KPCC's other arts hires are interesting too

Thumbnail image for scpr-sign-kpcc.jpgFollowing on last week's announcement that LA Times film writer John Horn would anchor KPCC's on-air arts and entertainment show, the station has filled out the producer spots with names that also deserve attention. The senior producer for the as-yet unnamed arts and entertainment program will be Oscar Garza. He is well known in the local arts and culture journalism scene — former arts editor and daily Calendar editor at the Los Angeles Times, editor of the late Tu Ciudad magazine, a senior editor briefly at the Daily News, and more recently the politics desk editor at KPCC. As the station's arts and entertainment editor, KPCC has grabbed longtime KCRW producer Darby Maloney. She produces “The Business” and other entertaiment-related coverage at KCRW.

Here's the memo from Collin Campbell, KPCC's managing editor for broadcast.

From: Campbell, Collin
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 4:27 PM
Subject: KPCC hires Senior Producer, Editor for arts & entertainment coverage

I’m very pleased to announce that Oscar Garza, who has run our outstanding politics and governance team, will become Senior Producer for KPCC’s new arts and entertainment program.

Oscar will lead daily production on the show and work closely with host John Horn to develop the content across all our platforms. Oscar's talents are well known in the building — over the last three years he has overseen our coverage the 2012 election and the probe into State Senator Ron Calderon, as well as the launch of the Represent! blog and other big stories and projects.

Before joining KPCC in 2011, Oscar had a long career as a cultural journalist. He was the arts editor at the San Antonio Light and the L.A. Times, where he rose to become editor of the daily Calendar section in 1995. He spent 15 years at the Times, editing some of the paper’s most well-known arts journalists, including pop music critic Robert Hilburn and arts critic Christopher Knight. He has supervised coverage of every major awards ceremony – Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys — and breaking news in all arts and entertainment fields. He also served as deputy editor of the LA Times Magazine.

At KPCC, Oscar has hosted and helped produce a series of Forum events with cultural themes and well-known guests. He has interviewed Cheech Marin about his yen for art collecting and Hilburn about his Johnny Cash biography. Before KPCC, Oscar was a host for the Zócalo Public Square lecture series, talking with well-known creative figures like Luis Valdez, Culture Clash, Larry Wilmore, music producer Hal Willner, film director Carl Franklin and musician Ceci Bastida.

After leaving the Times, Oscar was the founding editor-in-chief of Tu Ciudad, a monthly magazine with deep coverage of the city’s cultural scene. And he was on the team that launched LA Public Media, a public radio programming start-up.

Oscar also deeply understands the creative process. He contributed stories and song lyrics for "By the Hand of the Father," a theater production about the journey of Mexican-American patriarchs to California, which has toured the U.S. and Canada. He also wrote a re-imagined history of the popular song "Land of 1000 Dances,” which was published in the journal Popular Music by Cambridge University Press in 2005.

We’ll be counting on his creativity, understanding of the arts and knack for starting new things for this launch.

Joining Oscar in this ambitious effort will be Darby Maloney, who joins KPCC as Arts & Entertainment Editor. Darby comes to us from KCRW, where she leads the station's coverage of entertainment news. Since 2007, she has produced “The Business,” KCRW’s popular show about the business of show business. She has also helped build a portfolio of popular podcasts and on-air segments, including “The Spin-off" and “The Hollywood Breakdown." That work has given her great knowledge of influential figures in the city's creative life and earned the station two Gracie Awards, a National Entertainment Journalism Award, and a Golden Mike.

Darby has produced and edited stories for KCRW's UnFictional program and the "Which Way LA?" blog. She has also produced a live event for the station's UpClose series. Darby was a contributing producer on This American Life’s TV show and worked on "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers,” an early web series for PBS and Nova which was nominated for an Emmy and a Webby.

She will start at KPCC in mid-June. With the team in place, we’ll aim to begin regular reports and contributions for our shows by the end of next month. We’ll get the podcast moving not long after that and build to a full daily program this fall. I'm very excited about the work ahead and the team we have to take it on.

Please join me in congratulating Oscar and welcoming Darby.


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