy Schriefer, who says the goal across the network is to DJ-duplicate that old record-store feeling of a recommendation by a store employee or fellow browser.

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Madeleine Brand in Talks to Join KCRW (Updated)

At the end of an interesting Los Angeles Magazine story about Madeleine Brand‘s departure from KPCC comes some uplifting news: Brand may soon return to radio. As the mag explains:

She’s… in talks with KCRW to launch a program in the same 9 a.m. slot as [Alex] Cohen and [A] Martínez. “It will be just like The Madeleine Brand Show, but better,” she says with maybe a hint of something beyond enthusiasm in her voice. Because in the well-mannered world of public radio, those are fighting words.

The news isn’t such a shock – just weeks ago KCRW general manager Jennifer Ferro told the Los Angeles Times that the station had an eye on Brand. But for her to return in direct competition with the co-host that was the catalyst for her leaving KPCC, well, that would add an especially delicious chapter to the melodrama of the last few months.

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Madeleine Brand Speaks

Madeleine Brand hasn’t said much publicly since her abrupt departure from KPCC last September. And that hasn’t changed despite participating in an LA Times profile. Although reporter Deborah Vankin did glean some interesting nuggets from her about what went wrong.

Martinez is indisputably “easy on the ear,” Brand acknowledges, but she met him only twice before he was brought on. “One little tryout and … a get-to-know-ya coffee,” she says.

Brand had input early in the long process of interviewing potential co-hosts — and was excited about certain candidates, including OC Weekly editor in chief Gustavo Arellano and CNN’s Nick Valencia — but was “surprised” when she found out in an email that the station had hired Martinez, who is known as the voice of ESPN Radio‘s “Lakers Line” and “Dodger Talk” on AM 710 but came into the job with little hard-news experience.

“I had no idea what his capabilities were,” she says.

Also interesting: crosstown NPR affiliate KCRW has its eye on Brand. “When she became available, it was the clear and obvious conversation to have,” general manager Jennifer Ferro told the Times. “Madeleine’s really talented and definitely belongs on the radio in Los Angeles — we’re gonna try to make that happen.”

KCRW to Stream on iHeartRadio

Santa Monica-based public radio station KCRW just announced it will begin streaming its broadcasts on Clear Channel’s free digital radio service iHeartRadio.

“KCRW is always looking for exciting partnership opportunities knowing that even among hundreds of radio stations, what we offer is entirely unique,” says KCRW General Manager Jennifer Ferro in a release. “By combining our compelling content and iHeartRadio’s vast reach, we’re inviting a new audience to discover and engage with KCRW.”

The station already streams its shows online at KCRW.com. The new deal will not only, as Ferro says, expand the station’s reach, it will probably save them some bandwidth too.

KCRW shows will become available on iHeartRadio at the end of this month.

KCRW Traffic Reporter Wrangles a Golden Pylon

Upon hearing that KCRW traffic reporter Kajon Cermak (pictured) was the recipient of a 2011 Golden Pylon Award from the MTA, station manager Jennifer Ferro tweeted a thought that FishbowlLA also had. Namely, is the statuette molded in the form of a miniaturized, golden pylon?

Alas, most likely due to budgetary reasons (and the fact that the annual Golden Pylons ceremony engenders a lot less “Who are you wearing?” queries), the keepsake is a translucent plaque with but the image of a cone. Which leaves FishbowlLA’s other question–what is Cermak’s own daily commute like?

KCRW’s Sarah Spitz tells FishbowlLA that Cermak travels daily to Santa Monica 89.9 FM HQ from Thousand Oaks. That’s a 44-mile return trip, either by way of the 101 & 405, the Sepulveda Pass or perhaps, occasionally, a strategically chosen canyon road together with the PCH.

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