KCRW (89.9 MHz FM) is a public radio station broadcasting from the campus of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California that carries a mixed talk radio and freeform music format. A network of repeaters and broadcast translators allows the station to serve the Los Angeles metropolitan area and other communities in Southern California. The station has also become widely known because of nationally-distributed programming, streaming Internet radio broadcasts, and podcasts.
KCRW is known for playing cutting edge music in addition to originating numerous news-talk-information and cultural programs, that are distributed nationwide.
Nic Harcourt, host of Morning Becomes Eclectic and Sounds Eclectic, is well-known among many public radio fans, and has been the station's music director since 1998. He is also previously known in his home country for discussing on a regular basis emerging music with hosts at BBC Radio 1.
Along with WFMU in the New York City market, KCRW claims to be one of the most influential independent music radio stations around the globe, often referring to themselves as the "tastemaker for the world". Harcourt particularly touts his clout in the music industry, often pointing out that many music executives listen to Morning Becomes Eclectic whilst stuck in Los Angeles' infamous morning traffic. Both he and KCRW often credit themselves as being the premier gatekeepers for new breaking emerging artists. KCRW has been responsible for the careers and success of many artists, including Radiohead, Coldplay, Dido, Peter Gabriel, and Norah Jones.
Streaming media is now very important for the station, and it has gained a wide audience from this technology, streaming thousands of hours of content each week. KCRW provides three different live streams: the live broadcast, a 24-hour music service, and a 24-hour news service. Streams in RealAudio, Windows Media Audio, and MP3 formats are available. The station also archives its talk and music programs for listeners to stream at their convenience, and offers podcasts of in-studio performances and talk programs.
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