Jennifer Ferro, assistant general manager of Santa Monica College’s KCRW 89.9 FM and www.KCRW.com, will succeed Ruth Seymour as the station’s general manager. Seymour is retiring February 26 after running KCRW for 32 years and building it into National Public Radio’s Southern California flagship station..
The SMC Board of Trustees approved the selection of Ferro on February 20. She will begin in her new position March 1.
“Jennifer epitomizes the perfect mix of traditional public radio experience, and the strategic and creative new media thinking that will be critical to KCRW’s continued success in the years ahead,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang in making the announcement.
SMC holds KCRW’s license and was responsible for the search to find Seymour’s replacement.
Ferro has worked in all areas of the station’s operations, including programming, marketing, new media, technology development and fundraising since joining the KCRW staff in 1994. She first came to the station as a volunteer arts reporter in 1991. Ferro’s independent spirit impressed Seymour, who hired her as an assistant. She was promoted to Assistant General Manager in 1997.
“Jennifer is an ideal choice to lead the station forward,” said outgoing manager Ruth Seymour. “She brings her own unique approach and vision to KCRW. She’s innovative, courageous and independent. She’s an experienced programmer, producer and fundraiser. She will make a terrific manager and I look forward to a KCRW under her leadership.”
Ferro is the executive director of some of the station’s most popular programs, including “Good Food with Evan Kleiman,” and “DnA: Design and Architecture with Frances Anderton.” “Good Food” is the station’s highest-grossing one-hour program during pledge drives.
Ferro is also leading the station in working with SMC to build a new facility for KCRW, which will be integrated into the college’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology campus. The new facility, which recently won a creativity award from the Urban Land Institute, is scheduled for completion by 2013.
In addition to creating a plan to improve on-air fundraising tactics, Ferro spearheaded a change in KCRW’s online strategy that includes its three live Internet radio channels, successful iPhone apps, active blogs, original content features, and social media strategies.
Ferro is also known in the broader sphere of public radio. She serves as a Board Member for the Development Exchange, Inc., the public radio industry’s fundraising, revenue and marketing organization. She’s also appeared as a panelist about public radio at numerous new media and broadcasting conferences.
Ferro is married and is the mother of two daughters, 7 and 9. She is a soccer player as well as an AYSO youth soccer coach.