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KCRW: Wikis


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City of license Santa Monica, California
Broadcast area Southern California
Greater Los Angeles Area
Slogan Tuned In
Frequency 89.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Repeaters KCRI 89.3 Indio
KCRU 89.1 Oxnard
KCRY 88.1 Mojave
plus 9 low-power translators
Format Public Radio
Audience share 2.0 (FALL 2007, RRC[1])
ERP 6,900 watts
HAAT 338 meters
Class B
Facility ID 59086
Transmitter coordinates 34°7′8″N 118°23′30″W / 34.11889°N 118.39167°W / 34.11889; -118.39167
Callsign meaning College Radio Workshop[2]
Owner Santa Monica Community College District

KCRW (89.9 MHz FM) is a public radio station broadcasting from the campus of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, carrying a mix of National Public Radio news, talk radio and freeform music format. The general manager is Jennifer Ferro. A network of repeaters and broadcast translators allows the station to serve the Los Angeles metropolitan area and other communities in Southern California. The station has also become widely known because of nationally distributed programming, streaming Internet radio broadcasts, and podcasts.

KCRW is known for broadcast of cutting edge music,[citation needed] as well as originating numerous news-talk-information and cultural programs that are distributed nationwide.



KCRW was founded as the College Radio Workshop in 1945 to train servicemen returning from World War II in broadcasting. Ruth Hirschman Seymour became general manager in 1978 and developed a mix of music, news, and other spoken-word programming that now attracts over 500,000 listeners each week. In November 2009, Seymour announced that she will retire in February 2010. The station airs programs from NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), American Public Media, and the BBC, along with its own mixture of eclectic music shows with frequent live in-studio performances by new and emerging talent, cultural programs, and a wide-ranging line up of local commentators, political analysis and debate. The station has been a leader in adopting new technologies, including, which offers three program streams, on-demand listening and an extensive lineup of podcasts, featuring talk programs and live performances by unsigned independent musical artists.


News and information programs dominate weekday early morning and daytime schedules from 03:00 to 09:00 PST with NPR's Morning Edition, and from 12:00 to 7:30 PST ending with Which Way, L.A.?. Music programming is broadcast from evening to early morning, and again from 09:00 to 12:00 PST with the airing of Morning Becomes Eclectic. Weekends feature more music during the day and evening.

Warren Olney hosts the station's signature news and public affairs programs, To the Point (nationally distributed by Public Radio International) and Which Way, L.A.? which began after the riots in response to the Rodney King beating trial verdicts in 1992. However, unlike crosstown rival KPCC, KCRW does not have a news department or field reporters. Headlines and traffic reports are delivered by an announcer at the studio. KCRW generally runs the NPR news magazines in its entirety, and does not provide long-form coverage of news events like KPCC.

With California being, perhaps, the epicenter of the international film industry, KCRW covers the industry on several dimensions: film critic matters Joe Morgenstern reviewing films, business matters Claude Brodesser-Akner getting past the headlines and digging deep into the deals and deal-makers with The Business, creative art matters Elvis Mitchell getting past the cover page and deep into The Treatment with the creative talent and finally the on-set matters Rob Long looks behind the curtain with his behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood life on Martini Shot.

Music programs feature an eclectic array of music from around the globe, especially on the daytime daily music program Morning Becomes Eclectic and the daytime weekend line-up. At night, more upbeat music such as house, progressive, and electronic dance music are the main styles on shows formerly known as Metropolis and Nocturna. KCRW dropped all program names except Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2008, since the DJ's names have become bigger brands than the show names themselves.

Local and regional touring artists can send recordings to KCRW to get airplay. Followups should be made by calling the KCRW tracking line on Wednesdays between noon and 3pm Pacific time.

KCRW airs Santa Monica City Council meetings live from 8:00 pm to midnight PST, on the Tuesdays when they are held. Because of the nature of the repeater network, Santa Monica City Council meetings can be heard throughout the Southern California region reaching out to approximately 150 mi (240 km).

The KCRW show Good Food was parodied on Saturday Night Live in a recurring skit, Delicious Dish, with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon.

