KCRW Music Announcement, New Hires, Station Announcement

KCRW announces new co-hosts of Morning Becomes Eclectic, Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez

Santa Monica (December 8, 2020) – KCRW President Jennifer Ferro and Program Director of Music Anne Litt announce today the new co-hosts of Morning Becomes Eclectic (MBE), Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez. MBE, the station’s flagship music program, weekday mornings from 9AM to Noon, has been a powerful source of music discovery since 1978. This is the first time two hosts will lead MBE.

Novena and Anthony both come from KCRW’s after-midnight roster, where unique and exciting voices have the opportunity to experiment and bring adventurous listeners into the KCRW fold. From podcasts and livestreams to viral videos, Novena and Anthony have collaborated extensively over the course of their years-long friendship. This authentic camaraderie and willingness to explore and experiment will make for a natural synchronicity as co-hosts of Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Morning Becomes Eclectic abides by the ethos of KCRW Music: Play what you love. The effervescent Novena Carmel loves timeless — and timely — music; whatever makes her antennas tingle. She is driven by her lifelong passion of sharing music with the masses. L.A.’s beloved Anthony Valadez brings his considerable DJ experience, turntablist skills, intrepid spirit, and positive energy to this dynamic duo. Together, they will usher in the next era of music discovery and exploration at KCRW, the innovative public radio station well known for helping launch the careers of many celebrated artists.

“I am so excited to pass the torch of MBE to Novena and Anthony,” says Anne Litt. “Novena is pure joy and Anthony is the heart and soul of Los Angeles. Together, they will explore fresh, new ways to reach music lovers globally.” She continues, “My journey will be to delve deeper into my role as Program Director of Music, bring our roster of incredible DJs to their fans, and capitalize on the boundless talents of our entire music department across all of our platforms.”

Of her new role, Novena says, “I feel ecstatic and a bit like I’m dreaming. I greatly admire Anthony’s work and what I would call his ‘creation ethic;’ he seems to never stop creating and finding inspiration for creativity everywhere. We already have a lot of fun and exciting ideas for the show, and I’m so looking forward to collaborating more with the KCRW team and connecting with the listeners.”

“I’m excited to wake up with L.A. and Novena,” says Anthony. “She’s my best friend, but what I admire the most is her ability to stay positive and always add perspective.” Of his new role, Anthony notes, “I’m a fan of the show’s celebrated history and hope to be an extension of it moving forward. It’s not a position I take lightly. I’ve always wanted to be at the intersection of ‘culture’ and ‘institution.’ KCRW has been the launching pad for ideas that fuse tech, social media, and execution of music discovery. These varied platforms have given me creative freedom to spotlight emerging artists and talent, and while I get the sense my aesthetic is perceived as ‘the sound of LA,’ in reality, it’s the sound of the world.”

Morning Becomes Eclectic continues to be a haven for music discovery, and the two hosts will double the reach for unearthing new artists. New albums will be debuted. Exclusive, in-studio live performances will resume as soon as it’s possible. In addition, the new format presents countless opportunities to extend MBE well beyond its on-air end time of noon. “Obviously you’ll have the variety of two hosts instead of one, but we’re looking at ways to include even more voices that represent the KCRW community and beyond, including KCRW DJs, musicians, and listeners,” says Novena. “I believe that cultivating and nourishing community and connectedness, now more than ever, is so important, and that’s part of what I’m hoping the new format will allow. Music will always be one of the main conduits of making this possible, and from there the possibilities are endless.” “I love that we all want to be bold and daring,” continues Anthony, “KCRW is held to such a high standard. Let’s go higher! Something new implies a fresh palette of ideas and colors. This new format will allow us to venture into something that’s never been done before.”

Music is part of the genetic code of KCRW,” states KCRW President Jennifer Ferro. “Our approach to this important role of MBE host was to really push the boundaries of what it means to be a DJ in today’s on-demand world. Novena and Anthony, together, make a powerful and joyful duo who will help KCRW be where the people are and share the magic of KCRW music. With these new hosts plus Anne Litt solidly at the helm of our strategy we are ready to define a new era in music.”

