Madeleine Brand's talks with KCRW seem to be progressing

Thumbnail image for brand-martinez.jpgThe December issue of Los Angeles magazine revisits the departure of Madeleine Brand from KPCC, and if you were paying attention to the story as it happened, and after and she made her way to KCET's SoCal Connected, doesn't add much new except for a couple of emotional scenes. One of those is Brand breaking the news of her departure to her staff:

On Friday, September 21, she gathered the staff of her show in a conference room at KPCC’s headquarters and, holding back tears, made her announcement: She was leaving immediately. Brand collected a few items from her desk and walked out of the building.

“It was very painful,” recalls Brand, who is 47. “I created that show, and it was my baby.”

There was also a fair bit of tension in the booth during her last show with A Martinez, the co-host Brand learned about via email: "The two barely spoke. For the entire broadcast, which had recently expanded to two hours, they sat across from each other without acknowledging that this would be the end of their stint together." Writer Gabriel Kahn also gets KPCC president Bill Davis to talk about where he gets his insight into the new Latino listeners he wants to the station to win over: "My little cohort of Latino soccer dads, who are attorneys, engineers, and so forth, respond to him,” Davis says of Martinez.

The news in the piece comes from Brand herself. She says that her previously reported discussions with KPCC's rival KCRW involve a new program in the same 9 a.m. slot she used to hold at the Pasadena station.

“It will be just like The Madeleine Brand Show, but better,” she says with maybe a hint of something beyond enthusiasm in her voice. Because in the well-mannered world of public radio, those are fighting words.

Problem is, KCRW already airs its top music program, "Morning Becomes Eclectic," in that time slot opposite Martinez and Alex Cohen. Sounds like there's no hurry on KCRW's part to finalize a deal with Brand.

General manager Jennifer Ferro says in a statement today that "KCRW is definitely talking with the talented Madeleine Brand, but it's too early to be picking time slots. 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' is our signature music show and doing well beyond our expectations. Good things take time to develop and so we're taking our time."

Meanwhile: Los Angeles style editor Linda Immediato was on 'SoCal Connected' with Brand the other night, and reveals in a blog post what they talked about when the microphones were off.

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