KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., has struck the opening chords for The Organist, a monthly arts-and-culture podcast from McSweeney’s. The program is the latest collaboration between the station and the irreverent San Francisco–based publishing house, founded in 1998 by acclaimed author and screenwriter Dave Eggers. Produced by the editors of the McSweeney’s-published culture magazine The Believer, The Organist will produce 10 hourlong episodes per year covering a wide gamut of pop culture, with the help of some famous voices. The inaugural episode launched Feb. 1.
KPCC’s Susan Valot and KCRW’s Kim Masters were recognized among best journalists in Los Angeles. Valot, a reporter who covers Orange County for Pasadena’s KPCC, was lauded by Press Club judges for producing “well-rounded reports with an authoritative, informed tone” and making great use of sound. Masters, a former NPR correspondent who now covers Hollywood for KCRW in Santa Monica, was named top entertainment journalist. Judges cited her voicing and thorough, substantive reporting on L.A.’s entertainment business. KPCC’s newsroom won top recognition in four categories of the radio division: for feature reporting by Madeleine Brand and Kristen Muller; entertainment reporting/criticism by Larry Mantle; use of sound by Kevin Ferguson; and the talk/public affairs program Airtalk with Larry Mantle.
. . . And the way she couples spur-of-the-moment decision-making and openness to change with highly principled management has prompted some to call her the "Lady of the Iron Whim," one of her many nicknames. She is not afraid to make enemies, or even fire longtime volunteers, if it helps keep the schedule fresh. . . .