In 2019 Anne Litt became KCRW’s first female Program Director of Music and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic. She will continue hosting the show until after the New Year, and then remain an on-air presence with her own show; time and day TBD. As she prepares to hand over hosting duties, she notes, “it’s been a privilege to have been with you during these challenging times. I leave MBE in the most capable of hands, and am truly excited to see our new co-hosts in action.” 

More About Novena Carmel:
Novena Carmel was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by her mother’s record collection, classical music books atop her piano, and a deeply rooted musical legacy. Her father, Sly Stone of Sly & The Family Stone, instilled in her the love of the funk and the brilliance of “everyday people.” Her family’s decades-long connection to Brazil along with her Japanese-bilingual elementary schooling, further expanded her world-view. Inspired by the guidance of one of her best friends and mentors, her grandfather, she moved to Los Angeles at 18, to attend UCLA, and graduated with degrees in Mass Communications and African-American Studies. She has been a proud LA resident ever since with a deep appreciation for the city’s contributions to the global cultural landscape. For the past 14 years, Novena has worked in entertainment booking for Temple Bar Concepts, which owns and operates live music venues and cultural havens throughout the LA area including famed Temple Bar, Zanzibar, The Virgil and Townhouse & The Del Monte Speakeasy. During this time she was also a member of multiple music groups, leading to the opportunity to perform at Lollapalooza, Warped Tour, Abbey Road and Coachella. She launched her DJ career six years ago, which quickly took off, fueled by her lifelong love of sharing the music she loves with people, infectious energy, and ability to read a room. As a DJ she has worked with Natural History Museum, “The Squad,” California African American Museum, the Underground Museum, Soul in The Horn, Dublab, Stones Throw Records, Ace Hotel, Amoeba Records and many others. In 2018 Novena was invited to join the DJ team at KCRW, and has quickly become popular through her quirky sense of humor, energetic spirit, and expansive and personalized music collection. She is currently not in a band, but enjoys singing with her soul and jazz choir, The Voices of Creation.

More About Anthony Valadez:
Anthony Valadez is a native Angeleno; a DJ, producer, and radio and podcast host. Dating back to skipping 6th period during his senior year in high school, he became part of a cast of rotating DJs on KVCM. He would later land shows on KCSN, KPFK, Dublab, and KROQ. He joined KCRW in 2008. His show has been championed by the likes of Childish Gambino, Khruangbin, Ty Dolla $ign and Julian Casbablancas for Valadez’s celebration of music discovery. He has held DJ residencies in Los Angeles including the legendary Temple Bar and the Natural History Museum for their First Fridays series, and in Las Vegas at the SLS. He also served as host and co-producer for three seasons of Crate Diggers on Fuse TV. The show documented the art of digging for recorded gems with top record collectors across the United States. He was hand- selected by Jennifer Lopez to open for her 2014 homecoming show in the Bronx. He has remixed official releases for David Bowie, Ozomatli, Local Natives, and has released three full-length albums of his own on indie label, Plug Research. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with Prince, Ben Harper, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bruno Mars and was voted Best Club DJ by the LA Weekly’s Readers Poll in 2016.


For more information please contact:
Laura Cohen, LC Media, lcmediapr@gmail.com

About KCRW Music
KCRW’s hand-picked music programming is thoughtfully curated by actual people, not algorithms. It encourages real music discovery and delivers a truly eclectic listening experience. KCRW Music is helmed by Program Director of Music, industry veteran Anne Litt and a team of influential tastemaker DJs – Aaron Byrd, Anthony Valadez, Chris Douridas, Dan Wilcox, Garth Trinidad, Henry Rollins, Jason Bentley, Jason Kramer, Jeremy Sole, John Moses, José Galván, LeRoy Downs, Novena Carmel, Raul Campos, Scott Dallavo, Tom Schnabel, Travis Holcombe, and Valida. KCRW DJs are given one directive: “play what you love.” KCRW has hosted radio debuts and album celebrations for countless artists. Now household names, KCRW has been influential in helping launch the careers of such luminaries as Adele, Alabama Shakes, Anderson Paak, Angel Olsen, Beck, Billie Eilish, Brett Dennen, Coldplay, Eels, Fiona Apple, Gabriel Garzon Montano, Garbage, Gillian Welch, Janelle Monae, Jenny Lewis, Juana Molina, Kamasi Washington, Mac DeMarco, Natalie Lafourcade, Ray LaMontagne, Sofi Tukker, and Tame Impala, among many others. KCRW Music offers a robust array of music programming and content including nearly 100 hours of on-air music every week and a continuous curated stream of music, Eclectic24. In addition, KCRW is currently producing; a storytelling live session series In Residence that focuses on one artist via different platforms; Throwback Sessions that tap into the station’s vast archive of live performances exclusively available on YouTube; “Today’s Top Tune,” a free daily downloadable song; in-depth music reporting via the Lost Notes podcast; and Private Playlist which highlights local L.A. musicians and the music that’s moving them in the here and now.

