Monday, November 17, 2008

KCRW Announces New Music Director

KCRW announces the appointment of Jason Bentley as Music Director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, effective December 1. Bentley will leave his current evening time slot to take over KCRW’s signature music program from 9am to noon PST, Monday through Friday.

"This is a wonderful KCRW story. Jason began as a phone volunteer in the front office when he was still in high school. He grew up on KCRW because his parents were listeners. When he returned from college he reconnected with the station and debuted on the air here 16 years ago,” said KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour. “He has a passion for the music and a deep connection to the local music scene. Moreover KCRW is in his DNA."

"I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity and humbled by the task, which is to open a new chapter for the station. It's a reinvention of myself to match the gold standards set by previous music directors. It’s no longer the hypnotic pulse of the city at night – it’s the ever-evolving optimism of weekday mornings,” said Bentley.

“My show has always reflected the continual evolution of music and emerging artists. And while I built my foundation as a champion of dance and electronic music, this is a great opportunity for me to grow, a challenge I will take very seriously."

"The other side to this position, no less important than MBE, is to work closely with the incredibly talented group of DJs we have at KCRW to inspire the best from these bright minds and celebrate the diversity of our music department. Together we will build on KCRW's stellar reputation in Los Angeles and around the world."

Bentley is widely respected, not just as a KCRW DJ but as a Music Supervisor for film (“The Matrix” soundtracks), a music executive (co-founder of the Quango Music Group and an A&R exec at Madonna's Maverick imprint) and as a music producer and remixer in his own right.

Jason has nurtured a thriving music scene in Los Angeles over the years, Producing events at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Skirball Cultural Center, and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and consults for the LA Philharmonic on special events at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. He was the headlining DJ at Uptown Underground, a hugely successful public art installation that drew more than 8,000 people to the Music Center in Downtown LA and the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Jason has served for two consecutive terms on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and is involved in awards committees every year leading up to the Grammy's. Earlier this year, Jason became the first ever DJ for the Governor’s Ball, the celebration following the Academy Awards, and more recently, he headlined the official election night party for President elect Barack Obama in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Century Plaza to a capacity crowd.

Current Music Director Nic Harcourt will step down at the end of the month to pursue several independent projects and will continue as a KCRW DJ, hosting a 3-hour show on Sunday nights from 6-9 pm PST.

Further programming updates will be released in the next few weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

KCRW’s Music Director Steps Down

After 10 successful years as host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW’s signature music program, KCRW Music Director Nic Harcourt is stepping down November 30 to pursue several independent projects. Harcourt will continue as a KCRW deejay, hosting a 3-hour show on Sundays from 6-9 pm.

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to work every day and be surrounded by creative and passionate people and I want to keep the connection alive on my Sunday show,” said Harcourt.

“Since I arrived here, I’ve fulfilled many of my dreams as a music lover, meeting and interviewing legends like Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson and Cat Stevens (Yusuf). I’ve also been able to set the stage for future stars, introducing artists like Coldplay, Damien Rice, Dido and Norah Jones on KCRW’s airwaves. I’m equally proud to have played many unsigned and independent artists and to be a champion for Latin Alternative music.”

“I’ve also been involved with a number of innovative projects to bring KCRW’s unique programming to a larger audience, such as launching KCRW Presents concerts in Los Angeles and other cities, remote broadcasts of Morning Becomes Eclectic from major music events, and videocasting and podcasting our live studio sessions.”

“As a parent of two young children, I believe it’s time for me to explore new career opportunities and expand upon my other activities in movie, television, voice over work, advertising and the Internet.”

“My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to KCRW, the staff and volunteers who have supported my work through the years, but most of all to the listeners. I’ve always said that I couldn’t do what I do without them and I hope they will join me on Sunday nights,” said Harcourt.

KCRW’s General Manager Ruth Seymour
said “Nic has enhanced KCRW’s reputation for introducing new artists to listeners in Southern California and beyond on radio and the Internet. His singular gifts as a radio deejay and his ability to spot new talent attracted major media attention from both national and international press."

“He made performing on MBE an opportunity to be heard by top entertainment executives. In quite a number of instances it led to record contracts, television appearances and club dates.”

“We’re delighted that Nic will continue a station tradition and remain on the air at KCRW. He follows our two previous Music Directors, Tom Schnabel and Chris Douridas, who also host music programs on the weekends.”

“Nic is a hard act to follow”, added Seymour. “We are now in the process of choosing a new Music Director. We have been looking at potential candidates with an eye toward announcing a choice in the new few weeks."