KPCC has been looking for awhile for the right person to host a new arts and entertainment program aimed at making the station a player in Hollywood and cultural coverage. They found their man. The staff was told today that the anchor will be John Horn, the longtime film industry writer for the Los Angeles Times. Horn is also a regular on rival KCRW's Hollywood show, "The Business," and has been a guest on KPCC shows. Horn will anchor a five-person team that KPCC calls "our most ambitious programming effort since the launch of Take Two in 2012." Here's the internal note:
From: Campbell, Collin
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 2:04 PM
Subject: KPCC hires host for arts & entertainment programming
We are pleased to announce that John Horn, the Los Angeles Times’ outstanding film writer, will be the host of KPCC’s upcoming arts and entertainment program.
John is bringing his formidable insight, interviewing and writing skills, and industry connections to KPCC as we embark on our most ambitious programming effort since the launch of Take Two in 2012. As host of the as-yet untitled program, John will anchor coverage that will serve as a daily chronicle of creativity and culture in Los Angeles, the creative capital of the world. The program will profile original thinkers, movers and shakers and new ways of doing business across the spectrum of film, TV, performing art, music and fine art in a conversational, news-driven approach.
John has been covering the arts and entertainment in Southern California for nearly 30 years. At the Times, he has been the lead writer on the film industry since 2002, taking readers behind the scenes to examine the creative process and explain how Hollywood works, and why. In the past year, he traveled to the former plantation where “12 Years a Slave” was filmed with director Steve McQueen, charted how the story of Columbine came to a stage in New York and watched Angelina Jolie take on her first major directing job, the story of Olympian and USC alum Louis Zamperini.
In 2012, he was the lead writer on the paper’s award-winning effort to publicly identify the long-anonymous members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, who turned out to be a markedly less diverse group than the movie-going public. In addition to writing, John regularly moderates live events at the Academy, the Telluride Film Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and “The Envelope” screening series.
Before joining the Times, John was a senior writer at Newsweek magazine, a senior editor at Premiere magazine, an entertainment reporter for The Associated Press, and covered the television industry for the Orange County Register. John’s interest in the arts extends beyond film and he served on the board of directors of The National Arts Journalism Program, where he was a fellow in the mid-1990s.
And he is no stranger to radio. John is a regular contributor to “The Business” on KCRW, where he also regularly co-hosts on-air segments and podcasts on entertainment news. John has been a guest on our airwaves on Take Two and AirTalk, including a memorable appearance in 2012 on the morning of the theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. With less than an hour’s notice, he did a live two-way with Alex Cohen, covering how Warner Bros. would alter its marketing of the latest “Batman” movie in the wake of the tragedy. Thanks in part to John’s contribution, that day’s program won a Golden Mike award for best live coverage of a news story from the RTNA of Southern California. As part of our interview process, it became clear that John has developed a love for radio and has the desire to launch something new for this kind of coverage across all our platforms.
This is the first of what ultimately will be five positions attached to the show. With John and the new team in place, we'll begin to develop the new program as a podcast and feature John on our air, bringing this beat alive for SCPR listeners. By this fall, we'll be ready to begin the new daily program, ramp up the podcast and bring some new programs to the Crawford Family Forum.
John starts in June. More on the rest of the team later this week.
Campbell is the Managing Editor for Broadcast at Southern California Public Radio.