About KCRW
KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. We are driven by the spirit of L.A. and deliver in innovative ways – on the radio, digitally and in person – to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in L.A., Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, and worldwide via the KCRW-developed smart phone app or online at kcrw.com.

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KCRW Music Announcement, New Hires, Station Announcement

KCRW Announces Anne Litt as Next Program Director of Music

KCRW Announces Anne Litt as Next
Program Director of Music 

Search for Host of Morning Becomes Eclectic Intensifies

Santa Monica, CA (January 23, 2020) – KCRW announces today Anne Litt as Program Director of Music – the fifth for the station – with past Music Directors being Jason Bentley, Nic Harcourt, Chris Douridas, and Tom Schnabel. 

Litt joins two additional, key executive hires at the influential NPR affiliate with Paul Bennun recently tapped as Chief Content Officer, and Drew Tewksbury as Director of Digital Content.

“I’m thrilled to have Anne Litt as the new Program Director of Music. Anne has been finding and cultivating talent inside and outside KCRW for years. She’s primed to move KCRW and our signature music programming into the next era,” says KCRW President, Jennifer Ferro. “Anne joins Paul and Drew to round out KCRW’s new content leadership team. Along with our incredible staff, we are positioned to focus squarely on the station’s future and deliver excellence across all of our platforms – in music and talk programming – through a wide range of personalities that have made KCRW such a beloved institution.”

“After 20 years on the air at KCRW, having the opportunity to map out our future in this leadership role, at the station I’ve known, respected and valued above all others, is the honor of a lifetime,” stated Litt. “This is a pivotal moment for KCRW to redefine the meaning of ‘radio’ in the 21st century.”

The search for the next host of the station’s flagship music show, Morning Becomes Eclectic will now intensify. Details of the MBE host position will be posted here in the coming days. Litt will host MBE until the position is filled.

Growing up in Richmond, VA, Anne Litt became a lifelong radio fan. Her first on-air experience was in 1986, at the forefront of the alt-rock revolution, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s award-winning radio station, WXYC. After graduating from UNC in 1988, she joined the pioneering independent label, Mammoth Records, and was instrumental in guiding the careers of such seminal alternative stars as Juliana Hatfield, the Blake Babies, and The Sidewinders. In 1991, Litt moved to Los Angeles to explore her obsession with the SoCal music scene, and continue her career in – and be at the epicenter of – the music industry. In 1996, she started her dream job as a DJ for KCRW working various shifts until 2000 when she was tapped to host the weekend afternoon show. Litt’s signature mix of progressive pop, global rhythms and modern sounds fit right into the KCRW aesthetic, which was nationally recognized as one of the most eclectic, adventurous radio stations in the country. During her KCRW tenure, Litt has hosted countless music events including KCRW’s World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, First Fridays at the Museum of Natural History and KCRW’s Summer Nights. She has emceed showcases at SXSW and Sundance Film Festivals and interviewed dozens (if not hundreds) of musicians including: Beck, Yola, Nick Waterhouse, Gary Clark Jr., Patti Smith, Ty Segall, The National, Margo Price, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Trombone Shorty, and Spoon, to name a few. In addition to helping launch the careers of countless developing artists, Litt has also been instrumental in ushering in the next generation of stellar DJs. Litt is also an accomplished music supervisor with credits that include the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for the Oscar-winning film “Little Miss Sunshine,” and campaigns for Apple, Volkswagen, and Acura. Notably, Litt placed the music in all six spots of the NBA’s legendary “There’s Only One” split-screen campaign featuring ahead-of-the-curve artists, and the unprecedented commercial use of a song by Radiohead. Litt lives in Hollywood with her husband and son. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Pablove Foundation, an organization that helps kids with cancer live a love-filled life today, and a cancer-free life tomorrow. She knows of no activity more satisfying, in this world, than discovering and sharing new music — unless it’s sailing or skiing with her son… or perhaps that time Josh Groban wrote a song about her

