From a tiny hidden basement on the Santa Monica College campus to world domination – KCRW has a brand new international web radio station. And this new twist is designed to make their previous programming look tame in comparison. Beginning on Labor Day, you can hear the new www.kcrwmusic.com on their terrestrial airwaves too.
Strolling through the sunny Santa Monica College campus, things were pretty peaceful for summer break. But down a barely visible staircase into the basement of Cayton Hall, suddenly there was the bristling of excitement and activity, even with the flashing red “On Air” sign keeping everyone quiet. This was the home of the world-famous KCRW Radio station, and they were in the middle of their annual fund drive…but wait. There was even more reason for the feeling of giddy adventure that was shooting through the air like electricity. Morgan Wells (pictured), the new PR guru, was bursting with enthusiasm for their next big project: world domination!
World Wide Web domination, to be more precise. As Wells explained, “We already have an international presence, for example, Tokyo is our third largest audience other than LA.” KCRW already has a huge online following; in fact they are amongst the top 20 webcasters worldwide, with select streaming and archives. But the new format will be a totally revamped website to feature brand new, online, real time programming, created exclusively for their webcasting. Already known for their bold, no-holds-barred formatting, apparently they have been holding back. The REAL barrier busting will begin with www.kcrwmusic.com. “We have a free format now, we are 100 percent listener funded” Wells continued, “but even here there are some limitations from the FCC. On the Web, we can be even more creative, even more cutting-edge.” Nic Harcourt, the star of Morning Becomes Eclectic, isn’t skipping a beat. When asked if he is going to play anything different on the new Web station, he answered, “Different? Me?” With a sparkle in his eye he continued, “No, I’m still going to be me.” Nic later confessed, “…I wouldn’t have ever even moved out to California if it wasn’t for the programming freedom of this station.”
With a spirit of discovery and a keen eye on the future of media technology, KCRW star DJs like Nic Harcourt, Chris Douridas, Tom Schnabel, Jason Bentley, Garth Trinidad and Anne Litt will – for the first time – be back to back instead of spread out over different days and times. The station’s most influential programmers will produce their signature music shows exclusively for the Internet.
The new station will boast the same variety of cutting edge music that defines the station’s eclectic identity, featuring electronica to progressive pop, Latin alternative to modern soul, hip-hop, trip-hop, world music and more. A special feature will be “Today’s Top Tune,” a 24-hour-only downloadable song of the day, available on weekdays. The station will also have a distinctly global feel, covering music, events and interesting content from around the world, but still be infused with the flavor of Los Angeles. Soon the station will add record reviews, global gig guides and other content to make www.kcrwmusic.com a destination site for educated, culturally progressive music fans throughout the world. Like your stream the iTunes way? No problem! The www.kcrwmusic.com stream is also available through iTunes and AOL.
KCRW is ramping up groundbreaking international radio programming exchanges to support their global focus. Wells has just polished off a trip to Europe where she met with several companies to forge partnerships, enhancing the global relationships KCRW has been cultivating for many years, especially in the UK. They are presently doing playlist exchanges with the BBC in London, and are even considering radio partnerships with more edgy radio presences like Artrocker on Resonance FM in the UK.
For more information, go to www.kcrwmusic.com.