Tom Schnabel, the original host of KCRW's signature music program "Morning Becomes Eclectic," is leaving the KCRW airwaves. This Sunday will be the final edition of his long-running weekend program. But KCRW says Schnabel isn't leaving the station; he's instead focusing on launching a new digital platform, "Rhythm Planet." Here's the KCRW memo (from general manager Jennifer Ferro) announcing the change:
As you know, in the last year we've made investments in digital programming and building new audience. We launched DnA and Metropolis to do both of these things last month and we are happy to see the positive response so far.Schnabel hosted "Morning Becomes Eclectic" from July 1979 to November 1990, before handing the reins to Chris Douridas. He had hosted a weekend show since then.
I wanted to let you know about another exciting new venture.
Tom Schnabel will launch Rhythm Planet as its own stand-alone digital universe. Tom is the heart of KCRW's music programming. He's our center, our core, our beginning.
His last on air show will be this Sunday. He is not saying good-bye because he's not leaving. He's just changing platforms - from broadcast radio to digital.
He has vast knowledge of world music and jazz (amongst other things). He's an amazing curator and scholar and writer. In fact, his Rhythm Planet blog is one of our more popular blogs even with little to no promotion.
Just like Frances and DnA, the goal is for Tom to build a community around world and jazz music. We'll have a Rhythm Planet membership club, live music events (one is coming up on May 20th) and his blog. He'll do a weekly audio show that will be found on his blog and on our site and apps.
I'm excited to announce that Travis Holcombe will join the daytime music programming line up. Many of you know Travis. In true KCRW fashion, Travis started as a front desk volunteer and eventually joined our music staff.
We're finally at a place where we can take advantage of all our platforms - over the air, online and in person. This year we're embarking on making the most of all three of those platforms.
An official announcement on weekend changes will come on Monday. I wanted you to be aware in case you hear Tom talk about his new venture on the air this weekend.
Your dedication and passion for KCRW is what drives this whole operation and I thank you.
- Jennifer Ferro