Paul Bennun is an executive with several decades experience working creatively and strategically at the junction of content and technology. Throughout his professional life, he has been a leading practitioner and thinker in radio, audio, and interactive entertainment. Co-founder of the UK’s largest radio production company, Somethin’ Else, as Chief Creative Officer he led the organization to become the BBC’s primary supplier of independently-made radio, including many of the Corporation’s most important properties across spoken word and music. Somethin’ Else was also the leading provider of outsourced social media, interactive content and video games to the BBC. In 2013 and 2015, Somethin’ Else received BAFTA’s “Production Company of the Year” award for its work across radio, TV and games. Paul started working in radio at the age of 13 in his hometown of Exeter, eventually presenting shows, and acting as the weekend traffic reporter at age 15 on Devonair, the local independent radio station. He then became a producer on various London radio stations while completing his undergraduate degree. On founding Somethin’ Else, Paul immediately started exploring the junction of sound and interactive media, directing the UK version of a legendary game called You Don’t Know Jack, which received two BAFTA nominations in 1998, the same year he received a Sony Radio Academy Award for his first series for the BBC (a two-part show about the history of funk music). During this period he co-authored a UK government report on the future of music and podcasting, became a board advisor to the BBC and the UK’s advertising industry, and presented radio shows for the BBC. On moving to the U.S.A. in 2016, Paul founded a data-driven social storytelling company, Storyblaster. He is also on the board of the Metabrainz Foundation, the music industry’s leading provider of open-sourced music metadata, powering Spotify, Amazon and most other major streaming music providers. Paul lives in Los Feliz, is a bread baker, loves to cook and owns two Shiba Inus.

Drew Tewksbury is a L.A.-based journalist, editor, and multimedia producer. As an editor at the Los Angeles Times, Tewksbury helmed coverage in the arts and books sections, where he spearheaded literary criticism and steered coverage of L.A.’s diverse creative communities. In 2018, Tewksbury was the contributing editor at GOOD Media, where he built a team of international freelancers to highlight innovators, report on global culture, and showcase inspiring people who are working to improve the world. Previously, Tewksbury was the managing editor of LA Weekly before the publication’s sale in 2017, where he oversaw the section editors, edited long-form cover stories, developed special issues, and spearheaded video production, which earned him and his team an Association of Alternative Newsmedia award for Documentary Profiles. From 2012-2016, Tewksbury was the managing editor/producer for KCETLink’s Artbound, an online arts journalism publication and Emmy-winning television show providing in-depth arts & culture coverage across Southern California. He also assisted in the development of article-based documentary videos, as part of Artbound’s Emmy-winning TV show which aired on KCETLink public media. In addition, he helped produce the live music performance show Artbound Presents: Studio A. An accomplished journalist, Tewksbury has written and reported feature articles or radio pieces for: National Public Radio (NPR), Time, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A Weekly, KPCC, NME (U.K), Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Flaunt, and SWINDLE Magazine, among other publications. Tewksbury wrote and voiced regular on-air music review segments, “New Music Tuesday,” for Southern California Public Radio’s Take Two and the Madeleine Brand Show. As an educator, Tewksbury has taught Entertainment Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he went to graduate school. He has also taught Cultural Journalism at Loyola Marymount University. Tewksbury lives in the foothills of Echo Park — where ghostly coyotes roam at dusk and fireworks light up the summer sky — and spends too much time at the Cactus Store. He is a Gemini.

