Madeleine Brand hasn't spoken to ex-KPCC boss since July

Thumbnail image for brand-zavala-kcet.jpgMadeleine Brand finally had some things to say about her abrupt departure in September from KPCC, as well as her early reactions to life on television at KCET. In an interview with the LA Times' Deborah Vankin, Brand remains circumspect but lets some feelings out. "It was time for me to leave … to have a fresh start," Brand says. "It's exciting to know that there's more than public radio in the world." Here are some highlights:

  • Her departure from KPCC "came after months of tension with her longtime champion, KPCC President Bill Davis," a friend from their UC Berkeley campus radio days. Brand, who left in September, told Vankin they haven't spoken since July, which would have been during the process of hiring A Martinez to be Brand's co-host on a revamped morning show.
Brand had input early in the long process of interviewing potential co-hosts — and was excited about certain candidates, including OC Weekly editor in chief Gustavo Arellano and CNN's Nick Valencia — but was "surprised" when she found out in an email that the station had hired Martinez, who is known as the voice of ESPN Radio's "Lakers Line" and "Dodger Talk" on AM 710 but came into the job with little hard-news experience.

"I had no idea what his capabilities were," she says. "'s all about chemistry. Maybe more in radio than TV because it's so intimate."

  • Leaving KPCC and letting was painful, even though she has just been there since 2010. "It was the best job I ever had. It was like creating a baby, gestating that baby, giving birth to that baby, and then someone says, 'Oh, my God, your baby is so beautiful. I'm gonna take care of it now.'"
  • After a week at KCET's "SoCal Connected," Brand has realized a truth other TV broadcasters, especially women, have learned through the decades. "People are obsessed with women's hair!" she says. "There's so much involved in the appearance part of it, and it's really important to me to keep the journalism part front and center. But it's super-fun. I think KCET could really take off and be a force in this city."
  • She's still in play. KCRW General Manager Jennifer Ferro "has her eye on Brand," the story says. "When she became available, it was the clear and obvious conversation to have," Ferro says. "Madeleine's really talented and definitely belongs on the radio in Los Angeles — we're gonna try to make that happen."

The story repeats what the LA Weekly said last week: that so far the bosses at KPCC are happy with A Martinez and the initial ratings for "Take Two," the morning show he now co-hosts with Alex Cohen.

KCET photo of Brand with 'SoCal Connected' anchor Val Zavala

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