Events, Station Announcement

KCRW Breaks Ground on New 35,000-Square-Foot State-of-the-Art Media Center, Milestone in $48 Million Capital Campaign


 KCRW “Will Emerge From the Basement,” After Over 30 Years of Operating Beneath Santa Monica College Campus

SANTA MONICA, CA (June 12, 2014)—Yesterday, KCRW broke ground on a new 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Media Center, to be located on Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus.  A momentous occasion, KCRW President and General Manager Jennifer Ferro and Santa Monica College (SMC) Superintendent and President Dr. Chui L. Tsang led the ceremony, and were joined by KCRW Foundation Board Chairman Michael Fleming, special guest and performer Ben Harper, and KCRW’s closest supporters and staff.  The groundbreaking also marked a milestone in the first major capital campaign of KCRW’s 75-year history to raise $48 million for the Media Center design and construction, new programming, and technology investments.

“This is an incredibly important moment in KCRW’s history – we couldn’t be more thankful to our licensee and partner Santa Monica College, Santa Monica voters, and our generous supporters for their vital contributions in bringing the KCRW Media Center to life,” said Jennifer Ferro, KCRW President and General Manager.  “For the first time in our 75-year history we will be able to bring the community into our home and share the incredible performances and discussions that take place on a daily basis.”

KCRW Family Photo

Ben Harper

“It is our great pleasure to welcome KCRW to the Santa Monica College Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus,” said Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Santa Monica College Superintendent and President.  “We share a unique synergy with KCRW, and look forward to creating a dynamic learning environment for our students who are passionate about journalism, media, and radio.”

To-date, KCRW has secured $33 million of the total $48 million capital campaign goal, including a $28 million contribution from Santa Monica College, licensee of KCRW, with funding from 2008 Bond Measure AA.  KCRW graciously thanked other major donors at the groundbreaking ceremony, including The Annenberg Foundation, Norris and Debi Bishton, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Tom and Ellie Wertheimer, Borzi Family Foundation, Kayne Foundation (Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree), The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Monica J. Shilling, and Jay and Susan Markowitz, among others.

“KCRW’s innovative programs and live events inspire the imagination and bring communities together,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of The Annenberg Foundation, KCRW’s largest private donor.  “They provide an invaluable public service to Southern Californians and listeners worldwide. We are thrilled to be a part of this illustrious endeavor.”

Over the past 30 years, KCRW’s staff has grown from 14 to 110 in extremely cramped offices and studios beneath Santa Monica College campus.  The new KCRW Media Center is designed to preserve the station’s collaborative culture, while creating community gathering spaces, integrating state-of-the-art production facilities, and allowing for future growth.  Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, a global leader in workplace innovation, the new building will also meet LEED Silver Certification standards, maximizing energy and water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

With a history of bringing unique live experiences to Southern California and around the country, KCRW will for the first time in its history be able to host the community at its own 1,400 square-foot Performance Studio and Viewing Gallery.  KCRW will also have the opportunity to program events at the 18,000-square-foot Wallis Annenberg Plaza Courtyard and Outdoor Stage and a 180-seat auditorium.

SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus is located in the middle of Santa Monica’s creative business district, and the forthcoming Expo Line.  The campus will include a newly-remodeled 50,000 square-foot teaching facility, a new 30,000 square-foot addition with TV and production studios, a cafe, and a new 430-space parking garage.  Construction is projected for completion by 2015, with both the KCRW Media Center and SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus operating from the new buildings by early 2016.

To learn more about KCRW’s Capital Campaign, visit

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

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

To learn more, visit

Station Announcement

KCRW Foundation Hires Jill Smayo as Development Director

Smayo Joins With Over 13 Years Development Experience

IMG_2059 - Version 2LOS ANGELES, CA (May 6, 2014) — KCRW Foundation announced today it has brought aboard Jill Smayo to serve as Development Director.  Smayo will oversee efforts to expand KCRW’s 50,000-donor base and $15 million annual operating budget, while leading and growing the development team.  Smayo joins KCRW in the midst of the station’s first major capital campaign in its 75-year history to raise $48 million for the construction of a new facility, and new programming and technology investments.  Alongside KCRW Foundation President Jennifer Ferro, Smayo will lead the capital campaign as KCRW positions for a period of substantial growth.

“We are excited to bring Jill Smayo aboard.  This is a very important time in KCRW’s history — with Jill’s proven track record and tenacious attitude, she will be a valuable addition to the leadership team,” said Jennifer Ferro, KCRW General Manager and KCRW Foundation President.

