KCRW ending 'Which Way, LA?' as Olney cuts back

warren-olney-2007-marc-goldstein.jpgPhoto: Marc Goldstein

KCRW just announced that after 23 years, the show born in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots is going off the air. "Which Way, LA?" will be replaced at 7 p.m. (Mondays through Thursdays) by a repeat of that day's "Press Play" with Madeleine Brand. Warren Olney, the host of WWLA since the beginning, will remain as host and executive producer of "To the Point." Olney, who is 78 years old, also will add a new interview segment to be called "Olney in LA" that will air during the NPR news shows "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." The final WWLA airs Jan. 28.

Here's a note from Olney:

"Which Way, LA?" is going away after 23 years, but I'm not going anywhere. I'll continue to be host and executive producer of "To the Point." I'll also be doing a weekly segment called, "Olney in LA," to air on "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." It will consist of interviews on local, regional and state developments. I've loved doing both daily programs, but the schedule is grueling and, when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. I'll be keeping my hand in and getting part of my life back at the same time. I might even have time for lunch.

Here's the official word from KCRW:

Starting in February, KCRW's veteran news host Warren Olney will focus on a single daily show: the nationally syndicated, award-winning To The Point. Which Way, LA? will end January 28th. Press Play will repeat in the 7pm hour and KCRW will debut a new segment, Olney in LA, a weekly look at local issues on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

After 15 years of handling two intense daily shows, Olney is ready to scale back. He has decided to put the majority of his energy into the daily national news program he started in 2001. To the Point focuses on the important issues that affect our globe, from international social and economic upheaval to the 2016 presidential election.

“At this point in my career, I felt it was time to make a choice to do one show a day – that’s already a full time job. It was time to get a part of my life back,” Olney said, adding, “To The Point is more necessary than ever. There’s so much going on and so much information available, it’s getting harder and harder for listeners to disentangle the facts from the fear.”

For more than 20 years Which Way, LA? has kept listeners informed about and engaged in their city. While the hour-long program is ending, KCRW will continue to explore the issues Southern Californians care about and so will Olney. He says, "Which Way, LA? may be going away, but I'm not going anywhere.”

In recent years, KCRW has made significant investments to enhance local coverage. Former NPR journalist Madeleine Brand’s daily one hour show Press Play covers issues that affect Angelenos. Morning Edition and All Things Considered feature strong local reporting each day.

Recent stories from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project include investigations into wage theft from LA’s workers and the LAPD’s use of tasers. Cargoland profiled the people behind the ports of Los Angeles and currently, Below The Ten is exploring the stories of life on the economic edge. Through programs like these, KCRW remains committed to taking a deep look at the issues that affect our community.

“Warren has been hosting two daily programs for the past 15 years. I think he’s earned the right to choose his focus after all that hard work. The best part is that he’ll continue to be immersed in the stories of LA. In fact, I can’t imagine a KCRW without Warren Olney,” says KCRW President Jennifer Ferro.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Radio stories on LA Observed:
Joe Frank, somewhere out there
KPCC names Megan Garvey as managing editor
Dark Matter: The radio art of Joe Frank
Warren Olney leaving KCRW's radio lineup
5 things: Double politics, fake quake news, bike lane rage
KPCC ends 'Off-Ramp' and gives host John Rabe new role
What would Ray Bradbury say?
LA Times editor gets all serious: 'How could truth become so devalued?'