Program Format Presenter
Art Talk Talk: culture Edward Goldman
Bookworm Talk: book publishing and reviews Michael Silverblatt
Design & Architecture Talk: culture/civic aesthetics Frances Anderton
Good Food Talk: cuisine Evan Kleiman
Le Show News/talk and commentary Harry Shearer
Left, Right & Center News/talk: analysis and punditry Matthew Miller, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer
Garth Trinidad Music: Electronic Garth Trinidad
Morning Becomes Eclectic Music: adult album alternative Jason Bentley
New Ground Music: new music Chris Douridas
Sounds Eclectic Music: adult album alternative Nic Harcourt
Henry Rollins Music: adult album alternative Henry Rollins
The Business News/talk: Hollywood/film industry Formerly Claude Brodesser-Akner, now Kim Masters
The Treatment Talk: Hollywood/film industry Elvis Mitchell
To the Point News/talk: analysis Warren Olney
Which Way, L.A.? News/talk: local affairs Warren Olney

Influence in music

KCRW's flagship program is Morning Becomes Eclectic, a three hour daily music program that has been on the air for more than 30 years. Historically, the show host is also the station's music director. Isabel Holt created the show in 1978. Tom Schnabel hosted the show from 1979 to 1990. In November 1990, Chris Douridas took over the show, hosting until April 1998. Nic Harcourt was in the seat from 1998 until December 1, 2008. He is also previously known in his home country for discussing on a regular basis emerging music with hosts at BBC Radio 1. Longtime KCRW DJ, Jason Bentley is the current host and music director.

Along with WFMU in the New York City market and 3RRR in Melbourne Australia, KCRW lays claim as one of the most influential independent music radio stations around the globe, with its tastemaker DJs populating various cultural outlets with their musical loves. Through extensive involvement in film, TV, commercial and radio work, KCRW program hosts have introduced their audiences to many artists, including Beck, Gillian Welch, Fiona Apple, Coldplay, Dido, and Norah Jones, among many others. It was the appearance of an unknown artist named Beck on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic in July 1993 that instantly turned the show into essential listening for record labels and A&R scouts. In addition to playing previously unknown artists, KCRW program hosts often invite artists to visit their Santa Monica basement studios for live recording sessions and interviews, typically before they've had any exposure to the US listening audience. KCRW also helps nurture the careers of emerging bands and musicians by inviting them to perform at live events and benefit concerts in Los Angeles, and across the country.

Streaming media is now very important for the station, and it has gained a wide audience from this technology, streaming thousands of hours of content each week. KCRW provides three different live streams: the live broadcast, a 24-hour music service, and a 24-hour news service. Streams are available using Adobe Flash played through web browsers, with alternate streams offered using the PLS file format, which can be played using software such as iTunes, Winamp and RealPlayer. The music service and news service are also included as channels in AOL Radio. The station also archives its talk and music programs for listeners to stream at their convenience, and offers podcasts of in-studio performances and talk programs.

From 1986 to 2002 KCRW was the on-air home of Joe Frank, hosting his groundbreaking shows Work in Progress, In The Dark, Somewhere Out There, and The Other Side. Joe Frank produced over 200 radio shows for KCRW, which consisted of a series of monologues full of ironic, humorous and absurdist wit.

Since 2004, KCRW has presented Marc Porter Zasada as "The Urban Man", with his unusual (and often poetic) 4-minute weekly take on modern life and Los Angeles.

KCRW boasts members across the country and the station regularly sponsors live music events throughout the United States and in Canada. Giveaways to areas outside of the station's listening area are commonly found on its website.


KCRW promotes a great deal of live music events nationally, featuring both established and emerging artists.

Transmitter network

Call sign Frequency [MHz] Transmitter Location Power [W]
KCRW 89.9 Santa Monica 6,900
KCRI 89.3 Indio/Palm Springs 3,300
KCRU 89.1 Oxnard/Ventura 850
KCRY 88.1 Mojave/Antelope Valley 10,500
K209CN 89.7 Gorman 10
K210CL 89.9 Lemon Grove/Spring Valley (San Diego area) 10
K214CR 90.7 Twentynine Palms 10
K215BA 90.9 Beaumont/Banning 10
K225BA 92.9 Borrego Springs 50
K271AC 102.1 Ojai 10
K272DI 102.3 Fillmore/Santa Paula/Moorpark 10
K295AH 106.9 Santa Barbara/Goleta 10
K296AI † 107.1 China Lake/Ridgecrest 10

The call letters of KCRI, KCRU and KCRY are identified at the top of each hour alongside those of KCRW, as are the frequencies of those stations and their transmitters.

KCRW also has applications pending for new translators on 88.5 in Mojave, 89.9 in Temecula, 90.1 in Baker, 90.3 in Barstow, and 105.7 in Julian.

Previous translators (now off the air and licenses returned to the FCC) operated on 88.3 in Palmdale, 89.1 in Camarillo, 90.9 in Palm Springs, and 100.1 in China Lake.

†) K296AI is the only KCRW translator not owned by the station; it is operated by Indian Wells Valley TV Booster, Inc., which also operates translators that rebroadcast Los Angeles-area television stations in the Ridgecrest area.


External links



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