Smayo brings more than 13 years of development experience, most recently as Director of Development for Invisible Children where she created a Major Gifts Program and built a development department from the ground up.  Prior to Invisible Children, Smayo served in various roles for the San Diego Opera, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Smayo earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Northwestern 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

Station Announcement

KCRW and Santa Barbara Foundation Announce KDB Radio Station Acquisition

Expansion Brings Local KCRW Broadcast of News, Music, and Culture Programming to Santa Barbara

SANTA MONICA, CA (FEBRUARY 18, 2014) — KCRW and the Santa Barbara Foundation announced today KCRW’s acquisition of KDB.  With the purchase, KCRW will pursue its goal of creating meaningful connections with communities it serves through relevant, credible content across news, music, and the arts.  KCRW is also committed to supporting local cultural institutions, and building on its already established partnerships with the Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and other organizations.

As a result of the purchase, Santa Barbara listeners will benefit from an increase in programming across the spectrums of news, culture, and a variety of music genres.  KCRW will broadcast from 88.7 FM, while KUSC will combine its broadcast (previously at 88.7 FM) with KDB to preserve 93.7 FM as a high quality source for classical music with Santa Barbara-focused programming.

KCRW has also formed a strategic partnership with Antioch University.  KCRW’s Santa Barbara studio will be located on campus, and will provide opportunities for students to gain insight into storytelling and broadcasting through internships and integration into the curriculum.

“This opportunity is very exciting. Santa Barbara is a natural home for KCRW.  We’ve partnered with Santa Barbara institutions for years on music and culture initiatives,” said Jennifer Ferro, president and general manager of KCRW.  “It has all the elements that have made KCRW a success in Los Angeles — a diverse and intelligent population interested in arts and culture who are passionate about their local community.  We believe we can further amplify the voices of Santa Barbara in a unique and compelling way.”

“At the Santa Barbara Foundation, philanthropy is the starting point for being high impact on community issues,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “With the transition to the ‘new KDB,’ we were able to keep classical music alive while enhancing and expanding the variety of musical programming offered in Santa Barbara.”

The Santa Barbara Foundation announced its intention to sell KDB in September 2013, following an unanimous vote from Foundation board members.  KCRW submitted its proposal to the Santa Barbara Foundation in November 2013.   The broadcast is expected to start airing in Spring 2014.

KCRW will create culturally responsive news, music and talk programming that speaks to the nuanced interest and needs of Santa Barbara listeners.  With plans to partner with The Santa Barbara Independent and hire two announcer/producers, KCRW will create a Santa Barbara edition of NPR’s popular morning newsmagazine Morning Edition and afternoon news show All Things Considered.

The schedule will also include syndicated public radio programming broadcast on KCRW, such as MarketplaceThe WorldThis American LifeTED Radio Hour, and The Moth Radio Hour, in addition to over 100 hours of KCRW’s originally produced, award-winning content, ranging from flagship music program Morning Becomes Eclectic with music director Jason Bentley to news and culture show Press Play with Madeleine Brand, nationally-syndicated To The Point with Warren Olney, and cultural programming on art, film, architecture, food, literature, and politics.  The on-air schedule will follow a similar format to KCRW’s terrestrial broadcast, available online at

The Santa Barbara station will benefit from KCRW’s community engagement programs and digital platforms, including its robust events department, which will help build local partnerships with arts and culture institutions; expansion of the Fringe Benefits program, a curated collection of discounts from over 1,100 Southern California businesses; and Santa Barbara-specific content’s availability on, mobile apps, and social media platforms, which reach over 1.5 million people monthly.

KCRW will welcome two Santa Barbara residents to its Foundation Board in the coming year, ensuring that the community’s needs are represented in the visioning of KCRW’s future.  An Advisory Board will also be formed, including philanthropic, arts and culture, academic and political leaders from the Santa Barbara community.

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, Santa Barbara, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, and Kern counties and the greater Palm Springs area. KCRW’s programming is available worldwide, both live and on-demand, at, and through its smartphone apps (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry).

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About Santa Barbara Foundation
The Santa Barbara Foundation is a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy. As one of the largest private sources of funding for area nonprofits, agencies, and college bound students, the foundation builds and facilitates philanthropy through donor partnerships; invests in nonprofits; and identifies and strategically addresses important community needs. Guided by compassion for the most vulnerable and those most in need of help, excellence in what it supports and with whom it partners, and integrity with a focus on stewardship and transparency, the Santa Barbara Foundation is invested in a more vibrant, engaged, and meaningfully connected Santa Barbara County…for all.

Programming, Station Announcement

KCRW Sets Goal To Donate 150,000 Meals During Summer Pledge Drive


Radio Station Partners with Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for Second Time

 SANTA MONICA, CA, August 16, 2012KCRW (89.9FM and is pleased to announce they will again partner with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in an effort to fight hunger in the Los Angeles community. After partnering with the organization for their Winter Pledge Drive earlier in the year, the station set an ambitious goal to donate nearly twice as many meals during their Summer Pledge Drive which begins today.

