Madeleine Brand will host new midday show on KCRW

Former KPCC host Madeleine Brand, who left the Los Angeles station in September 2012, will host a new midday show on competitor KCRW. Brand will join the station in mid-September to begin work on the hourlong program, which will begin airing shortly thereafter, she told Current. “I’m really excited and I love KCRW,” she said. “I’ve been a big fan for many years, so I’m really happy to work with them.”

Brand’s show, yet to be named, will be a host-driven, “news-based cultural show” in the vein of the show she hosted on KPCC, she said. She’ll return to the air as a solo host, as she was before the addition of a co-host to her KPCC show.

Other stations like the plan so much, they say it’s theirs

A consultant’s study of public TV’s crowded Los Angeles market, commissioned by CPB, predicts a highly integrated collaboration among the area’s four stations would provide hefty financial savings and grow revenues for all four. The eight-week study by Booz & Co. — a major consulting firm spun off by Booz Allen Hamilton — said the present structure of the market has stunted the four stations. They’ve suffered a 10 percent revenue decline since 2005 and a 26 percent drop in net assets since 2007. All have average audiences below the PBS national average rating of 1.1 percent.

KCET warns it may leave PBS

After negotiating with PBS for eight months over a proposal to reduce its dues and remake public TV in the Los Angeles market, the city’s biggest public station announced last week that it is preparing to completely drop out of the network. If KCET proceeds with its back-up plan for financial relief, as of Jan. 1 PBS would be left without a station committed to air the bulk of its schedule in the nation’s second-largest media market. It would be the first departure of a major-market member in the network’s history. KCET President Al Jerome told Current in an extended interview that he’d prefer to remain with PBS, but — if the network doesn’t budge — he has unanimous board backing to forgo the PBS brand and the icon series from its National Program Service.

Without PBS dues relief, KCET says it will quit PBS at year’s end

After negotiating with PBS for eight months over a proposal to reduce its dues and reconfigure pubTV in the Los Angeles market, the city’s bigget public station announced this week that it may drop out of the network by Jan. 1. If KCET proceeds with that option, PBS would be left without a station committed to carrying its primetime and children's schedules in the nation’s second-largest media market. It would be the first departure of a major-market member in the network’s  history. KCET President Al Jerome told Current that he’d prefer to remain with PBS, but says — if the network doesn’t budge — he has unanimous backing from the station's board of directors to forgo the PBS brand and the icon series of its National Program Service.

Project for L.A.’s youth of color still lacks FM channel

The masterminds of efforts such as NPR’s Bryant Park Project and Chicago Public Radio’s Vocalo know well the difficulties of cultivating new, younger and more diverse audiences for public radio. Now imagine giving it a go in one of the country’s most competitive media markets, Los Angeles. That is the assignment from CPB accepted by L.A. Public Media, a multiplatform service managed by Fresno-based Radio Bilingüe and tailored for younger listeners of color. Imagine further, eight months after taking the assignment and a $2 million grant, there’s still no FM channel to use. LAPM is preparing to launch in July, but probably online instead of on the air.

Winter Horton Jr., 80

Winter D. Horton Jr., a leader in public broadcasting since the 1960s, died Nov. 12 in Pasadena, Calif. He was 80. In 1964 Horton was among the founders of Los Angeles public television station KCET. From 1965 until 1970, he served as v.p. for development at National Educational Television, a predecessor of PBS.

Gene Parris, 82

Gene Parrish, a longtime pubradio broadcaster known for his programs on classical, jazz, opera and choral music, died Jan. 2 [2009] of lung cancer in Harbor City, Calif. . . .

Target: sitters who could be teachers

KCET in Los Angeles unveiled a multimillion-dollar initiative to help prepare kids for kindergarten by training the adults who care for them. Two new daytime talk series — one produced in English and the other in Spanish — are centerpieces of the project. Through daily broadcasts of A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos in Su Casa, KCET aims to provide skills, information and inspiration to unlicensed caregivers and enlist them in the important work of nurturing early learning skills. These friends, neighbors and relatives of parents often work in isolation and have little access to training. Shaped by input from leading educators and formative research on its target audiences, the station’s education initiative has raised $20 million so far, including the largest grant in KCET’s history—$10 million from the energy company BP.

Ruth Seymour: ‘The art is to keep yourself open to change’

. . . 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. . . .