Southern California Public Radio Bolsters Management Team With Key Hires

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) announced two new hires, bolstering the organization’s management team. Shana Naomi Krochmal (she/her) has been appointed as vice president of LAist Studios, SCPR’s podcast development and production studio. Sophie Chap (she/her) is joining SPCR as director of marketing & communications, overseeing activities for all SCPR platforms.

“SCPR has long been a pillar of the Los Angeles community, and, as we look to the future, expanding our team with respected media professionals such as Shana and Sophie who have their pulse on what makes this region tick is key”, said Herb Scannell, president and chief executive officer, SCPR. “Shana has an impressive background successfully leading entertainment media brands in the digital space and is an asset as the LAist Studios team continues to grow and refine its podcast strategy. Sophie brings a great wealth of experience crafting effective brand-building tactics, media strategies, and overall brand messaging that will allow us to further build awareness among the communities that SCPR serves.”

LAist Studios, SCPR’s podcast development and production studio, is the latest addition to the organization. Founded in 2019 to tell “LA stories to the world” and champion the diverse voices of the region, LAist Studios have received recognition from the Webby Awards, and New York Festival Radio Awards for shows that include audio memoir, California Love; investigative series California City; Norco ’80, which told the story of the robbery that changed policing in America. Other shows such as The Big One: Your Survival Guide, WILD, and Snooze have received critical acclaim from The Atlantic, Vulture, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and more.

Krochmal joins LAist Studios from Entertainment Weekly (EW), where as editorial director she created award-winning digital covers, oversaw a site relaunch, and executive produced podcasts, video content, and social media projects. During her time at EW, she also co-hosted a Schitt’s Creek companion show with exclusive access during the show’s sixth and final season. Prior to that, she was the editor in chief of Entertainment Tonight online, where she scaled the show’s microsite into a top-tier 24-7 digital video and news operation, and she has also worked at Current TV and was a longtime contributing editor at OUT magazine. Krochmal and her wife live in Pasadena with their dog, Miss Thing.

Chap comes to SCPR from the Los Angeles Times, where she was most recently senior manager, media and marketing partnerships. During the eight years she spent with the Los Angeles Times, she helped lead the brand messaging to improve brand visibility within the local LA market. She created, executed, and managed all media campaigns that leveraged the Los Angeles Times’ owned and operated communication channels, external partnership relationships, and media buys helping to drive awareness and results. Prior to that, Chap also held roles at Beachfront Media, Tribune Publishing, and KABC-TV.

Southern California Public Radio Secures Grant from Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded Southern California Public Radio (SCRP) a two-year grant of $500,000 to advance the growth of LAist Studios, SCPR’s podcast development and production division, and its mission of addressing the content needs of young and underserved audiences.

With Latino audiences making up nearly half of the Southern California region, the funding will support staffing and help LAist Studios empower up-and-coming content creators by giving them the tools to develop shows and engage diverse young audiences.

“Since day one, our mission has been to create innovation on-demand audio that is representative of our amazing city. We are grateful for CPB’s support and excited to build on our momentum” said Kristen Muller, Chief Content Officer of SCPR.

“Southern California Public Radio has a proven track record of producing engaging, on-demand programming,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB Senior Vice President, Radio, Journalism and CSG Services. “CPB is pleased to support their efforts to build on that record to reflect the rich cultural landscape of Los Angeles and engage with audiences seeking connection, information, and entertainment.

LAist Studios is committed to telling stories that go beyond the surface to reflect the rich cultural landscapes of Los Angeles and embrace the diverse voices of the region’s community. Launched in 2019, shows created by LAist studios include: The Big One; Servant of Pod; Hollywood, the Sequel; California City; California Love; and the recently released Norco ’80.

Apple recently included California Love on their Favorite Podcasts of 2020 list, and Spotify named it one of the Top Podcasts of 2020, including the episode “Ellie” on the Spotify 2020 Podcast Hall of Fame playlist. In the 2020 Podcast of the Year awards, Adweek honored the California Love episode “P-Line” as Episode of the Year; named host Walter Thompson-Hernández Podcast Innovator of the Year; and named producer Megan Tan Producer of the Year. Further, Bello Collective included California City and California Love on its annual “Bello 100” list of their favorite podcasts of the year.