A front-page story today in the L.A. Times on the opening of KPCC's new studios in Pasadena says that next up for the NPR station is "a major expansion that its board of trustees hopes will make KPCC the hub of a regional constellation of public radio stations and a major source of news and information in Southern California."
At a time when many public broadcasters are financially strapped -- reliant on shrinking government funds, meager college support, and subscription drives dreaded by listeners -- KPCC has thrived by tapping a board willing to write big checks and hit up their rich friends for contributions. Taking the lead are Gordon Crawford, managing director of the Capital Group, the Los Angeles investment fund manager, and Jarl Mohn, who built E! Entertainment Television.
Crawford, chairman of KPCC's board, and Mohn, vice chairman, contributed about $4 million each to the five-year capital campaign for the new headquarters. They are also champions of a consolidation plan that has already put two additional stations under the umbrella of Southern California Public Radio, or SCPR, the nonprofit company that operates KPCC (89.3 FM), as well as KUOR-FM (89.1) in Redlands and KPCV-FM (90.3) in the Coachella Valley
The new morning show to be hosted by Madeleine Brand is part of the expansion, along with doing more online and improving the station's signal on the Westside and in Santa Clarita and up and down the coast.
The LAT connection: The story says that Times reporters and editors appeared on KPCC programs about 150 times in 2009. Weirdly, it doesn't note that Patt Morrison hosts a two-hour show on weekdays where many of those LAT staffers appeared. Her only mention: "Times columnists Patt Morrison and David Lazarus and other staff members are frequent contributors to KPCC programming."