Radio personality Madeleine Brand's move between rival public stations in this top radio market will be complete today.
The host left KPCC (89.3 FM) after the station turned her Madeleine Brand Show into an experiment in Latino audience marketing that added a former ESPN host Jorge “A.” Martinez to the mix. That created …
… the Brand & Martínez show. It didn't work. At least not according to Brand's subsequent reaction.
The show forced a sports shouter to share the air with a public radio narrator, all in the name of trying to reach a younger, browner audience. It wasn't a bad goal, but it did appear to be a bad mix.
As Tessa Stuart put it in an LA Weekly cover story on the split,
Ultimately, the story of Brand & Martínez's brief, unhappy run isn't just the story of the spectacular flameout of one of the most promising new public radio programs in the country. It's also a story about corporate interests, commercial appeal – and the battle over the soul of public radio itself.
Martinez has carried on with Alex Cohen in a show KPCC is calling, appropriately enough, Take Two.
Brand took her talents to KCRW, an NPR flagship and cornerstone of SoCal public radio that has been overshadowed in the last decade by the fundraising juggernaut that is KPCC and its parent, Southern California Public Radio.
KCRW says in a statement that the one-hour Press Play will …
… explore Los Angeles as a major player in the spheres of politics, entertainment, arts and culture, technology, and science – both nationally and internationally. This means looking at the world through the lens of Los Angeles, and turning to guests uniquely tapped into the region's culture.
Jennifer Ferro, KCRW's president and general manager:
Madeleine is like that good friend you always wish to have – intelligent without being intimidating, versed in a wide-variety of subjects from world news to pop culture, a good sense of humor, and always knows what is going on.
We'll be listening.