The Santa Monica College board of trustees is expected to announce later today that Jennifer Ferro, the assistant general manager of KCRW, will succeed Ruth Seymour, the Santa Monica Daily Press says in a story on the web and in its Saturday print edition. This will make the station's staff happy. Ferro was clearly the favorite at a gathering to celebrate Seymour's birthday at The Rose Cafe in Venice on Thursday night, an evening marked by emotional tributes to Seymour from Ferro and longtime KCRW figures Tom Schnabel, Warren Olney and Chris Douridas. From the paper:
Ferro started at KCRW as a volunteer arts reporter in 1991 and has been with the station ever since, joining the staff in 1994 and working in every one of the station's departments. She became the assistant general manager in 1997 and also acts as the executive director of the radio programs "Good Food with Evan Kleiman" and "DnA: Design and Architecture with Frances Anderton."
In a press release, SMC said Ferro has been instrumental in improving on-air fundraising tactics and developing the station's online strategy, which includes its three live Internet radio channels, iPhone apps, blogs, original Web content features and social media outreach.
"We've never really thought of ourselves exclusively as a radio station," Ferro said. "We're more about the passion that drives us to create good content."
Ferro said she doesn't expect to make major changes to KCRW's lineup of news, public affairs, music and cultural programming.
"We have a real great formula here and we're just going to continue to make it better," she said
Seymour said last November that she would be leaving this month after being in charge of the station since 1977 and building it into a National Public Radio powerhouse.
* Update 1: An L.A. Times story says Ferro, 41, was one of three finalists culled from about 30 applicants. "Jennifer epitomizes the perfect mix of traditional public radio experience, and the strategic and creative new media thinking that will be critical to KCRW's continued success in the years ahead," college president Chui L. Tsang said in a statement.
* Update 2: The college board approved Ferro's selection this morning.