Monday, March 11, 2019

KCRW Is Outta The Basement: A Farewell To Its Old Digs (PHOTOS)

It was a long time coming, but KCRW is finally in its new studios off of the main Santa Monica College campus. Well, almost. "Press Play" is still originating from the old basement studios this week, and I recorded this week's "Screengrab" segment (my weekly TV chat with Joe Adalian that airs Tuesdays at 8:45 a.m.) in the old studios on Monday — but it was a ghost town. After years of planning, KCRW finally has a new home.

A new home that will finally give the station and its employees room to breathe. Even as it grew, the KCRW staff managed to operate in tight quarters, in the basement below Santa Monica College's cafeteria. Above and below, some views of its music library. Look at all that sweet, sweet vinyl! (CD's in the file cabinets and on the walls as well.)

(And when I say it was a long time coming, it's no joke. I remember bringing the family to KCRW's new building open house in December 2017 -- read about it here. It took longer for the move than anyone expected, but I think everyone finally now sees the light at the end of the tunnel!)

A view of one of the KCRW offices. Not a lot of natural light, and phone reception was always spotty down there. 

One of the studios where I got to record "The Spin-Off" and "Screengrab" over the years.

Not sure what's going to happen to this stuff, but new equipment awaits the station at its new facility.

The hallway as of last week, before the moving boxes came.

A view into KCRW's live studio in the basement.

Some amazing photos of artists who visited KCRW over the years could be found all over the basement -- and have now been transported to the new station.

One of the first things you saw when entering the station: An ever-growing collection of Polaroids taken by notable guests.

Oh, and the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne. His face would be beaming back at you, welcoming you to the basement.

KCRW is leaving just before this fading sign completely peeled off.

My view.

Coincidentally, this is the second time I've been affiliated with a radio station that moved out of a basement. As general manager of Northwestern's WNUR in 1995, I was part of the team that moved our student-run station out of the basement of Annie May Swift Hall and into brand new facilities on its first floor.

Here's an updated look from Monday, with the walls now bare and the staff mostly gone.

Someone had to painstakingly remove all of those Polaroids! Curious to see how they're displayed in the new building.

And that's it! Congrats to everyone at KCRW on making the big move, especially my producer, Kaitlin Parker, and general manager Jennifer Ferro! Can't wait to begin recording "Screengrab" there!

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