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Michael Fleming, Deborah Ramo, Jennifer Ferro, and Dr Chui Tsang at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Courtesy Photo
Michael Fleming, Deborah Ramo, Jennifer Ferro, and Dr Chui Tsang at the groundbreaking ceremony.

News, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica

KCRW Breaks Ground On New Media Center At Santa Monica College

Posted Jun. 15, 2014, 9:30 am

Mirror Staff

KCRW broke ground on a new 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Media Center on Wednesday, to be located on Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus.

A momentous occasion, KCRW President and General Manager Jennifer Ferro and Santa Monica College (SMC) Superintendent and President Dr. Chui L. Tsang led the ceremony, and were joined by KCRW Foundation Board Chairman Michael Fleming, special guest and performer Ben Harper, and KCRW’s closest supporters and staff.

The groundbreaking also marked a milestone in the first major capital campaign of KCRW’s 75-year history to raise $48 million for the Media Center design and construction, new programming, and technology investments.

Jennifer Ferro, KCRW President and General Manager, said this was an incredibly important moment in KCRW’s history – adding KCRW couldn’t be more thankful to its licensee and partner Santa Monica College, Santa Monica voters, and the generous supporters for their vital contributions in bringing the KCRW Media Center to life.

“For the first time in our 75-year history we will be able to bring the community into our home and share the incredible performances and discussions that take place on a daily basis," Ferro said."

Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Santa Monica College Superintendent and President, said it was the college's great pleasure to welcome KCRW to the Santa Monica College Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus.

“We share a unique synergy with KCRW, and look forward to creating a dynamic learning environment for our students who are passionate about journalism, media, and radio," Tsang said.

To-date, KCRW has secured $33 million of the total $48 million capital campaign goal, including a $28 million contribution from Santa Monica College, licensee of KCRW, with funding from 2008 Bond Measure AA.

KCRW graciously thanked other major donors at the groundbreaking ceremony, including The Annenberg Foundation, Norris and Debi Bishton, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Tom and Ellie Wertheimer, Borzi Family Foundation, Kayne Foundation (Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree), The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Monica J. Shilling, and Jay and Susan Markowitz, among others.

“KCRW’s innovative programs and live events inspire the imagination and bring communities together,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of The Annenberg Foundation, KCRW’s largest private donor. “They provide an invaluable public service to Southern Californians and listeners worldwide. We are thrilled to be a part of this illustrious endeavor.”

Over the past 30 years, KCRW’s staff has grown from 14 to 110 in extremely cramped offices and studios beneath Santa Monica College campus.

The new KCRW Media Center is designed to preserve the station’s collaborative culture, while creating community gathering spaces, integrating state-of-the-art production facilities, and allowing for future growth.

Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, a global leader in workplace innovation, the new building will also meet LEED Silver Certification standards, maximizing energy and water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

With a history of bringing unique live experiences to Southern California and around the country, KCRW will for the first time in its history be able to host the community at its own 1,400 square-foot Performance Studio and Viewing Gallery.

KCRW will also have the opportunity to program events at the 18,000-square-foot Wallis Annenberg Plaza Courtyard and Outdoor Stage and a 180-seat auditorium.

SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus is located in the middle of Santa Monica’s creative business district, and the forthcoming Expo Line.

The campus will include a newly-remodeled 50,000 square-foot teaching facility, a new 30,000 square-foot addition with TV and production studios, a cafe, and a new 430-space parking garage.

Construction is projected for completion by 2015, with both the KCRW Media Center and SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology Campus operating from the new buildings by early 2016.

To learn more about KCRW’s Capital Campaign, visit

Post a comment


Jun. 17, 2014, 2:01:23 pm

susanshedlow said...

Congratulations on the construction of your new state of the art media center. I look forward to resuming my studies in digital animation in 2016. However, prior to that, I will be enrolling in my general education classes at the main campus. Once again again, congratulations on the start of construction of your new state of the art Academy of Entertainment and Technology campus.

Jun. 21, 2014, 10:37:30 am

cory said...

over the years as kcrw's budget has increased the quality of the programming has gone down. The listener does not hear any improvement from their radio from these extravagant expenditures. KCRW's programming was actually better when it was at John Adams. It sounds totally commercial and no better than the stations a the right side of the dial. We don't even get the special one off programs on holidays that we used to get when Ruth Seymour was running the station. Used to enjoy her weekly conversations with the SMC president. getting rid of Tom Schnable and Harry Shearer was a big loss, At least we can listen to some good stations over the internet like KPTZ, KWMR, WWOZ, WEVL,, WKCR, KFJC, KPOO, KBOO, KLOI, etc.

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