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About KCRW
KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. We are driven by the spirit of LA and deliver in innovative ways — on the radio, digitally and in person — to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in LA, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Berlin, Germany, and worldwide via the KCRW-developed smart phone app, or online at kcrw.com.

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New Hires

KCRW Hires Micah Greenberg as Director of Business Development

MicahGreenberg Brings Over 13 Years of Media Experience, Including National Public Media, NPR and Atlantic Media

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 20, 2014) — KCRW announced today it has hired Micah Greenberg to serve as Director of Business Development, where he will oversee the strategy and implementation of expanding KCRW’s audience and revenue streams across partnerships, underwriting, membership, and event sponsorship.  In addition, Greenberg will work with KCRW President Jennifer Ferro—as well as the programming, marketing, and underwriting teams—to explore new areas of growth, as the station continues to increase its revenue, reach and impact.

“It is our great pleasure to welcome Micah Greenberg to the senior leadership team.  His extensive experience in public media will be invaluable as we continue to diversify KCRW’s offerings and grow our audience in this rapidly changing media landscape,” said Jennifer Ferro, KCRW General Manager and KCRW Foundation President.

Greenberg served as Director of Marketing for National Public Media, the sponsorship sales team for NPR and PBS.  Prior to this role, Greenberg headed up marketing for NPR Sponsorship, the network’s then in-house team, before National Public Media was created in 2007.  In his eight-year tenure with National Public Media and NPR, Greenberg developed his role and department from scratch, and oversaw sales strategy, brand management and business development.  Greenberg also served as Associate Director of Marketing for Atlantic Media, the parent company of The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive.  Greenberg holds a Bachelors degree in media studies from Brown University.

KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. KCRW is driven by the spirit of Los Angeles and delivers in innovative ways — on the radio, digitally and in person — to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world.  A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, and via five KCRW-developed smartphone apps and online at KCRW.com.

To learn more, visit kcrw.com/about.

New Hires

KCRW Brings Aboard Andrew Walsh, Jolie Myers, Jenny Hamel, and Ben Gottlieb as News Producers

Walsh Joins as Executive Producer of To-Be-Announced News and Culture Show Hosted By Madeleine Brand

KCRW announced today it has brought aboard Andrew Walsh, Jolie Myers, Jenny Hamel, and Ben Gottlieb to the station’s team of news producers.

“Talented producers are at the heart of what we do everyday at KCRW. By creating original programs that cover the arts, culture, politics and technology, we strive to give our listeners a better understanding of their world.  We’re also preparing to launch our first daily program since 2001 with Madeleine Brand, and that means building a top-notch team,” said Gary Scott, program director for KCRW.

Walsh joins KCRW as executive producer of a daily news and culture show to be hosted by Madeleine Brand.  Walsh brings more than 15 years of experience producing public radio programs for Seattle’s KIRO Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio, and Kent State University’s WKSU; and most recently as executive producer and host of The Andrew Walsh Show, a daily news analysis show broadcast on KIRO.

Jolie Myers will join as a producer on the new show, along with seasoned KCRW producers Christian Bordal and Anna Scott, who previously worked on Which Way, L.A.? and To the Point, and Matt Holzman, co-creator of The Business and KCRW veteran.  Myers brings experience in radio production, photojournalism, and web journalism, most recently working as associate producer on Marketplace’s Wealth and Poverty Desk.

Jenny Hamel and Ben Gottlieb join KCRW as producers of Which Way, L.A.? and To the Point. Both Emmy-award winning journalists, Hamel brings 11 years experience, previously serving as a general assignment reporter for San Diego’s FOX 5 and 6 CW; and Gottlieb holds experience as associate producer for HuffPo Live and KCET Public Television’s SoCal Connected.

About KCRW
KCRW, a community service of Santa Monica College, is one of the nation’s leading National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates, also featuring an eclectic mix of originally-produced and nationally-distributed news, music, talk and arts programming.  The terrestrial signal serves Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, Kern, and Santa Barbara counties and the greater Palm Springs area. KCRW’s programming is available worldwide, both live and on-demand, at KCRW.com, and through its smartphone apps (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry).

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