“More than 1.7 million residents of Los Angeles County are food insecure and struggling to put food on the table for themselves and their families,” said Michael Flood, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “These are people that experience the lack of food multiple times throughout the year. This may mean having to involuntarily skip meals, go hungry and for parents, forgo eating so their children have food. We are excited to join KCRW in battling this fight against hunger in our community.”

KCRW has always been an organization that makes LA a better place to live. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is the same,” KCRW General Manager Jennifer Ferro said. “We are so happy to offer our members the chance to give up a gift for themselves and instead provide a gift of food to people truly in need in our region.”

When KCRW first partnered with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in January, supporters were given the option to donate meals instead of receiving a premium gift. For every $10/month donation to the station during the 9-day drive, 40 meals were in turn donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. KCRW was able to donate over 80,000 meals during that time.

The KCRW fall pledge drive runs through Friday, August 24. To support KCRW please visit


Alyssa King – KCRW
(310) 314-4627


About KCRW
KCRW 89.9FM, licensed to Santa Monica College, is an NPR affiliate based in Southern California. The Santa Monica-based nonprofit represents cutting edge radio at its best, presenting an eclectic mix of independent music, news, talk and arts programming. The terrestrial signal serves Los Angeles, Orange, 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 internationally renowned and available worldwide via, including three streaming channels, 27 podcasts and archives of our locally-produced programs and live band performances. Hear KCRW music online, all the time, on the ALL music stream Eclectic24.

Station Announcement

KCRW Voices Support for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

KCRW Response to Corporation for Public Broadcasting Funding Report
June 20, 2012

On June 20, 2012, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting submitted a special report on alternate funding options to Congress. The CPB was instructed by Congress to investigate whether public radio and television could survive without federal funding. 

An independent agency prepared the report and concluded that public radio and television could not survive without federal funding unless it adopted five drastic measures to raise funds. These options include the acceptance of commercial advertising funds and restricting access via subscription. The report also concluded that altering the non-commercial mission would reduce existing funding sources, resulting in a net loss of revenue for public radio and tv stations.

KCRW plays an active role in advocating for federal funding of public broadcasting. An assertive voice on the Hill, General Manager Jennifer Ferro regularly meets with lawmakers to explain how cuts to the CPB would significantly affect the entire public broadcasting system and stations like KCRW that are providing an important service to their community.

Upon Wednesday’s release of the CPB report, KCRW has shared the following statement:

KCRW’s primary responsibility is to serve the audience – not shareholders, nor advertisers. There’s nothing else like that in today’s media space. Federal funding from the CPB accounts for eight percent of the KCRW budget. It is seed money that allows the station to serve its local community with balanced and high quality news, information and cultural programming. KCRW is able to leverage this funding many times over into wide community and individual support. We help to inform our community which is an essential part of any democracy. Public stations also provide critical, real time support in times of natural disasters. KCRW is a pillar in our community, is freely accessible and provides a service that cannot be easily duplicated.

Click here to access the full CPB Report

KCRW Music Announcement, Programming

KCRW Launches HD-2 Channel


Second HD Channel to Broadcast KCRW’s Signature Music Programming “Eclectic24”


SANTA MONICA, CA, June 1, 2012 – KCRW (89.9FM and announced today the launch of a second HD channel, which will make their 24-hour music channel, Eclectic24, available on HD radios across Southern California.

The newest HD channel is another example of KCRW’s growing commitment to providing listeners with choices in how they consume the public radio station’s programming. The free, full service HD channel will broadcast KCRW’s signature music programming, Eclectic24. Created by former KCRW music director and current DJ Chris Douridas, Eclectic24 is KCRW’s 24-hour music discovery center, offering an eclectic menu of artists and musical styles drawn from the playlists of the station’s talented stable of deejays.

“KCRW’s mission is to share the best of music, news and culture, with as wide an audience as possible and through whatever means available,” says KCRW General Manager Jennifer Ferro. “This technology allows us to deliver our excellent full-service music station, Eclectic24, to people where they spend a lot of time listening – through their car radio. We’re excited to add this new station to LA’s radio mix.”

Always progressive and embracing new technology, the launch of Eclectic24 on HD-2 is one of several initiatives KCRW has implemented over the past several months, including the highly acclaimed Music Mine iPad app. In January, KCRW was one of the first public stations to simulcast music and news streams on iHeartRadio in an effort to expand the reach of public radio.

Listeners can enjoy Eclectic24 on the KCRW HD-2 channel by using any HD enabled radio and tuning in to the station’s local frequency.* To learn more about HD radio please visit:

* The terrestrial station serves Los Angeles and Orange Counties at 89.9 FM, Ventura County at 89.1 FM on KCRU/Oxnard-Ventura, the greater Palm Springs area at 89.3 FM on KCRI/Indio-Palm Springs and Kern, and Northern LA Counties at 88.1 FM on KCRY/Mojave/Antelope Valley.


Alyssa King – KCRW
(310) 314-4627